A lady seen wearing the Japanese traditional costume. Costume trying is one of the favourite activities to do among tourists. Image: Shutterstock

The ASEAN Plus Three (APT) region recorded more than 244 million international visitor arrivals last year, an increase by 5.8 percent from 2018, with APT Tourism Ministers remaining optimistic on the continuous growth of APT’s tourism industry.

In a joint statement on the 19th Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and Korea) Tourism Ministers recently, the ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen the cooperation among APT countries to make the region more competitive globally.

The ministers commended the progress made on the implementation of the Memorandum of Cooperation (MOC) of the APT Tourism Cooperation, APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2020 while exchanging views on the activities carried out between ASEAN and the Plus Three Countries under the ASEAN Plus One frameworks.

Tourists seen taking selfies in front of a famous archway in Kunming, China. Image: Shutterstock

They expressed appreciation to the lead countries for their active role in implementing the Work Plan activities throughout 2019, including among others, the convening of the Workshop on Tourism Village Community Service and Product Enhancement to Attract Youth Travelers in the Millennial Era and the ASEAN-Japan Tourism Investment Seminar held last year.

They looked forward to the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2018-2020 activities to be convened this year which would include, among others, the development of Product Development Guidebook in Chinese, Japanese and Korean Language, the development of a directory of establishments certified with ASEAN Green Hotel Standards and ASEAN MICE Venue Standard as well as the ASEAN-China Tourism Investment Seminar slated for this year.

Thailand is rich in historical and cultural architectures making it one of the must-visit countries in ASEAN. Image: Shutterstock

Looking forward to the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2021-2025 at the 20th Meeting of the APT Tourism Ministers next year in Cambodia, the ministers tasked the ASEAN NTO+3 to synergize the subsequent work plan with the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016-2025 as well as the relevant work plans under the ASEAN Plus One framework.

The ministers also highlighted that the subsequent Work Plan should also focus on strategic as well as new and emerging areas of interests that are mutually beneficial to all APT countries.

The ministers then commended the vital roles played by the ASEAN-China Center, ASEAN-Japan Center and ASEAN-Korea Center in promoting tourism, people-to-people and cultural exchanges between ASEAN and Plus Three countries throughout 2019.

A young girl seen sitting on top of an elephant with an ancient Cambodian temple in the background. Image: Shutterstock



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