ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting (M-ATM)

As one of priority sectors for ASEAN integration, ASEAN tourism performed an outstanding growth in 2010 with total international arrivals of more than 73 million and increase of 11 per cent compared to 2009. Intra-ASEAN travel was the major source market for the region with share of 47 per cent in 2010.

Figure 1: Total International Visitor Arrivals to ASEAN (1991-2010)

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) continued to be the landmark of annual tourism event in the region. The ATF 2011 held on 15-21 January 2011 in Phnom Penh with the theme: “ASEAN- a World of Wonders and Diversity” was attended by more than 442 international buyers and more than 380 sellers with 512 booths in ASEAN.

Acknowledging the importance of tourism as an economic engine and a tool for development and change in the region, the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015 was endorsed by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers at their 14th Meeting as the successor of the Roadmap for Integration of Tourism Sector (RITS) which was completed in 2010.This ATSP will contribute to the overall goals of the ASEAN Community by 2015 through promotion of growth, integration and competitiveness of the tourism sector and at the same time deepen social and cultural understanding as well as facilitating travel into and within ASEAN. The ATSP provides a balanced set of actions and activities to realise the following vision:

"By 2015, ASEAN will provide an increasing number of visitors to the region with authentic and diverse products, enhanced connectivity, a safe and secure environment, increased quality of services, while at the same time ensuring an increased quality of life and opportunities for residents through responsible and sustainable tourism development by working effectively with a wide range of stakeholders"

ASEAN adopted a Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on tourism professionals that will increase the equality of tourism human resource and will facilitate the mobility of tourism professionals within the region using the ASEAN Minimum Competency Standards for Tourism as the basis.
In further enhancing ASEAN as a world-class tourism destination, the ASEAN Member States also adopted the standardization of tourism services covering Green Hotel; Food and Beverage Services; Public Restroom; Home Stay; Ecotourism and Tourism Heritage. The ASEAN Green Hotel Award was held in 2008 and 2010 to provide recognition to hotels that fulfilled the ASEAN Green Hotel Standards.

The 4thASEAN Tourism Investment Forum (ATIF) was successfully held on 29-30 September 2010 in Hoi Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The next ATIF will be held in Manado, Indonesia in 2012.

The ASEAN joint tourism promotion to create brand awareness and promote ASEAN as a region in major markets for 2010 was conducted by the ASEAN Tourism Promotional Chapter (APCT) in Australia through participation in major tourism consumer shows in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney. In further expanding the ASEAN joint marketing efforts in major source markets, ASEAN is establishing APCT in Mumbai and Dubai in 2011.

ASEAN Member States currently developing a new ASEAN tourism marketing strategy that would review the implementation of the Visit ASEAN Campaign and existing ASEAN tourism marketing activities, including the policy framework of the marketing strategy, market review, brand strategy, and implementation and distribution strategy. The outcomes of this exercise are expected to strengthen and renew the activities of Visit ASEAN Campaign activities in line with the ASEAN Tourism Agreement signed by the ASEAN Leaders in 2002.