The ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) – India got together in New Delhi this evening to launch the VISIT ASEAN @ 50 celebrations that endorses ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) as a single and collective tourism destination to the Indian audience. ASEAN will attain 50 years in 2017 and the campaign is in commemoration of the golden jubilee of the association. APCT was conceived by the member countries of the ASEAN as part of its efforts to leverage the tremendous tourism potential of the region. Around 150 members of the trade fraternity, media and high level officials attended the meet here.
Speaking on behalf of APCT India, His Excellency Datuk Naimun Ashakli Mohammad, High Commissioner of Malaysia said, “ASEAN has proven to be the world’s rising star. UNWTO record shows 5% growth in international tourist arrivals in South East Asia in 2015, more than the average worldwide growth of 4%. South East Asia has always been an attractive destination for Indians. In fact, India has consistently been one of the top 10 tourist generating markets to this region.”
ASEAN recognizes the strategic role of the tourism sector in its economic growth and hopes that by 2025, the region will be a quality tourism destination offering a unique, diverse ASEAN experience. Through the APCT, numerous initiatives are being taken to ensure that the tourists get the best during their holidays in the ASEAN region. ASEAN is identifying ways to standardise and implement a certain level of standard of tourism. Each individual country has been assigned the role of lead co-ordinators to ensure that the tourists can experience a consistent level of services and facilities when they visit the South East Asian Nations.
Areas like Green Hotel Standards, Home stay, Spa service, Security and safety guidelines, Clean tourist city standards, Community-based tourism standards are being finely looked into.
Tourism accounts for roughly 4.6% of ASEAN GDP. Visit ASEAN @ 50 campaign hopes to attract more than 121 million tourist arrivals to the region and increase tourism receipts to USD 83 billion. Last year the ASEAN region saw close to 109 million visitors with Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Vietnam, being the top 5 visited countries.