Tourism under spotlight at ASEAN meetings

Tourism under spotlight at ASEAN meetings

|     Daniel Lim     |

AS PART of the continuous commitment to further work closely to strengthen the tourism sector in the ASEAN Plus Three countries, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism through the Tourism Development Department is conducting the third ASEAN Tourism Marketing Partnership Working Group Meeting (third ATMP-WG), the 48th Meeting of ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (ASEAN NTOs), the 33rd Meeting of the ASEAN, China, Japan and Republic of Korean National Organisations (ASEAN Plus Three) and the 20th ASEAN-India Working Group Meeting.

Held for the first time in the Belait District at the Grand Ballroom of the V-Plaza Hotel, Jalan Sungai, Kuala Belait, the four-day meetings saw more than 70 delegates comprising senior officials from ASEAN, China, Japan, Republic of Korea and India.

The meetings will be concluded today.

The 48th Meeting of ASEAN NTOs was chaired by Vice-Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali.

In a short speech, Ha said the meeting was an opportunity for the delegates to raise issues for discussion and agreement among member states. “I believe the ASEAN NTOs meeting is an important occasion to review the work done and call for recommendations for member states to efficiently continue the regional collaborations, as well as share updates, experiences and new practices on tourism in your respective countries.”

Vice-Chairman of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu and Deputy Permanent Secretary (Tourism) at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali during the opening ceremony Group photo of permanent secretaries present during the opening ceremony. – PHOTOS: DANIEL LIM Group photo of delegates from ASEAN Plus Three countries

He also noted that after the previous ASEAN NTOs meeting, he had observed the fruits of the hard tasks accomplished by the committees in the first six months through various meetings, workshops and promotional events under different themes and purposes, namely marketing, investment, implementation of Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP), and tourism capacity building, among others.

Wardi noted that working closely together will help ensure that all the initiatives, particularly those related to the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 can be realised successfully.

“This is the first time such a meeting is held in the Belait District, which is home to the oil and gas industry, the largest contributor to the country’s economy,” he said.

He also noted the progress made in enhancing the competitiveness of ASEAN as a single tourism destination by the ATMP-WG and commended their efforts to establish collaboration with international partners to promote and market the region through mutually beneficial activities.

The topics discussed in the 48th ASEAN NTOs included the progress of the implementation of ATSP 2016-2025 on the ASEAN regional destination-marketing programme, the development of ASEAN tourism products, tourism standards, enhancing the quality of tourism professionals and promoting tourism connectivity.

The meeting also discussed cooperation with ASEAN dialogue partners, sub-regional cooperation in tourism sector and cooperation with international organisations. In addition, the meeting touched on the preparation for ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2019 that will take place from January 14-19, 2019 in Ha Long City, Vietnam and the preparation for ATF 2020 slated to be hosted in Brunei Darussalam.

The third ATMP-WG was chaired by Assistant Secretary, Department of Tourism of the Philippines Roberto Alabado, the lead country for the implementation of ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy (ATMS) 2017-2020.

Meanwhile, the 33rd ASEAN Plus Three (APT) Meeting saw discussions on the implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) on ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Cooperation and the Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2020 which aims to provide direction to further enhance APT cooperation in facilitating travel and tourist visits, while promoting the development of quality tourism and improving tourism knowledge and skill development.

The meeting also served as a platform to share and exchange information as well as the best practices on tourism statistics, investment opportunities and tourism marketing and promotion in APT.

Enhancing ASEAN-India cooperation in tourism under the framework of the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on strengthening tourism cooperation was discussed during the 20th ASEAN-India Working Group Meeting.

During the opening ceremony, the delegates posed for a group photo to commemorate the occasion before proceeding to the outside parking lot to appreciate the all-new BMW X1 Series, provided by QAF Auto to ferry the officials attending the meetings.

In between the meetings, the delegates also enjoyed a variety of Bruneian cuisine prepared by the chefs of V-Plaza Hotel.

During the delegates’ stay in the Sultanate, those who signed on to participate in the Belait Heritage Tour will visit the landmarks and locations in the district. The participants will also attend a Hari Raya open house at the residence of the Village Head of Kampung Mumong today.