Good news for those whom live under the same sky called ASEAN as me! This year, ASEAN will mark its half of century anniversary. Since ASEAN was formed in 1967, we had been together as a member, or in much better term, as a family of ASEAN for remarkable 50 years. In conjunction with its 50th anniversary, Association of Southeast Asian Nation (ASEAN) has a lot in store in celebrating this festive event. According to ASEAN Secretariat News Press Release (2016), the region is launching Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign, highlighting the 50 best festivals and unforgettable travel experiences whereby visitors can maximize their experience through several aspects such as food, events, destinations and many more. Brunei Darussalam is also joining in the hype of this festivity.
According to Borneo Bulletin (2016), Brunei Darussalam acted as the lead country coordinator for this campaign. The respective authorities hosted a meeting at Rizqun International Hotel on 10th October 2016 to discuss the preparation of the event and follow up the progress in respective ASEAN countries with regard to their support and campaign towards celebrating the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign. The Tourism Development Department of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) later specified that, “this meeting serves as a crucial platform for ASEAN member states to collectively discuss and work hand-in-hand to advance the ASEAN region as the world’s top tourism destination.” Mr. Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, a representative from Brunei Darussalam who is also the Chairperson of the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign stated that the 50 trips definitely do not represent the whole uniqueness and beauty of ASEAN. However, it is a very good start in opening the travel window to both ASEAN residents and even to the rest of the world. He stated this in a press conference at the World Travel Market in London on the 8th November 2016. He further stated that all national tourism offices of ASEAN Member States work together to make this campaign a success (ASEAN Tourism, 2016).
Brunei Darussalam also joining the celebration in a national level. The residents of Brunei Darussalam are currently joining the hype of the celebration through Instagram and Facebook. A photo contest through the mentioned social networking sites was held in conjunction of the campaign. The contest required any ASEAN resident to upload any locations in any ASEAN countries. This contest is named ASEAN Photowalk. However, the photo entries uploaded in Instagram has to include several hashtags in order to win a prize. The hashtags that have to be included are #AseanPhotoWalk, #GoBruneiGoAsean or #Go<insert country>GoAsean (the country you belong to or the country where the picture was taken). You also need to tag the location of the photo you on the sites.
With the recent official launching of the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign on the 18th January 2017 in Singapore, I am looking forward on how this event will change the ASEAN scene in positive light and hope that the relationship between the ASEAN countries will get stronger in the future.
ASEAN Tourism (2016). Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign Announces Its 50 Travel Experiences for 2017. News. Retrieved from http://www.aseantourism.travel/news/detail/visit-asean-50-campaign-announces-its-50-travel-experiences-for-2017
ASEAN Tourism (2017). Picture of Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign. Welcome Page. Retrieved from http://www.aseantourism.travel/welcome
- Borneo Bulletin (2016). Brunei lead coordinator for ‘Visit Asean@50: Golden Celebration’ campaign. Headline. Retrieved from http://borneobulletin.com.bn/brunei-lead-coordinator-visit-asean50-golden-celebration-campaign/
- Borneo Bulletin (2016). Picture of Meeting held in Rizqun Hotel. Headline. Retrieved from http://borneobulletin.com.bn/brunei-lead-coordinator-visit-asean50-golden-celebration-campaign/
Kurapak (2017). Picture of Tanjung Batu, Brunei Darussalam uploaded by a Brunei Resident in conjunction of joining the ASEAN Photo walk contest in Facebook. ASEAN Photo Walk. Retrieved from https://scontent-sin6-1.xx.fbcdn.net/v/t1.0-9/15966312_10154480576018611_6736826090372816636_n.jpg?oh=8b447deccadaa7315f1665115eaffeb6&oe=58D900A4
By Mohamad Akmal Fauzan ABU BAKAR, ASEAN Correspondent from Brunei Darussalam