The 6th meeting of the ASEAN NTOs was held in Singapore on 17 & 18 July 1997.

The meeting was chaired by Mr. Daniel G. Corpuz, Executive Director, the Philippines Convention and Visitors Corporation.

It was attended by:

Dr Tan Chin Nam (Vice-Chairman), Chief Executive, the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board

Mr. Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, Director-General of Tourism Development Division, Ministry of Industry & Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam

Hon. Mr. Andi Mappi Sammeng, Director-General of Tourism, Directorate-General of Tourism, Department of Tourism, Post & Telecommunications, Indonesia.

Mr. Adrian Lee, Director of International Marketing, Malaysian Tourism Promotion Board.

Mr. Paisan Wangsai, Director, International Relations Division, Tourism Authority of Thailand

Dr Nguyen Van Luu, Director of Department of International Co-operation, Vietnam National Administration of Tourism

Mr. Sannya Abhay, Deputy Director-General, National Tourism Authority, Lao PDR – Observer

Lt-Col Khin Maung Latt, Director-General, Directorate of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar – Observer

Mr. Honorio R. Vitasa, Assistant Director, Bureau of Economic Co-operation, ASEAN Secretariat.

The highlights of the meeting are:

1. ASEAN Tourism Forum 1998

The Philippines, as host of the next ATF, gave an update on preparations- The ATF will be held at the Waterfront Cebu International Convention Centre (CICC)in Cebu City, the Philippines, from 8-15 January 1998, under the theme, “ASEAN Tourism : Traversing Time”.

As part of ATF 98, a travel mart, TRAVEX, will be organised to serve as a venue for ASEAN tourism entities to sell their products and services to foreign buyers. A total of 500 booths will be available to ASEAN sellers and some 500 buyers will be invited.

It is expected that ATF98 will attract 1500 delegates, including 1200 foreign participants.

2. Intra-ASEAN Tourism Co-operation

The meeting examined ways in which further co-operation could be undertaken and discussed how the collective attractiveness of ASEAN could be developed and promoted.

3. ASEAN Communication Team for Tourism

The meeting gave approval for the establishment of the above. The Singapore Tourist Promotion Board, which hosted an inaugural meeting of public affairs and marketing representatives from the ASEAN NTOS, has been tasked to develop a framework for information sharing and dissemination within ASEAN in situations requiring rapid communication.

4. Tourism Co-operation in the ASEAN Growth Areas

The meeting discussed the progress of various projects and activities with respect to the various ASEAN growth areas like the Indonesia-Malaysia-Singapore Growth Triangle and the Brunei-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East Asian Growth Area. The meeting also noted the updated report for the Experts’ Group on Tourism.

The meeting discussed further plans for tourism co-operation and development and also noted the average growth of 12.8% per annum for ASEAN tourism for the period 1988-1995. Overall arrival figures to ASEAN countries amounted to 29.6 million tourists in 1995, while total revenue was US$27.6 billion.

Additionally, the ASEAN tourism sector contributed significant gains to the regional economy, an equivalent of 9% of total exports and 4.5% of the regional GNP.

At the same time, the ASEAN region was also ranked 5th among the world’s 30 top destinations – ahead of more popular destinations like the LTK, China, Mexico, Canada and Germany.

5. Country Reports

The meeting exchanged information on the progress of various countries in tourism development. Brunei unveiled its master plan for tourism development and its intention to market itself together with Sabah and Sarawak.

6. The 30th Anniversary of ASEAN

Various programmes to commemorate the anniversary were presented during the meeting. The ASEAN tourism industry shall work towards the development of promotional air fares and hotel packages to and within ASEAN and the display of the ASEAN logo on ASEAN national carriers.

7. ASEAN Free Trade Area & the Australia-New Zealand Closer Economic Relations Trade Agreement: Prospects for Co-operation in Tourism

The meeting discussed reports on the above and considered joint prospects for the exchange of information as well as special events like the Kuala Lumpur 98 – XVI Commonwealth Games and the Olympic Games in Sydney in the year 2000 as opportunities for joint marketing and promotion of multi-destination packages.

8. ASEAN – Republic of Korea relations

The meeting considered the proposal for a two-day workshop on ASEAN tourism for South Korean travel agents. Familiarisation trips for media and tour operators from South Korea to expose the collective ASEAN region were also discussed.

9. Next Meeting

The next ASEAN NTO meeting will be from 9 -10 January 1998, in Cebu, the Philippines.

The meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN cordiality and solidarity.