As ASEAN turns 50 this year, one of the main events that were hosted in Singapore is the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF2017) that was held on 16-20 January 2017 in Marina Bay Sands. The ATF2017 is held every year to promote tourism within the region and the theme for this year is “Shaping our Tourism Journey Together”.
During the forum, programme include meetings of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, and leaders from ASEAN National Tourism Organisations, Airlines Meeting, ASEANTA Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting, media briefings and TRAVEX, a one-stop shop for the latest ASEAN tourism products and services.
The reason for this forum is for ASEAN member countries to come together to address challenges and opportunities that the region face in the tourism industry. Due to the fact that it is a special year for ASEAN, a year-long travel campaign to promote the region’s diverse offerings was launched as well. As Southeast Asia opens up and more tourists are coming to the region for tourism reasons, it is important that member countries collectively think of new ways to transform the region to become a competitive, sustainable, and more socio-economically inclusive and integrated. This will not only boost the revenue of ASEAN member countries, but along the way, increase more jobs in the tourism sector, and therefore bettering the lives for the people.
As the year of ASEAN’s 50th anniversary has just started, commemorative events and programmes are still far and few. However, it will be exciting to await the future events that are in the works!
By Tan LiJia Gloria, ASEAN Correspondent from Singapore