1. The Thirteenth Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (13th M-ATM) was convened on 24 January 2010 in Bandar Seri Begawan in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2010 (ATF 2010). The Meeting was preceded by the Thirty-First Meeting of ASEAN National Organisations and other ASEAN NTOs meetings with Dialogue Partners. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam and co-chaired by H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia.
2. The Ministers noted that notwithstanding the global economic slowdown, ASEAN tourism still performed well, and continued to grow. Intra-ASEAN travel was the major contributor with 49 per cent share of 65 million total international visitor arrivals in 2009.
3. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Statement on ASEAN Connectivity by the ASEAN Leaders at the 15th ASEAN Summit held on 23-25 October 2009 in Cha-Am Hua Hin, Thailand. Enhancing Intra-ASEAN connectivity will certainly enhance closer people-to-people ties and benefits tourism in the region through an extensive and reliable transportation network connecting destinations, cities, and source markets. In this regard, the Ministers tasked their officials to actively contribute inputs to the development of the ASEAN Connectivity Master Plan to ensure that the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015 is reflected through their involvement in the ASEAN High-Level Task Force.
4. The Ministers were pleased to note the continued efforts of the ASEAN Transport Ministers in pursuing the ASEAN Open-Sky Policy, particularly in finalising the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on the Full Liberalisation of Passenger Air Services (MAFLPAS) and its Protocols, which will further expand the access for ASEAN airlines to other ASEAN cities beside the Capitals. The Ministers also welcomed the entry into force in October 2009 of the ASEAN Multilateral Agreement on Air Services, which was concluded in November 2008. The Ministers looked forward to the early conclusions of the ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement and ASEAN-India Air Services Agreement. This enhanced air accessibility will significantly contribute to tourism development in the region.
5. Recognizing the growth in cruise tourism in Asia, the Ministers proposed to their Transport counterparts to consider giving increased importance to cruise shipping in their ASEAN Strategic Transport Plan 2011-2015. The Ministers encouraged maritime officials to avail, at cargo trade ports, facilities for cruise tourism and to build new or upgrade current infrastructure at sea ports to be conducive for cruise tourism. Closer coordination between the Tourism and Transport sectors should be strengthened to enhance travel facilitation for tourists.
ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2011-2015
6. The Ministers were pleased to note the progress of the development of the framework of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015 , succeeding the Roadmap for Integration of Tourism Sector which will expire in 2010. The development of the plan will include a significant process of consultations including the development of the Key Performance Indicators. In addition to its role in identifying key principles of ASEAN tourism integration towards the establishment of ASEAN Community in 2015, the Ministers also underscored the importance of the ATSP 2011-2015 in addressing the many opportunities and challenges to ASEAN tourism.
7. The Ministers tasked the senior officials to ensure that the ATSP 2011-2015 will be developed according to a series of guiding principles: sustainable development, extensive stakeholders’ involvement and cooperation with dialogue partners.
8. The Ministers tasked the senior officials to finalise the ATSP 2011-2015 for adoption at the 14th M-ATM in Cambodia in January 2011. The Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Government of the United States for the technical assistance provided through the ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement (ACE) Project in developing ATSP 2011-2015 with the cooperation of UNWTO and PATA.
Enhanced Tourism Manpower Quality
9. Further to the adoption of the Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals last year, the Ministers endorsed the MRA follow-up implementation requirements, including the capacity development for members of related organisations under MRA at the regional and national level. In expediting the implementation of those requirements under MRA, the Ministers looked forward to the convening of the first ASEAN Tourism Professional Monitoring Committee (ATPMC) meeting in 2010.
10. The Ministers took note of the success of the Workshop on Eco-Tourism organized by ASEAN Tourism Resource Management and Development Network for Eco-Tourism chaired by Thailand on 21-24 August 2009 in Chiang Mai. The Ministers also noted the updated version of the ASEAN Tourism Training and Education Network Directory launched at the occasion of the ATF 2010.
11. The Ministers noted the progress of the Russian Language Course for the ASEAN Tour Operators, including the development of E-Learning procedures and thanked the Russian Government for the technical assistance provided to ASEAN Member States.
ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy
12. The Ministers took note of the development of the ASEAN Youth Travellers’ Year conducted through the creation of a tactical youth travellers campaign and the holding of several youth related events, including the ASEAN Youth Tourism Ambassador Project held on 15-24 January 2009 in Thailand, the ASEAN Family Rally held on March 2009 in Thailand the 1st ASEAN Plus Three Youth Tourism Students Summit held on 16-19 June 2009 in Bali and the 1st ASEAN Youth Football Cup held on 21 – 29 June 2009 in Thailand. The Ministers welcomed and supported the forthcoming youth related events to be held in 2010, namely ASEAN Tourism Youth Ambassadors, ASEAN Plus Three Youth Travellers Programme, ASEAN Youth Football Cup to be organised by Thailand, and the Youth Olympic Games to be held on 14-26 August 2010 in Singapore.
