1. The Meeting of the ASEAN NTOs was held on 6 January 1996 and the Informal Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers was held on 7 January 1996.
2. The Informal Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers was attended by. H E Hj Pehin Dato Abdul Rachman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam; H E Mr. Joop Ave, Minister of Tourism, Post and Telecommunications, Republic of Indonesia; H E Dato’ Sabbaruddin Chik, Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism Malaysia; H E Mr. Eduardo P Pilapil, Secretary of Tourism, Department of Tourism, Republic of the Philippines; H E Mr. Goh Chee Wee, Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Republic of Singapore; H E Mr. Pongpot Adireksam, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Kingdom of Thailand; Dato’ Ajit Singh, ASEAN Secretary-General and Mr. Bui Xuan Nhat, Vice-Chairman, Vietnam, National Administration of Tourism Vietnam.
3. The Meeting of ASEAN National Tourism Organisations was attended by delegates from Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and observers from Laos.
4. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers, in the course of their deliberations, exchanged views on the development of the tourism industry taking into consideration the Declaration of the Fifth ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand held on 14-1 5 December 1995, which had set the direction for ASEAN Member Countries to focus on promoting sustainable tourism development, preservation of cultural and environmental resources, the provision of transportation and other infrastructure, simplification of immigration procedures and human resource development.
5. The Meeting also noted that the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services, which was signed at the Fifth ASEAN Summit, provided for negotiations in specific commitments, including the area of tourism, to commence in 1996 and to be completed by 1998.
6. The Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers reiterated the direction of the ASEAN Summit to work towards the development of an open sky policy.
7. The Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers agreed that further measures be taken to facilitate travel within ASEAN countries, including:
7.1 establishing a special lane for ASEAN nationals at immigration counters;
7.2 developing a system to facilitate yacht and leisure boat tourism; and
7.3 increasing direct air links between secondary cities in ASEAN.
8. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers, recognising that rapid tourism development in theirrespective countries had created a great need for concerted human resource development programmes, agreed that a network of centres of excellence for human resource development be established within ASEAN. The Meeting also agreed that ASEAN National Tourism Organisations convene a meeting on human resource development.
9. The Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers recognised that the ASEAN Tourism Forum has become a major event attracting keen interest from the tourism trade worldwide and agreed that ASEAN member countries continue their efforts to promote the region as a single destination.
10. The Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers recognised the usefulness of meeting on an informal basis and agreed that they would continue to meet regularly in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum. The Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers endorsed the decision taken by the ASEAN NTOs to meet twice a year and requested that ASEAN NTOs follow up on the directives of the Fifth ASEAN SUMMIT related to tourism.
11. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers noted the expiry of The ASEAN Tourism Information Centre in March 1996 and expressed their appreciation to Malaysia for hosting the Centre during its term of operation.
12 The ASEAN Tourism Ministers agreed that Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar be invited to attend future meetings of ASEAN Tourism Ministers and National Tourism Organisations as Observers.
13. The Meeting was held in the traditional spirit of ASEAN cordiality and solidarity.