The ASEAN-China, Japan and Korea Tourism Ministers’ Retreat was convened in Bali, Indonesia on 15 March 2003. H.E. Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Lao PDR chaired the Meeting.

The Ministers and relevant Representatives reiterated their commitment to work in close partnership to build travellers’ confidence within and into ASEAN, which among others, included intensification of cooperation among law-enforcement agencies in charge of tourist safety and security and undertaking all necessary measures to ensure communications and assistance systems to address visitors’ concerns.

After direct observation into the showcase of current tourism safety and security measures taken by Indonesia after the Bali tragedy, the Ministers and relevant Representatives were pleased with the progress made to ensure safety and security of tourists in Indonesia. Noting that tourism is a vital force for peace and development, they reiterated their call on all countries to refrain from issuing travel advisories.

They pledged to give their full support to the ASEAN, China, Japan and Korea Communications Team for Tourism (ACTT+3) that they endorsed in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 24 January 2003 to further enhance the exchange of accurate information on tourism safety and security in the region.

The Ministers and relevant Representatives welcomed efforts by the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) and Visa Asia Pacific in promoting sustainable growth of the tourism industry in Southeast Asia. The Ministers and relevant Representatives were pleased that “ASEAN Air Pass”, “ASEAN Hotel Pass” and “Visa Great Breaks 2003” would positively contribute to the implementation of the Visit ASEAN Campaign (VAC). They called for closer partnership across industries to work with ASEAN to restore confidence in the region as a tourist hub and to promote the region as a single destination.