13. The Ministers support the development of the new ASEAN tourism marketing strategy initiated by ASEANTA and supported by the ACE Project with the tagline of “Southeast Asia: Feel the Warmth”, which will be a co-brand with the existing ASEAN marketing campaign. This new tourism marketing strategy will utilise a dynamic and interactive website (www.SoutheastAsia.org) as the main marketing platform highlighting multi-destination travel within ASEAN Member States and showcasing small and medium-sized enterprises’ tourism services to a wider audience.
14. The Ministers acknowledged the progress of ASEAN tourism joint promotion, especially the activities of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) in Sydney in 2009 through production of promotional materials and participation in international tourism events in Australia. In further expanding the ASEAN joint marketing efforts in major source markets, the Ministers supported the decision of the ASEAN NTOs to establish two new APCTs in Mumbai and Dubai.
ASEAN Tourism Investment
15. The Ministers noted the outcomes of the workshop on ASEAN Tourism Corridor Development held in Phnom Penh on 21 July 2009 which has identified the ASEAN Tourism Development Corridors based on the available/planned special zone/corridors in the respective ASEAN Member States as well as in ASEAN sub-regions. The recommendations of the workshop will be taken into account in the development of the ATSP 2011-2015. In further developing these corridors, improving connectivity, such as promoting more low cost airlines and cruise liners to and within the corridors, is necessary. Therefore, the Ministers agreed to seek supports from the relevant ASEAN committees to materialise these ASEAN Tourism Corridors in the near future, particularly in its relation to the implementation of the ASEAN Leaders’ Statement on ASEAN Connectivity.
16. In further enhancing ASEAN as a world-class tourism destination, the Ministers supported continued efforts of the ASEAN NTOs in providing recognition to hotels in respective ASEAN Member States that have fulfilled the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards through the ASEAN Green Hotel Award. The Ministers welcomed the initiative of the ASEAN NTOs to develop the ASEAN Home Stay list for those establishments that have fulfilled the criteria and requirements of the ASEAN Home Stay Standards. The Ministers thanked Thailand for the strong support provided to these initiatives.
17. The Ministers welcomed the engagement of health and tourism officials and supported their efforts in developing the strategies to better cater tourism planning to promote the health and wellbeing of the tourists and host communities through effective collaboration and engagement between all stakeholders.
18. The Ministers noted the outcomes of the Train-the-Trainer for Media Spokespersons held on 15 October 2009 in Singapore aimed at improving media relations of ASEAN NTOs officials.
ASEAN with Dialogue Partners
19. The Ministers expressed appreciation to the ASEAN-Japan Centre for its effort in promoting ASEAN tourism in Japan and providing technical assistance to tourism stakeholders to better cater Japanese tourists while they are visiting the region. The Ministers also thanked the ASEAN-Korean Centre for its initial activities in providing its support in promoting ASEAN tourism in Korea. The Ministers welcomed the signing of the MOU on establishing of the ASEAN-China Centre that would contribute to the increase of tourism exchange between ASEAN and China. The Ministers looked forward to the early establishment of the ASEAN-China Centre to be located in Beijing.
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2010
20. The Ministers noted that the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held on 21-28 January 2010 in Bandar Seri Begawan with the theme: “ASEAN, the Heart of Green: 10 destinations, One Conservation Vision” was attended by more than 370 international buyers and more than 750 sellers in ASEAN. The Ministers acknowledged the partnership with CNN International as the “Official International Cable and Satellite Media Partner” for ATF 2010.
21. The ATF 2011 will be convened in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 15-21January 2011 under the theme “ASEAN, a World of Wonders and Diversity”. Indonesia provided her confirmation to host ATF 2012.
22. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of Brunei Darussalam for the warm hospitality accorded to the delegations and the excellent arrangements made for the Meeting.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The Meeting was attended by:
(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
(ii) H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;
(iii) H.E. Mr. Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia;
(iv) H.E. Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, Minister, Chairman of Lao National Tourism Administration, Lao PDR;
(v) H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen , Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;
(vi) H.E. Major. Gen. Soe Naing, Minister, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
(vii) H.E. Mr. Oscar P. Palabyab, Undersecretary of Tourism, Philippines;
(viii) H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
(ix) H.E. Dr. Sasithara Pichaichannarong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
(x) H.E. Mr. Huynh Vinh Ai, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Viet Nam; and
(xi) H.E. Dr. Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN