The implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011- 2015 has been well progressing, where 75% measures for 2013 have been duly completed. In further promoting sustainable tourism to support timely realization of the ASEAN Economic Community, measures under ASTP were updated to ensure its relevance to its ongoing efforts.
Significant progress was made in facilitating free flow of services and skilled labor within ASEAN through implementation of the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) on Tourism Professionals including the completion of 144 toolboxes for hotel divisions (e.g., front office, food and beverage services, food production and housekeeping), and the ASEAN Tourism Qualifications Equivalent Matrix as key references for tourism industry and training institutions in delivering the programme under the said MRA. Pilot projects for housekeeping division would be carried out in 2014 given the readiness of the supporting infrastructure for such an undertaking. The terms of reference (TOR),for the establishment of a Regional Secretariat in Indonesia in 2015 was adopted to support implementation of the MRA at the regional level.
Important progress was also made in developing comprehensive tourism standards for green hotel, home-stay, spa services, public toilets, clean tourist city and community based tourism, and their certification process, which would help enhancing quality of tourism human resources, services and facilities in the region. In facilitating full implementation of those standards by 2015, capacity building for auditors and pilot testing would be carried out in 2014.
Joint promoting and marketing ASEAN tourism activities through, amongst others, the social media marketing of ASEAN tourism, joint promotion with private sector will promote ASEAN tourism destinations and tourism products and continued enhancement of the ASEAN Tourism website (www.aseantourism.travel) were conducted. In key source markets, collaboration with ASEAN-China Centre, ASEAN-Japan Centre and ASEAN-Korea Centre were conducted to jointly develop and promote ASEAN tourism to the Chinese, Japanese and Korean markets through the Tourism Documentaries in China’s National TV Network, ASEAN Local Culinary in ASEAN Festival 2013 in Japan, and ASEAN Culture and Tourism Fair on 3-6 October 2013 in Korea respectively.
The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2014 held on 16-23 January 2014 in Kuching, Malaysia, with the theme of “ASEAN: Advancing Tourism Together”, was attended by 462 international buyers and 879 sellers with 353 booths as well as 75 media. The ATF 2015 will be held on 22-29 January 2015 in Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar (http://www.atf- 2015.com)