The ASEAN Tourism Ministers press conference was held last January 16 as a concluding episode of the annual ASEAN Tourism Forum event in Brunei Darussalam. The global media were briefed on the outcomes of the meetings of ASEAN tourism ministers that took place in the framework of ATF 2020.
According to statistics gathered, ASEAN welcomed 133 million international arrivals (up 7% compared to 2018) of which the number of intra-ASEAN tourist arrivals accounts for about 36.7%.
At the 23rd meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, the work of the ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) and their committees in implementing the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 was commended, taking note of the fact that 47 out of 73 activities or 64.4% of the ATSP have been implemented or completed.
Realizing that digital tourism is one of the key activities to be aligned to enhance the public’s experience in accessing information and services, the Ministers have developed a declaration on ASEAN digital tourism to be considered and adopted by the ASEAN leaders at the 37th Summit in Vietnam toward the end of 2020.
They also welcomed the development of festival tourism 2020 which highlighted the various unique festivals and activities in ASEAN member states throughout 2020.
The Ministers were pleased to acknowledge that in 2019, the ASEAN Plus Three (Japan, Korea, and China) region attracted 244.5 million international visitor arrivals, an increase of 5.8% from 2018 and are optimistic that the tourism industry in the region would continue to grow as the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) countries strengthen their cooperation through mutually beneficial projects and activities.
During the meeting, the executives endorsed the ASEAN Plus Three Framework on Environment Management Standards and also agreed to develop the successor document to the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan this year to synergize the subsequent work plan with the ATSP 2016-2025.
ATF 2020 was held from 12th to 16th January 2020 in Brunei Darussalam with the theme “ASEAN – Together Towards A New Generation of Travel”. The 5-day event was also participated by 263 exhibitors, 160 international buyers, and 40 local and international media.