We, the Tourism Ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), attending the Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in Langkawi, Malaysia on 24 January 2005;
EXPRESSING our profound sorrow over the great loss of lives and properties from the earthquake and tsunami disaster of 26 December 2004, reaffirm our solidarity in assisting affected member countries to rebuild their economies and accelerate the reconstruction and restoration of the tourism industry;
RECOGNISING that tourism is one of the region’s most important and dynamic industries, providing employment and business opportunities for a wide section of the community including small and medium scale enterprises and people in outlying areas;
REALIZING that whilst the international tourism scene is changing rapidly, the modern borderless world presents opportunities and challenges to the ASEAN region. It is imperative to move on from current business paradigms and adopt cutting edge ideas and out-of-the-box thinking. It is envisaged that such a shift in thinking will benefit ASEAN tourism businesses and the people they serve along with the region’s economic well-being as a whole;
DETERMINED to continue the deepening and broadening of cooperation towards ASEAN integration in the field of tourism by 2010 to ensure peace, security, stability and prosperity in the region and to ensure that ASEAN continues to be one of the fastest growing tourism regions in the world;
DO HEREBY PLEDGE TO:
• Further strengthen our cooperation and reaffirm our commitment to promote the development of a dynamic, prosperous, sustainable and safe tourism sector in the region, consistent with the objectives stated in the:
- Decisions of the ASEAN Leaders during the 10th ASEAN Summit on 29 November 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR regarding the Integration of Tourism Sector and Vientiane Action Programme.
- Vientiane Declaration on enhancing ASEAN Tourism Cooperation by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers on 3 February 2004.
- Declaration of ASEAN Concord II signed by the ASEAN Leaders at the Ninth ASEAN Summit on 7 October 2003 in Bali, Indonesia to establish an ASEAN Community for a closer and mutually beneficial integration among ASEAN Member Countries and among their peoples.
- ASEAN Tourism Agreement signed by the ASEAN Leaders at the Eighth ASEAN Summit on 4 November 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
- ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS) signed on 15 December 1995 in Bangkok, Thailand and the Protocol to amend the AFAS signed on 2 September 2003 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for services liberalization in ASEAN.
• Strengthen our collaboration with stakeholders, private sector, NGOs, and international organizations in the growth and development of travel and tourism in the region;
• Enhance air linkages, ground and water-way transportation, and other initiatives in order to facilitate greater inter- and intra-ASEAN travel and tourism;
• Work closely to remove all impediments to travel and tourism within ASEAN and further promote ASEAN as a single destination;
• Enhance the safety and security of travellers, thereby restoring confidence, while recognising that efficient and effective facilitation of travel is vital to the continued growth of the industry;
• Enhance communications and networking among member countries in order to effect timely and appropriate responses during crises;
• Establish a special working group to facilitate and recommend further tourism integration measures towards realizing the ASEAN Economic Community.
Done in Langkawi, Malaysia, on the Twenty Fifth Day of January in the Year Two Thousand and Five.