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Asean tourism meet set in PH

/ 08:18 AM January 01, 2016

FOUR of the Philippines’ top tourist destinations will be showcased in an international tourism forum the country is hosting this month.

While the Department of Tourism is hosting the 35th Asean Tourism Forum (ATF), it will also take part in a five-year strategy to develop the Southeast Asian region into a highly competitive tourist destination.

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ATF 2016’s theme of “One Community for Sustainability” represents the region’s thrust to become a “10-in-one” destination in the global market. There are 10 member nations in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean)—Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma (Myanmar), the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

The four major tourist draws in the country—Palawan, Cebu, Davao and Bohol—will be making strong presentations at the ATF, which will be held from Jan. 18 to 22, according to Undersecretary for Tourism Development Benito Bengzon Jr.

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“This clearly shows how our local destinations have become aggressive in recent years,” Bengzon said.

“These are the guys who do their own sales missions, who do their own road shows and we are very happy that these local governments will come in strong for ATF 2016,” he added.

He said that apart from the four major tourist hubs, other local governments had expressed interest in showcasing their towns and cities at the forum.

One of the highlights of ATF 2016—the largest and most significant platform promoting Southeast Asia as a destination to the global market—is the adoption of the Asean tourism strategic plan which will provide a framework for regional tourism development from 2016 to 2020.

The vision is to turn Southeast Asia into “a quality tourism destination offering a unique, diverse” experience by 2020 through the development of a unified competitive, sustainable and inclusive regional tourism industry. Jeannette I. Andrade

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TAGS: ASEAN, Tourism
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