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NEW UPDATES Asean Affairs  21 January  2016  

 ASEAN tourism meet set in Manila

ASEAN tourism leaders will convene in Manila later this week at the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) for the launch of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025.

The annual ATF is a cooperative regional effort to promote the region as one tourist destination.

The event will take place from today until January 22.

It will also feature ATF TRAVEX, an annual leisure travel trade event showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN destination products and services.

More than 460 exhibition booths from across the 10 ASEAN nations will be featured at this trade show.

Several awards will also be presented at the ATF 2016 including the ASEAN Homestay Standards Award 2016 in which the Seri Tanjung Homestay in the sultanate’s Kg Sg Bunga has been nominated as a recipient.

During the previous ATF, ASEAN ministers responsible for tourism said that ASEAN should work towards becoming a top tourism destination that can offer a unique experience with the implementation of the new ATSP.

The ministers also mentioned that the operationalisation of the ASEAN Open Skies Agreements, which allows for more freedom for ASEAN carriers to operate in the region, helped travel across ASEAN states to be the main source of tourism growth in the region.

Earlier last year, AirAsia launched the ASEAN Pass, which was expected to encourage travel to the less popular destinations in Southeast Asia including Brunei.

AirAsia’sGroup CEO Tony Fernandes said that apart from benefiting the places that are not on the top of the list when it comes to places to visit in Southeast Asia, the pass aims to encourage travel among the ASEAN community.

“The pass allows us to bridge communities and attract more foreign tourists in the region - it’s the perfect instrument to promote ASEAN integration,” he said.

In a previous report, the former minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, highlighted the importance of balanced growth in the tourism development to be incorporated in the new ATSP 2016-2025.

One of Brunei’s initiatives in increasing tourism in the country was the launching of the Destination Programme which has successfully encouraged more foreign as well as local tourists to visit the district.

It was previously reported that as of October last year, more than 2,000 people had visited Tutong since the official launching of the programme on August 31, garnering more than $28,000 in revenue.

Following the launch, the district has set a target of attracting around 60,000 tourists in the next two years.

“Every month we see a steady increase which is great news for the district as our aim is to promote Tutong’s wonders and attractions.

“We would like to see this increase continue with the hope that it will boost the tourism industry of the country,” said Siti Joriahati Johari, the head of the Corporate Section for the Tutong Destination Programme.

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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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