The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2010

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 member nations of ASEAN: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

  10/02/2010 11:21
Each year, the hosting of ATF is rotated among the member countries. ATF 2010 marks the 29th anniversary of this event since its inauguration in Malaysia in 1981. Brunei will host ATF 2010 and is all geared up to welcome over 1,600 delegates which includes 400 international buyers and 100 international media.

Welcome Message

On behalf of His Majesty’s Government and of the people of Brunei, I would like to convey our sincere welcome to all distinguished delegates who are participating in the upcoming ATF to be held in Brunei at the newly built BRIDEX Center from 21 to 28 January 2010.

Brunei is proud to host ATF for the second time, under the theme “ASEAN, the Heart of Green: 10 destinations, One Conservation Vision”, which goes very well with Brunei, a rainforest covered destination that has committed 58% of its territory to the Heart of Borneo initiative aimed at protecting the bio-diversity and water catchment areas in the forested areas of the three ASEAN nations that have custody over the Borneo rainforests, namely Brunei, Indonesia and Malaysia.

Since our last ATF in 2001 during Visit Brunei Year, our tourist arrivals have grown significantly, more so on the strength of promotional activities, words of mouth and the growing trend for new and different destinations, than on the back of massive tourism oriented developments.

Developing our tourism industry at a pace that is comfortable with the values of our society and that is sustainable in relation to our resources has always been a priority for us. This approach has been generally appreciated by our visitors who like the authenticity of the destination, the sincerity of the interactions with the locals and the relaxed, not overly commercialised, approach to tourism the destination has.

Tourism is a vital component in the economies of many ASEAN member countries and its role is also increasing in Brunei, especially because of its capacity to assist our oil and gas dependent economy in its diversification drive.

After a difficult year for the tourism industry worldwide, the sector needs an event such as ATF to take stock of the situation and make the necessary plans and adjustments to keep ASEAN tourism and travel on a growth path.

Brunei Darussalam, where an ever-present pristine tropical nature is one of the main draws for tourists, is a perfect backdrop for this year’s ATF with a theme of “ASEAN, the Heart of Green: 10 destinations, One Conservation Vision”. With such a theme, it will emphasize on the region’s commitment to a shared vision of sustainable and environmentally friendly development of its tourism industry. Also, ASEAN destinations’ partners will no doubt find reassurance that the region is in tune with the concerns of their clients and with the social responsibility needs of the diverse travel business entities.

As host of ATF 2010, it is a great pleasure for us to invite all distinguished delegates and members of the global travel industry and media to participate in this important forum, where an assessment of the sector’s situation will be needed and where issues of concern for the future will be discussed.

Welcome to Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures, and I wish all delegates a productive ATF.

Yours Sincerely

YB Pehin Dato Yahya
Minister of Industry and Primary Resources

Official Event Organiser for ATF 2010

BRUNEI Tourism has appointed TTG Asia Media event organiser for Travex, the mart component of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2010 in Brunei. This will be the second time TTG organises Travex for Brunei; the first time was in 2001 when Brunei first hosted ATF.

TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd is the region’s leading travel and tourism business information and access provider, as well as a leading organiser and event manager of travel trade shows in Asia, including IT&CMA (Incentive Travel & Conventions, Meetings Asia), CTW (Corporate Travel World) Asia-Pacific, ITS (International Travel Show) Thailand 2004 and 2005, Thailand Travel Mart (TTM) Plus 2005. TTG also has a good track record of organising ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 1998, 2001, 2003, 2006 and 2009. It also publishes five titles targeted at distinct sectors of the travel trade: TTG Asia, TTG China, TTG India, TTGmice and TTG-BTmice China. These trade shows and publications provide the best marketing access to Asia-Pacific’s travel marketplace, influencers and deciders.

10 Destinations, One Conservation Vision
”Green tourism”, a term that is used broadly to encompass all forms of tourism that relates to the natural environment and cultural heritage of an area, has been identified as one of the fastest growing sectors of tourism globally.

The concept of green tourism traditionally suggests an emphasis on environmental protection. However, there is a growing recognition that all tourism, in particular that which claims to be “green”, should be culturally, socially and environmentally sensitive.

Within ASEAN, the opportunities for green tourism are growing for both travellers and local communities. The region’s natural landscape, pristine environment, diverse wild life and cultural heritage form the basis for attracting visitors.

A heightening awareness is coming to play in the market with local communities and government leaders awakening to the vast potential that green tourism brings to our countries.

While there is considerable scope for expanding green tourism in ASEAN, the development of this trend would depend on our capacity to grow this market sustainably, and the ability to develop a quality standard that would match expectations of an increasingly sophisticated travel market that is both ecologically and socially conscious.
The challenge is to create higher economic benefit through a more creative kind of tourism while minimising the negative impact of increasing visitors on the surrounding environment and indigenous communities.

While there is a growing collective conscience in this regard, much still needs to be done to reconcile national and regional tourism priorities and their respective green agendas.

Each nation’s level of commitment and exposure to green tourism varies, and the diffusion of such philosophy has been quite slow. The transition from theoretical principles to operational frameworks has also been sluggish.

The global economic slowdown presents a window of opportunity to ASEAN to reassess its tourism strengths and direction, both on a national and regional level.

Green tourism is a global trend that is here to stay. It will be to the region’s advantage to embrace sustainable development principles and encourage responsible travel behavior that conserves the environment and biodiversity as well as sustains the wellbeing of the local people.

Now is the time to act.


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