ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), an annual meeting of the ASEAN tourism industry, aims to project ASEAN as an attractive, multi-faceted single destination, to create an increased awareness of ASEAN as a highly competitive regional tourist destination in Asia Pacific, to promote intra-ASEAN travel, and to strengthen co-operation among various sectors in ASEAN tourism industry. With all 10 ASEAN member nations working hand in hand with public and private sectors, much progress has been made in growing a sustainable tourism industry in the region. ATF 2014, as in previous years, comprises an ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) Meeting, which is a preparation for the Tourism Ministers Meeting and Travex – the buyer-seller travel exhibition.
As part of the Travex, the ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) will be held on 21st January 2014 at the Borneo Convention Center, Kuching, Sarawak, with the theme ‘ASEAN: Advancing Tourism Together’. Four speakers have been confirmed:
– Airline Open Sky Policy: Aireen Omar, Chief Executive, AirAsia
– Ground Transportation: Sze Ning Sandy Yu, Advisor of COO, Bangkok Mass Transit System plc
– Cruise and Sea Transportation: Farriek Tawfik, Director of Carnival plc, Singapore
– River-based Tourism: Xu Jing, Regional Director for the Asia and Pacific, UNWTO.
Malaysia, along with its host city Kuching, Sarawak, is all geared up to welcome over 1,600 delegates, which includes some 150 ASEAN Tourism Ministers and officials from ASEAN Tourism Ministries, 500 ASEAN exhibitors, 500 international buyers, 100 international and local media as well as 100 tourism trade visitors to jointly promote ASEAN as an attractive tourist destination with the tagline ‘Southeast Asia – Feel the Warmth’.
Sarawak is the home to the world’s oldest tropical rainforest, with a rich cultural heritage and well-preserved natural attractions and delegates of ATF 2014 will be able to make time to enjoy Malaysia’s natural attractions before or after the meetings. With 2014 being Visit Malaysia Year, many interesting events have been prepared and this would be a great time to explore all that the country has to offer.