1. The Fifth Meeting of ASEAN, China, Japan and Rep. of Korea Tourism Ministers was held on 17 January 2006 in Davao, Philippines in conjunction with the Ninth Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers and ASEAN Tourism Forum 2006. The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Mr. Joseph H. Durano, Secretary, Philippines’ Department of Tourism. Co-chairing was H.E. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore

2. The Ministers welcomed the decisions of ASEAN+3 and ASEAN+1 Summits held on 12-13 December 2005 in Kuala Lumpur and expressed their full support for the implementation of the recommendations in particular the signing of the Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Economic Cooperation between ASEAN and the Republic of Korea.

3. The Ministers agreed to move forward the implementation of those agreements and plans of action as they would positively contribute to the growth of tourism in East Asia, including the facilitation of travel to the Plus Three countries. The Ministers exchanged views on the progress made and endorsed the recommendations of the ASEAN, China, Japan and Republic of Korea National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) to implement the agreements through, among others, joint tourism promotion campaigns; tourism training and education; promotion of the sustainable development of tourism; and exchange of information on relevant statistics, policies and laws. The Ministers welcomed and endorsed Japan’s idea to further promote flower tourism, youth travel and tourism exchange among ASEAN+3 countries, including sister cities. The Ministers were pleased to note that China would provide ASEAN Member Countries free booths at CITM 2006 and 2007. The Ministers took note of the efforts of the Republic of Korea in tourism cooperation such as the production of the ASEAN Tourism map in the Korean language, training of ASEAN tour guides in Korean and exchange of tourism experts and professionals.

4. The Ministers were also pleased to note the convening of several ASEAN+3 events in 2005 such as: ASEAN-China Tourism Workshop held on 17-19 May 2005 in Shanghai; ASEAN + 3 Tourism Conference on Strengthening Tourism Partnership among ASEAN, China, Japan and ROK held on 25 May 2005 in Sokcho City, Rep. of Korea; and ASEAN – Japan High Level Flower Tourism Seminar held on 10 December 2005 in Da Lat, Viet Nam.

5. The Ministers exchanged views on the global tourism situation, the recent tourism developments and common challenges to tourism among ASEAN and China, Japan and Rep. of Korea. In this regard, the Ministers welcomed the mutual effort to enhance crisis communications and the exchange of timely and accurate information. The Ministers were pleased to note recent trends in the tourist arrivals between ASEAN and China, Japan, and Rep. of Korea that the Intra-ASEAN Plus Three Countries Travel contributed a significant share of 29 per cent of international tourist arrivals in ASEAN+3 in 2005.  

6. The Ministers reiterated their commitment to advance tourism as it has enormous potential to empower their citizens through increased income and employment as well as poverty alleviation. In this respect, the Ministers stressed the need to promote entrepreneurial spirit and the role of SMEs. They also stressed the need to protect the environment and vulnerable groups such as children and women.

LIST OF MINISTERS

The Meeting was attended by:

    H.E. Pehin Dato  Dr. Awg Haji Ahmad Haji Jumat, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;
    H.E. Mr. Lay Prohas, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;
    H.E. Mr. Jero Wacik, Minister of Culture and Tourism, Indonesia;
    H.E. Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Chairman of Lao National Tourism Administration, Lao PDR;
    H.E. Datuk Dr. Leo Michael Toyad, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;
    H.E. Brigadier General Aye Myint Kyu, Vice Minister for Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;
    H.E. Mr. Joseph H. Durano, Secretary, Department of Tourism, Philippines;
    H.E. Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports, and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;
    H.E. Mr. Thavatchai Sajakul, Vice Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand;
    H.E. Dr. Pham Tu, Vice-Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, Vietnam;
    H.E. Mr. Ong Keng Yong, Secretary-General of ASEAN;
    H.E. Mr. Gu Zhaoxi, Vice Chairman of the National Tourism Administration, China;
    H.E. Mr. Hiroshi Maruyama, Vice-Minister for International Affairs, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, Japan; and
    H.E. Mr. Lim Byoung Soo, Assistant Minister of Culture and Tourism, Rep.of Korea.