Manila, Philippines—Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Christina Garcia Frasco will lead the Philippine tourism delegation at the 2024 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Vientiane, Laos from January 24 to 26, 2024.

Established in 1981, the ATF is a cooperative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations as one tourist destination.

Ten ASEAN member states Brunei-Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam will again gather to strengthen collaboration among each other in further improving the region’s tourism products to attract more international tourists, at the same time, to contribute more to the community and toward the sustainability of tourism within the region.

This year’s ATF theme is “Quality and Responsible Tourism – Sustaining ASEAN Future,” with the Philippines expected to share its commitment to the country’s sustainable and responsible tourism practices in a series of panel discussions participated in by tourism ministers, representatives from various governments as well as private sector organizations within the region.

Joining the tourism chief in representing the Philippines is Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Philippines Chief Operating Officer (COO) Marga Norgrales and other officials of the DOT including National Tourism Organization (NTO) head OIC-Undersecretary Verna C. Buensuceso.

“I am honored to lead the Philippine delegation at the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2024 in Vientiane, Laos. The ATF is a testament to the collaborative spirit among ASEAN member states, working together to showcase our region as a premier tourist destination. This year’s theme underscores the importance of responsible tourism practices. The Philippines is eager to share our commitment to sustainable tourism while learning from other countries’ best practices through meaningful discussions and engagements during the panel sessions,” Secretary Frasco said.

“We look forward to fostering stronger ties, promoting our tourism products, and contributing to the long-term sustainability of tourism in the ASEAN region. Together, we can create a future where quality tourism enriches communities and provides livelihood while preserving our natural wonders,” enthused the tourism chief.

One of the highlights of the event is also the three-day Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) sessions from January 24 to 26 to facilitate a business-to-business platform for buyers across the world to meet with ASEAN tourism products and service providers, establish new business connections, and strengthen existing relationships with partners.

Fifteen local exhibitors from the airline, tour operators, hotels and resorts, and MICE industries will participate at TRAVEX.

The airline industry will be represented by the Philippine Airlines; resorts and hotels will be joined by Lihim Resorts El Nido by Araw Hospitality Inc., Best Western Plus Metro Clark, Jpark Island Resort & Waterpark Mactan Cebu, Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort, Tambuli Seaside Resort and Spa, Araneta Hotels Inc. (Novotel Manila Araneta City), AJ Coffee and Bed (Kaulayaw Coffee), ALI Makati Hotel Property Inc. – Raffles and Fairmont Hotel Makati; while local tour operators and the MICE industry will be participated by SMX Convention Center, Quasar Travel and Tours, Uni Orient Travel Inc., Marsman Drysdale Travel, Inc., Annset Holidays Inc., and CTPH Tour.

Meanwhile, DOT and TPB will host the Philippine night, a late-night function for international attendees where guests will have a peek at the country’s tourism gems and allow them to taste Philippine local flavors while enjoying some cultural performances lined up for the event.

The bilateral meetings for the ATF 2024 will begin on January 23, with the closing ceremony on January 27.

The 27th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers will be attended by ASEAN Secretary General Dr. Kao Kim Hourn; Philippine Tourism Secretary Frasco; Brunei Darussalam Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Data Dr. Abdul Manaf Metussin; Cambodia Minister of Tourism Sok Soken; Indonesia Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno; Lao PDR Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Suanesavanh Vignaket; Malaysia Minister of Tourism, Arts, and Culture Dato’ Sri Tiong King Sing; Myanmar Union Minister of Hotels and Tourism Thet Thet Khine; Singapore Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board Melissa Ow; Thailand Minister of Tourism and Sports Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol; Vietnam Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Van Hung; and Timor Leste Vice Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, and Minister for Tourism and Environment Francisco Kalbuadi Lay.



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