SOURCE: Philippine Department of Tourism, Office of Marketing Communications
The 15th Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers held in Manado, Indonesia ended on a high note as major accomplishments were reported and key measures committed in order to hasten integration, enhance connectivity and improve the quality of tourism services in the region.
A significant measure that the tourism ministers agreed to fast track is the development of a common visa for non-ASEAN nationals. This is also related to the goal of the regional bloc of attracting 107 million tourists by 2015. The combined visits to the ten-member nations totalled 79 million in 2011.
Department of Tourism Secretary Ramon J. Jimenez, Jr. is optimistic that of this figure, 7.7% will be generated by the Philippines or around 8.2 million.
“We have just successfully rolled out our new branding campaign in the presence of international travel executives, national tourism organizations and media practitioners during the ASEAN Tourism Forum. We have caused excitement and we are expecting a surge of interest in our country and our people, the latter being the aspect that highlights our difference,” Jimenez said.
Talks were likewise advanced with dialogue partners China, India, Japan and Korea on various cooperation activities that deepen cross-cultural relations, improve exchange of information and technology and travel between and among these countries.