Leaders mull pan-ASEAN tourist visa

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Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Representatives of the 10-nation ASEAN bloc at a meeting on January 20 in Laos’ capital Vientiane have announced the possibility of creating a pan-ASEAN tourist visa for some member countries, according to a press release issued by the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013. A total of 150 tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN met at the annual event.

Tourism in the regional bloc is a significant contributor to economic growth, especially for the least developed nations. Laos, the host of the rotating regional forum, received approximately half its 6.3 million population in tourist arrivals during 2012, according to Laos tourism officials. Arrivals for the landlocked country are predicted to reach 5 million by 2015.

The ASEAN region boasts alluring beaches, a year-round warm climate, and a diverse array of food and cultures, and leaders have been quick to point out the bloc’s visible increase in popularity. Between 2010 and 2011, ASEAN tourist arrival growth rose from 8 per cent to 29 per cent year-on-year.

The sector is also a crucial vehicle for job creation in the region, which is challenged with the task of employing its growing youth populations.

“As an important economic sector, ASEAN cooperation in tourism has gone from strength to strength,” said Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, at the event.

Vongdara pointed to the sector’s vibrance by citing that tourist arrivals in ASEAN grew from 73.7 million people in 2010 to 81.2 million in 2011.

ASEAN leaders have been joined by 1,450 delegates, including 800 ASEAN exhibitors, 400 international buyers, 150 members of international and local media, as well as 100 tourism trade visitors.

Buyers from key emerging markets are said to participate over the upcoming days of the event, includings those from merging Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal, Slovenia or Sri Lanka.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Representatives of the 10-nation ASEAN bloc at a meeting on January 20 in Laos’ capital Vientiane have announced the possibility of creating a pan-ASEAN tourist visa for some member countries, according to a press release issued by the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013. A total of 150 tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN met at the annual event.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Representatives of the 10-nation ASEAN bloc at a meeting on January 20 in Laos’ capital Vientiane have announced the possibility of creating a pan-ASEAN tourist visa for some member countries, according to a press release issued by the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013. A total of 150 tourism ministers and officials from ASEAN met at the annual event.

Tourism in the regional bloc is a significant contributor to economic growth, especially for the least developed nations. Laos, the host of the rotating regional forum, received approximately half its 6.3 million population in tourist arrivals during 2012, according to Laos tourism officials. Arrivals for the landlocked country are predicted to reach 5 million by 2015.

The ASEAN region boasts alluring beaches, a year-round warm climate, and a diverse array of food and cultures, and leaders have been quick to point out the bloc’s visible increase in popularity. Between 2010 and 2011, ASEAN tourist arrival growth rose from 8 per cent to 29 per cent year-on-year.

The sector is also a crucial vehicle for job creation in the region, which is challenged with the task of employing its growing youth populations.

“As an important economic sector, ASEAN cooperation in tourism has gone from strength to strength,” said Lao Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Dr Bosengkham Vongdara, at the event.

Vongdara pointed to the sector’s vibrance by citing that tourist arrivals in ASEAN grew from 73.7 million people in 2010 to 81.2 million in 2011.

ASEAN leaders have been joined by 1,450 delegates, including 800 ASEAN exhibitors, 400 international buyers, 150 members of international and local media, as well as 100 tourism trade visitors.

Buyers from key emerging markets are said to participate over the upcoming days of the event, includings those from merging Argentina, Bangladesh, Brazil, Nepal, Slovenia or Sri Lanka.

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