ASEAN pleased by steady growth of tourism sector in 2016

MANILA-- The ASEAN Chairman Statement issued by Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, being this year's ASEAN chair, said that it was pleased with the steady growth of the tourism sector in 2016.

"We were pleased with the steady growth of the tourism sector in 2016, bringing in 6.5 percent more international visitors compared to 2015," the ASEAN Chairman Statement, issued Sunday (April 30) said.

ASEAN member countries include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The statement also welcomed various initiatives by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers in the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016 to 2025 with a view to sustaining the sector's development as well as to contributing to the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

This includes the development of new tourism products and experiences in the areas of yachting, river cruises, youth and sports tourism; further enhancing the development of cruise tourism; promoting sustainable tourism development through the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards.

Moreover, the statement noted that substantial works have been done to implement the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign to showcase the region's rich natural and cultural diversity in welcoming international visitors to celebrate the 50th anniversary of ASEAN.

The statement also welcomed the progress made in the realization of ASEAN RO-RO (Roll-on Roll-off) shipping network, particularly the maiden voyage of the ASEAN RORO Sea Linkage Route between Davao�General Santos (the Philippines)� Bitung (Indonesia), which was launched on Sunday (April 30) in Davao City, Philippines and is among the economic priority deliverables under the Philippines' ASEAN Chairmanship.

The initiative would enhance the connectivity of archipelagic ASEAN and further facilitate trade and tourism, as well as provide greater impetus to the implementation of multimodal transport in the ASEAN region.

It also noted the issuance of the Joint Statement of the Directors-General of Immigration Departments and Heads of Consular Affairs Divisions of Ministries of Foreign Affairs Meeting (DGICM) on the Prevention of the Movement of Foreign Terrorist Fighters.

In conclusion, the statement also said that it looked forward to the further study on the proposed ASEAN Common Visa and the Joint Task Force Meeting to study the feasibility of developing the ASEAN Business Travel Card or similar mechanisms.

Source: Philippines News Agency