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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs   29 January 2013  

ASEAN Tourism Forum in Vientiane Report

Reinhard Hohler, Chiang Mai


The annual ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013 welcomed some 2,000 delegates, comprising 400 heads of National Tourist Organisations (NTOs) and Tourism Ministers, and close to 1,600 TRAVEX delegates from around the world. TRAVEX delegates included suppliers from across ASEAN, International Buyers, Media and other tourism professionals.

Occupying an exhibition area of 9,000 sqm, the ATF TRAVEX – a 3-day travel trade-only exhibition and business meetings platform – featured 490 booths from 354 exhibiting companies from the 10 ASEAN countries. Thailand and Indonesia formed the two largest national contingents with 125 and 75 exhibition booths respectively. Corporate exhibitors are also participating in a big way with some 81 exhibition booths.

The event attracted 470 buyers from across 56 countries and territories, with a slew of new countries participating this year including: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Chinese Taipei, Ireland, Israel, Nepal, Pakistan, Slovenia and Sri Lanka.

This year, some 140 media delegates from 32 countries converged at Lao ITECC to cover the latest happenings in ASEAN travel.

Over three days media delegates received first-hand information on the latest up-dates and developments taking place across the 10 ASEAN destinations, through media briefings by NTOs.

The education component of the event, ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC), made consistent efforts to bring important issues in ASEAN travel to the fore, through leading industry professionals and speakers. Open to all delegates, the 3-hour conference this year put the spotlight on Eco-tourism with the theme "Road Map for ASEAN: Fostering Sustainable Growth, Promoting Eco Tourism." Held on 22nd January from 0900 to 1200hrs, ATC’s keynote speech was delivered by Mr. Mario Hardy, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, PATA Foundation. Mr. Hardy was joined by the following speakers:

•       Datuk Dr Victor Wee, Chairman, Tourism Malaysia, Malaysia
•       Mr. Umberto Cadamuro, Director of Business Development and Operations, Pacto Ltd, Indonesia
•       Mr. Jimmy Sim, Business Development Manager, Dorison Travel, Singapore
•       Mr. Anthony Wong, Group Managing Director, Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel, Malaysia
•       Moderator: Mr. Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor, Travel Impact Newswire, Thailand

The speakers shared the latest information and insights on the guidelines and efforts towards recycling, energy efficiency and water conservation in ASEAN tourism.

All ATF TRAVEX delegates had access to an array of networking and leisure activities, beginning with the complimentary tours of Vientiane City and Buddha Park, Opening Ceremony and Gala Dinner on 20th January, and the Friendly Golf Game on 21st January at Lao Country Club. Hosted luncheons, dinners and late night events were done on 22nd to 24th January.

The next ATF in January 2014 will be held in Sarawak, Malaysia.

For more information, please contact GMS Media Travel Consultant Reinhard Hohler based in Chiang Mai, Thailand by e-mail:

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More






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