Sat, 26 Jan 2008
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - All ASEAN member countries have expressed agreement to the Indonesian proposal to implement the ASEAN tourism joint promotion with a view to increasing the number of tourists visiting the region, a minister said.

Jero Wacik, Culture and Tourism Minister said here on Friday that the agreement was reached in the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) held in Bangkok, Thailand, from January 18 to 22, 2008.

"We have proposed in the forum that the ten ASEAN member countries would launch a joint promotion drive by publishing `Inflight Magazines` and making VCDs in cooperation with the Japan Center. This will be very helpful to Indonesia in promoting our tourism potentials to other countries," he said.

Jero Wacik made the remarks after attending the opening of a 2008 undersea digital photo competition in Jakarta in the company of Freddy Numberi, Maritime and Fisheries Minister.

ASEAN comprises Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, The Philippines and Vietnam.

Minister Jero Wacik said further that the tourism joint promotion drive will strengthen the ASEAN spirit and support the regional grouping`s efforts to develop the region into a single tourism destination.

In the Bangkok meeting the ASEAN tourism ministers also proposed the use of an ASEAN tourism logogram on ASEAN airplanes and the formation of an ASEAN Promotion Chapter for Tourism in several cities in addition to Shanghai, Seoul and Sydney, and stepping up the ASEAN Cruise Promotion.

During the ATF meeting, tourism ministers of Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand, engaged in the IMT-GT (Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand- Growth Triangle) also agreed to raise the number of tourists visiting the three countries by newly-opened air routes such as the Banda Aceh (Indonesia) - Penang (Malaysia), Langkawi (Malaysia)-Phuket (Thailand), Medan/Padang (Indonesia) - Hat Yai (Thailand) routes.

The three ministers also agreed to boost the tourism business in the regions covered by the IMT-GT by holding tourism events along with a campaign on the start of the Visit IMT-GT 2008-2009.

It was also reported in the ATF meeting that the number of international tourists in ASEAN Plus Three (Japan, China, South Korea) in 2007 reached 99 million.

Apart from that, Jero Wacik also attended the first meeting of ASEAN-India tourism ministers.(*)



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