1. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers held their Sixth Meeting (M-ATM) on 24 January 2002 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2003 (ATF 2003). The theme of ATF 2003 is “ASEAN Unity: Ensuring a Brighter Future”.
2. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Veng Sereyvuth, Senior Minister and Minister of Tourism of Cambodia.
ASEAN Tourism Agreement
3. The Ministers thanked the Cambodian Government for facilitating the signing of the ASEAN Tourism Agreement and agreed that the signing of the landmark ASEAN Tourism Agreement by the leaders reflects a high priority placed in tourism development within Southeast Asia. It is also a re-affirmation at the highest political level that the tourism industry is a key factor in promoting peace and economic stability.
4. The Ministers adopted the recommendations of the ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) to implement the Tourism Agreement, which included among others, the restructuring the various task forces under NTOs into committees to implement commitments highlighted in the ASEAN Tourism Agreement. The Ministers were determined to work in close coordination with other relevant agencies towards visa exemption for ASEAN Nationals travelling within the region by 2005. The Ministers were pleased to note decision of NTOs to create a webpage on tourism safety and security to provide precise and timely information for travellers, public and media as well as foreign governments. The Ministers issued the declaration on Tourism Safety and Security.
5. The Ministers welcomed the proposal by Cambodia to set-up a Center for Tourism Resources Management and tasked the NTOs to conduct further studies on this issue.
6. The Ministers tasked the senior officials and respective committees to immediately start their work in formulating specific work plan with concrete timetable to implement the ASEAN Tourism Agreement.
Visit ASEAN Campaign Activities
7. The Ministers were pleased with the progress made in the implementation of the Visit ASEAN Campaign (VAC) and expressed their profound gratitude to ASEAN Travel Association (ASEANTA), the ASEAN – Japan Centre (AJC) and CNN International for their support in implementing VAC promotional activities.
8. The Ministers endorsed NTOs Initiative to implement the third-phase of the VAC with primary focus on Intra – ASEAN Travel and the promotion of ASEAN as a Single Destination. They welcomed decision by NTOs to collectively organize an ASEAN booth in future ATF and other international forums such as ITB Berlin Fair to continue the promoting ASEAN as a Single Destination.
Tourism Services Liberalization
9. The Ministers welcomed the endorsement by the ASEAN Economic Ministers of the set of parameters to guide the implementation of the 10-X principle under the ASEAN Framework Agreement on Services (AFAS). They urged tourism officials to proceed with services negotiations on possible10-X liberalization for tourism sector, in addition to the normal third round negotiations.
10. The Ministers were pleased to note that the Task Force on Manpower Development is working toward Minimum Common Competency Standards for ASEAN Tourism Professionals, which eventually will be leading to conclusion of mutual recognition arrangement (MRA) for this area.
Second Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers with China, Japan and Korea
11. The Ministers were pleased to note that ASEAN, China, Japan and Korea have agreed to work together in the following areas: (i) Joint Promotion and Marketing; (ii)Tourism Investment; (iii) Manpower Development; and (iv) Communications Enhancement via the establishment of ASEAN, China, Japan and Korea Communications Team for Tourism.
12. The Ministers emphasized on the need to promote closer ties with China, Japan and Korea as it would foster greater tourism exchange, social interaction and closer economic cohesion in East Asia.
13. The Ministers welcomed the endorsement by ASEAN NTOs to re-activate the NTO-India consultation process to further enhance the cooperation in tourism that both parties can benefit significantly.
ASEAN and World Tourism Organisation Co-operation
14. The Ministers were pleased to note that the World Tourism Organisation has been actively involved in promoting world tourism and peace and ASEAN ties with WTO would further enhance ASEAN as a peaceful and safe region.
ASEAN Tourism Forum 2004 and 2005
15. The Seventh Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM) would be held during the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2004 (ATF 2004) on 23 January 2004 in Vientiane, Lao PDR.
16. The Eighth Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM) will be held during the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2005 (ATF 2005) in Malaysia.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The Meeting was attended by:
H.E. Pehin Dato Abdul Rahman Taib, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
H.E. Mr. Veng Sereyvuth, Senior Minister and Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;
H.E. Mr. Sapta Nirwandar, Executive Secretary to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia;
H.E. Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Lao PDR
H.E. Dato’ Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir, Minister of Culture, Arts and Tourism, Malaysia;
H.E. Brigadier General Thein Zaw, Minister of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
H.E. Mr. Richard J. Gordon, Secretary of Tourism, Philippines;
H.E. Mr. Raymond Lim, Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Foreign Affairs, Singapore;
H.E. Mr. Sontaya Kunplome, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
H.E. Mr. Pham Tu, Vice-Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam;
H.E. Mr. Tran Duc Minh, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN Secretariat.