The Department of Tourism (DOT) continues to step up the country’s marketing efforts in the Philippine participation at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), the region’s foremost tourism and travel event, to be held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam from 21 to 28 January 2010.
Under the theme ‘ASEAN – The Heart of Green’, ATF 2010 is set to echo the success of ATF in the previous years in promoting tourism in the region, and more importantly, in advancing 2010’s green theme in promoting responsible environmental and social practices in tourism-related businesses.
Tourism Secretary Ace Durano said, “Green tourism has always been our advocacy, being a country blessed with natural resources and ecotourism sites. With our participation in this upcoming event in Brunei Darussalam , we aim to not only promote our tourism destinations, but also to call for responsible travel – both from industry players and tourists alike.”
With next year’s prospects in tourism looking brighter, activity within the ASEAN region is expected to increase. Stronger business and tourism linkages are foreseen with some 400 seller organizations and over 400 hosted buyers at TRAVEX (Travel Exchange), the travel mart component of the annual event.
Registrations have been streaming in since its official announcement early this year and it is envisaged that many participants will capitalize on this platform to re-evaluate strategies and set new directions in the travel industry in the region, as the global economy undergoes a shift to counter the effects of the financial crisis.
Undersecretary for Tourism Planning and Promotions Eduardo Jarque, Jr. said, “We are optimistic that 2010 will be a year of ‘green growth’ for the industry, as more and more people are becoming aware of responding to the environmental impacts through green travel.”
Along with this highly significant event for the ASEAN market, the DOT is also supporting the bid for a common visa for Southeast Asian countries, as this would allow for easier access, thereby boosting more tourist traffic in the region.
“If the common visa is approved, it will certainly boost tourism and investment ties between the member states. Certainly, mutual benefits for the all countries will follow,” Jarque noted.
ATF 2010 will be staged at BRIDEX (Brunei International Defence Exhibition) Centre. The exhibition centre is located within a natural terrain setting on a prime site in Jerudong.