ASEAN eyes intra-regional travel to lift tourism

National 1 minute, 56 seconds

MANILA

ASEAN officials will be promoting intra-regional travel to boost the tourism industry and spur economic growth.

ASEAN national tourism organisations (NTOs) are promoting various products to promote intra-ASEAN tourism, said Ak Zulkhairi Pg Abdul Razak, tourism officer at the marketing and promotions centre of Brunei’s Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT).

“It is well recognised that visitors from within the region are a significant source of economic development,” he said at yesterday’s briefing during the ASEAN Tourism Forum.

“Figures clearly indicate the vital role and potential impact of intra-ASEAN travel on the overall performance of ASEAN tourism. ASEAN NTOs recognise this and agreed to join efforts in developing this campaign.”

Ak Zulkhairi said Brunei will promote community-based tourism, while Thailand has organised experiential and creative travel through photo exhibitions and will run the #ASEANPhotowalk social campaign. Singapore will focus on developing ASEAN cruise tourism.

He said these marketing campaigns will “generate awareness and motivate ASEAN people to travel within the region”.

Ak Zulkhairi cited a report by the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) which revealed that most people travel within their own region.

“This shows that the effort to promote intraregional tourism is the right approach for the campaign,” he said, noting that half of international visitor arrivals in ASEAN came from Southeast Asian countries.

Ak Zulkhairi said the absence of visa requirements for visitors from ASEAN region to visit most countries in the region also encourages intra-regional travel.

“Arrivals are forecasted to increase by 4.9 per cent per year which means that figures will reach 535 million in 2030. Southeast Asia will continue to be a key source market for us and the whole world. We hope that people in our ASEAN family will be aware of the many attractions that they can explore in their own region,” he said.

The media briefing was also attended by representatives of the ASEAN NTOs such as Malaysia’s Tourism Development Department Director General Tuan Syed Yahya Syed Othman, Tourism of Indonesia’s Assistant Deputy Wisnu Bawa Tarunajaya, Vietnam National Tourism Administration’s Deputy Director General Le Tuan Anh, Sounh Minavona, representative from Laos NTO, Michelle Chan, ASEAN Cruise Tourism Coordinator at the Singapore Tourism Board, and Walailak Noypayak, Executive Director at the ASEAN South Asia and South Pacific Region Department of the Tourism Authority of Thailand.

The Brunei Times