Philippines to lead formulation of Asean tourism strategic plans

Published by rudy Date posted on March 23, 2010

The country will be leading the formulation of Southeast Asia’s new medium-term tourism strategic plan, the Department of Tourism said on Monday.

“As the existing roadmap for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [Asean] tourism sector expires this year, Asean tourism leaders convene anew to formulate new tourism strategies and program for the next few years,” Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said on Monday.

“The Philippines, responsible for the coordination of the overall Asean Tourism Strategic Plan [ATSP], is at the forefront of the development of this medium-term tourism plan, targeted for completion by end November of this year,” Durano added.

Local tourism officials disclosed that an interim draft of the ATSP has been presented for discussion at the recently held Asean Tourism Forum attended by the Philippines early this year at the Brunei International Defence Exhibition Center in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei.

“We are glad to play a key role in the development of the blueprint for the region’s tourism development and promotion. It is a vote of confidence on our capability to be at the forefront of Asean tourism growth and integration,” Durano added.

The ATSP, which will be implemented from 2011 to 2015, will succeed the Asean Roadmap for the Integration of the Tourism Sector, which expires this year.

“One challenge that we now face in coming up with the ATSP in the next five years is identifying which practices and strategies may no longer be sufficient in responding to the global challenges,” the Tourism secretary said.

The Philippines was also appointed recently Chair of Marketing Task Force for Asean Tourism Association (Aseanta) for the US and European markets.

“Aseanta has signed an agreement to work together on a new branding and marketing campaign that would encourage travellers to visit multiple Southeast Asian destinations, stay longer, and spend more money in the region,” Alan Cañizal, director for Tourism Development and Planning, said.

Cañizal said that the Tourism department is supporting the bid for a common visa for Southeast Asian countries, since this would allow for easier access, thereby boosting more tourist traffic in the region.

“If the common visa is approved, it will certainly boost tourism and investment ties between the member states. Certainly, mutual benefits for the all countries will follow,” he added. –Rommel C. Lontayao, Manila Times

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