ASEAN Tourism Forum 2023 Discuss Strategic Steps for Economic Revival

Ministry Of Tourism, Creative Economy/Tourism, Creative Economy Agency
Consensus-based handholding between ASEAN officials

ASEAN foreign ministers met on Saturday in Yogyakarta, Indonesia to discuss collaborative ways to carry out the 2016-2025 ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP).

The 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) resulted in several ASEAN countries’ joint agreements in increasing the role of tourism and driving economic revival and employment opportunities in the region, which made ASEAN the epicenter of global economic growth.

The Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy/Head of Tourism and Creative Economy Agency, Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno, gave a joint statement on Sunday stating that in the 2023 ATF, the ASEAN countries focused on discussing tourism activities in the region based on the 2016-2025 ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP). As a result, all delegates appreciated the steps taken by the ASEAN National Tourism Organization according to what had been previously agreed.

The ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) is the ASEAN’s strategy to increase the number of visitors to the Southeast Asian region.

“ASEAN countries encourage each ASEAN national tourism organization to identify strategic steps and activities in increasing the ATSP in the upcoming years,” according to Minister Sandiaga.

It was noted that 60 percent of the strategies and steps implemented recently have followed the ATSP work plan. This meeting encouraged ASEAN member countries to continue implementing and re-evaluating their priority activities in line with the ATSP.

As the Chair of the Meeting of the 2023 ATF, Minister Sandiaga revealed that the ASEAN countries and partners appreciated the relaxation policy and elimination of travel restrictions by the ASEAN member countries. As a result, international tourist visits to ASEAN in 2022 increased by 1,706 percent compared to the previous year.

“Hotel occupancy rate has also increased by 16 percent compared to 2021,” he said.

ASEAN has been relentlessly working together in promoting the region as a choice destination by seeking to restore tourists’ confidence, showing diversity, warmth, resilience, excitement, and adventures, which are symbols of the people of the ASEAN region.

One of them is strengthening the tourism potential of cruise ships as one of the sectors that will strengthen the ASEAN tourism recovery.

“The meeting also emphasized the need to increase cooperation with relevant partners to strengthen promotion and marketing efforts,” he explained.

Sandiaga further said that the 2023 ATF meeting also agreed on several other matters. Such as increasing the capacity of ASEAN tourism professionals through the Mutual Recognition Arrangement for Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) and increasing the development of responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism.

“As well as encouraging transformation and adoption of digital tourism,” he concluded.

Delegates attending the joint statement were the Assistant Director, Sectoral Development
Directorate ASEC, Pham Quang Minh; Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport, and Tourism Vietnam, Doan Van Viet; Permanent Secretary of Tourism and Sports Thailand, Arrun Boonchai; Chief Executive, International Group Singapura, Juliana Kua; Secretary Department of Tourism Filipina, Christina Garcia Fasco, as well as Minister of Culture, Information, and Tourism Laos, Suanesavanh Vignaket.

Lao Minister of Culture, Information, and Tourism Ms. Suanesavanh Vignaket (right) next to an official from Indonesia.

Also present was the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Primary Resources and
Tourism Brunei Darussalam, Tutiaty Abdul Wahab; Secretary of State Kamboja, Thok
Sokhom; Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Malaysia, Dato Sri Tiong King Sing; Ambassador India for ASEAN, Jayant Namdeorao Khobragade, and Deputy Commissioner of Japan Tourism Agency, Mitsuaki Hoshino.