1. The Fourth Meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers (4th M-ATM+India) was held on 21 January 2013 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2013 (ATF 2013). The Meeting was jointly co-chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR, and H.E. Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister for Tourism, Government of India.
2. The Ministers were pleased to note the strengthened tourism exchange between ASEAN and India during the year 2012. In 2011, the number of tourist arrivals between ASEAN and India recorded steady growth, with the total number of tourist arrivals from India to ASEAN recording 2.7 million arrivals and ASEAN to India 521,755 arrivals in 2011.
3. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Vision Statement of the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit held on 20 December 2012 in New Delhi, India, particularly on enhancing the ASEAN Connectivity through supporting the implementation of the Master Plan on ASEAN Connectivity. The Ministers also supported the close collaboration of ASEAN and India to enhance air, sea and land connectivity within ASEAN and between ASEAN and India through ASEAN-India connectivity project.
4. The Ministers signed the Protocol to amend the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation, which would further strengthen the tourism collaboration between ASEAN and India national tourism organisations. The Ministers were pleased with the implementation progress of the MOU in 2012, through the following projects and activities:
- India organising Familiarization trip for travel writers from ASEAN Member States. .
- India sending 25 members delegation of teachers and faculty members from hospitality institutes to Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore.
- India inviting 48 delegates from ASEAN Member States for international Buddhist Conclave held in Varanasi and Bodhgaya in September-October 2012.
- India inviting 131 journalists, photographers, tour operators, travel agents and opinion makers from ASEAN countries in the year 2012.
- India inviting 42 delegates from ASEAN Member States for International Tourism Mart 2013 being held in Guwahati, Assam from 18-20 January 2013.
5. The Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the 8000km ASEAN-India Car Rally organised as one of the highlighted events in commemorating the 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India Dialogue Relations in 2012. The Car Rally has successfully created public awareness on ASEAN-India relations that would further strengthen tourism and people-to-people linkages.
6. For promoting tourism exchange between ASEAN and India further, the Ministers launched the ASEAN-India tourism website (www.indiaasean.org) as a platform to jointly promote tourism destinations, sharing basic information about ASEAN Member States and India, and a visitor guide.
7. The Meeting expressed sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the late H.E. Chumpol Silapa-archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, and to the Government and people of Thailand for his passing away. It is a great loss not only to Thailand, but also to the ASEAN Tourism Community for his significant contribution to the development of ASEAN tourism cooperation.
8. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of Lao PDR for the warm hospitality accorded to the delegations and the excellent arrangements made for the Meetings.
LIST OF MINISTERS
The Meeting was attended by:
(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
(ii) H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;
(iii) H.E. Dr. K. Chiranjeevi, Minister for Tourism, Government of India;
(iv) Mr. I Gusti Putu Laksaguna, Inspector General of Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, representing H.E. Dr. Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia;
(v) H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR;
(vi) H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;
(vii) U Aung Zaw Win, Director General of Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar representing H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
(viii) H.E. Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. Secretary of Tourism, Philippines;
(ix) Mr. Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, representing H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
(x) H.E. Mr. Sombat Kuruphan, Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
(xi) H.E. Mr. Ho Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Ministry of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Viet Nam; and
(xii) H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.