Impact Publications : MiceBTN_62
MICEBTN - FEBRUARY 2016 • Page 5 ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016 delivers solid results plus timely emphasis on HR development JANUARY’s ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manila, Philippines, delivered a good bit more than the feel-good rhetoric often associated with such regional gatherings, writes Kelvin King. The 10 ASEAN tourism ministers agreed on a strategic plan running from 2016 to 2025, while the Mutual Recog- nition Arrangement on Tourism Profes- sionals (MRA-TP) ( already worked on by NTOs) was progressed significantly by the decision to establish a regional secretariat in Jakarta. Another development at ATF 2016 was a major international advertising campaign to mark next year’s 50th anni- versary of ASEAN, which was formed in August 1967 by just five states. Brunei, in its current role as chair of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing and Com- munication Working Group, was given the task of surveying member NTOs to devise an appropriate campaign. The result is an ambitious undertaking that will highlight 50 of the region’s most unforgettable travel experiences and 50 of the best festivals or other events. Five key products from each of the members are likely to be highlighted. Overall, there was a markedly upbeat mood at ATF 2016, including in the travel workshops where buyers were talking more confidently about their ability to drive business to the region, both to individual countries and increasingly to combina- tions within the region. The organisers’ selec- tion of buyers was more rigorous this year and it showed in their calibre. A few years ago some ex- hibitors were uneasy that buyers were not heavily committed to ASEAN and that a few had dubious credentials, but this has now been overcome. Regional zones on the exhibition floor were impressive, espe- cially that of Philippines, the host. Sellers reported good immediate busi- ness and a wealth of leads to follow up. More eye contact A small point, maybe, but the organis- ers put considerable emphasis on sellers and exhibition floor attendants – even security staff – making eye contact and speaking personally to buyers and media, an approach that many other travel workshops would do well to emulate. The new strategic plan, building on its 2011-2015 predecessor, aims at making a greater contribution to the ASEAN in- tegration goal with an economic growth scenario that is more inclusive, green and knowledge-based. A joint ministerial statement noted “there is a need to consolidate the gains already made and take a more strategic approach to address ‘single destination marketing’, quality standards, human resource development, connectivity, investment, community participation, safety and security and natural and cultural heritage conservation challenges facing the development of ASEAN as a competitive, sustainable and more so- cio-economically inclusive and integrat- ed tourism destination”. Strategic goals include intensifying promotion and marketing, diversification of tourism products, attracting more tourism investment and raising the capacity and capability of tourism human capital. event EXPRESSTM Do you really want a native Event App but think that your deadline is too tight? We’ll have it ready in for you. 10 days www.eventapps.com.au Find out more at... invisage your satchel in your hand branded for your event network with social timelines attendee profiles instant messaging developed and supported in australia engage with beacon and geofence messaging Continued next page.