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Minister attends 15th ASEAN Tourism Ministers meeting and 11th ASEAN China, Japan and the Republic of Korea Tourism Ministers meeting and 3rd ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers Meeting in Manado, Republic of Indonesia

Minister attends 15th ASEAN Tourism Ministers meeting and 11th ASEAN China, Japan and the Republic of Korea Tourism Ministers meeting and 3rd ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers Meeting in Manado, Republic of Indonesia (Forimmediaterelease.net) The Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, was in Manado, Republic of Indonesia, attending the 15th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers; the 11th Meeting of ASEAN China, Japan, and the Republic of Korea Tourism Ministers; and also the 3rd ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers Meeting in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2012 held on January 8-15, 2012.

During the 15th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, the Tourism Ministers were pleased with the progress of the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015, where all ASEAN tourism working groups and committees had identified the detail measures for the implementation of the ATSP 2011-2015 and the lead coordinators of the measures. This Strategic Plan will forge a way forward for the tourism industry in ASEAN, which will support the ASEAN Economic Community by 2015.

The Ministers also endorsed the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy 2012-2015, which was developed based on the implementation of the Visit ASEAN Campaign and previous ASEAN tourism marketing activities. This strategy is designed to support and build a worldwide recognition of ASEAN as a tourism destination with the target market segments of ASEAN for ASEAN, experiential, and creative travel interests, adventure seeking, business-related, extended long-stay tourism, and generic travelers. The outcomes of this strategy are expected to strengthen and renew activities of the Visit ASEAN Campaign activities in line with the ASEAN Tourism Agreement signed by the ASEAN Leaders in 2002.

Four main tourism products have been identified by ASEAN to be promoted under the ATSP 2011-2015, namely nature, culture and heritage, community, and cruise and river-based tourism.

On ensuring the quality of tourism services, the Ministers also acknowledged the finalization of the ASEAN tourism standards on green hotels, homestays and spas, and the development of the ASEAN Clean Tourist City Standard, Public Toilet Standard, and Tourism Security and Safety Guidelines for hotel and resort facilities.

The Ministers also welcomed the establishment of ASEAN-China Centre (ACC) based in Beijing and the establishment of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter in Mumbai, India. The centers will continue to collaborate and enhance their efforts in promoting ASEAN as a destination.

During the meeting, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources highlighted on the need to expedite the visa facilitation process, and Brunei Darussalam as the Chair of the ASEAN Tourism Integration and Budget Committee will work with the relevant agencies in this undertaking. He also mentioned the need to continue and strengthen the collaboration and cooperation with dialogue partners and the relevant agencies in those countries. He also mentioned that the ATSP is in line with the Brunei Darussalam Tourism Master Plan, which focused on the product development of nature, Islamic, and culture.

There was also an ASEAN Green Hotel Award presentation ceremony held during the Ministerial Meeting, presented by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers to the “green” hotel and resorts in ASEAN. For Brunei Darussalam, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources presented the award to Ulu-Ulu National Park Resort.

The Ministerial Meetings ended with the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation. This would serve as a key instrument for more action-oriented cooperation encouraging both parties to cooperate in facilitating travel and tourist visits, which further strength the close partnership. The signing of the MOU will pave the way to enhance tourism collaboration between ASEAN and India through concrete activities.

The Brunei delegation also included Awg Mohd Riza Dato Paduka Haji Mohd Yunos, Deputy Permanent Secretary; Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, Director of Tourism Development Department; and officers from the Tourism Development Department, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources. ASEAN Tourism Forum is an annual tourism event organized by the ASEAN Member States with this year’s theme of “ASEAN Tourism for a Global Community of Nations.” It comprises meetings of the ASEAN National Tourism Organizations and ASEAN Tourism Ministers and Meetings with the dialogue partners, ASEAN Tourism Conference and Travel Exchange (TRAVEX).

MEDIA CONTACT: Brunei Tourism, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources, Jalan Menteri Besar, Bandar Seri Begawan – BB3910, BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, Tel : +673 238 28 22, Contact : Ak. Zulkhairi bin Pg Abdul Razak, Email : khairi.razak@bruneitourism.travel , Website : www.bruneitourism.travel

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