Joint Media Statement of the 12th Meeting of ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea) Tourism Ministers, 21 January 2013, Vientiane

Vientiane, Laos  21 January 2013

1. The Twelfth Meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and the Republic of Korea)Tourism Ministers was held on 21 January 2013 in Vientiane, Lao PDR, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2013 and the Sixteenth Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM). The Meeting was preceded by the ASEAN Plus Three (APT) NTOs Meeting held on 19 January 2013 in Vientiane. The Meeting was jointly co-chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism of Lao PDR, H.E. Mr. Wang Zhifa, Vice-Chairman of China National Tourism Administration, H.E. Mr. Yosuke Tsuruho, Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan and H.E. Mr. Kwak Youngjin, 1st Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Rep. of Korea

2. 2012 was a dynamic year for APT countries’ tourism. The growth of international visitor arrivals has been significant. Enhanced connectivity particularly air accessibility amongst APT countries has contributed to this positive growth of 11.9 compared to 2011. In 2012, APT countries received more than 98 million international visitor arrivals. Intra-APT countries remained as the main source markets with the share of 64.8 per cent compared to total international visitor arrivals in 2011.

3. The Ministers welcomed the outcomes of the 15th APT Summit and the respective ASEAN Plus One Summits held on 19 November 2012 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and supported the Mid-Term Review of the implementation of the APT Cooperation Work Plan (2007-2017).

4. In implementing the activities stipulated under the APT Work Plan, the Ministers adopted the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan 2013-2017 covering quality tourism, skills development, joint tourism marketing and promotion, cruise tourism, and tourism crisis communications. The adoption of the APT Tourism Cooperation Work Plan would further promote linkages and strengthen cooperation among National Tourism Organisations. The Ministers agreed to establish the APT Tourism Working Group to implement the Work Plan.

5. Noting the importance of APT tourism collaboration, the Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to deepen and broaden the collaboration. In this regard, the Ministers tasked their senior officials to expedite the finalisation of the Memorandum of Cooperation on APT Tourism Cooperation, which would be one of the key instruments to strengthen the good relationship and cooperation in tourism sector between ASEAN and Plus Three Countries.

6. The Ministers noted the successful completion of the  year 2012 as “Visit ASEAN Plus Three Year”.

7. Noting the important role of accessibility amongst APT countries in sustaining tourism growth, the Ministers were pleased to note the progress of enhanced collaboration in the transport sector between ASEAN and China, Japan and ROK, particularly on initiatives of enhancing air connectivity between ASEAN and respective Plus Three Countries. The Ministers welcomed the conclusion of negotiations on Protocol 2 on the exchange of 5th freedom air traffic rights between ASEAN Member States and China under the ASEAN-China Air Transport Agreement that would create more air accessibility amongst cities in ASEAN and China. The Ministers appreciated Japan’s ongoing efforts for expansion of air connectivity with individual ASEAN countries. The Ministers looked forward to the early conclusion of the ASEAN-ROK Air Transport Agreement..

8. The Ministers acknowledged the important role of the ASEAN-Japan Centre, the ASEAN-Korea Centre and the ASEAN-China Centre in further promoting tourism exchanges between ASEAN and the Plus Three countries, and expressed their appreciation for their technical assistance provided in the area of tourism promotion, participation in major travel fairs and capacity building.

9. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers expressed appreciation to China for the support and assistance provided to ASEAN Member States through provision of complimentary booth at China International Travel Mart (CITM) 2012, tourism training, documentary shooting, and development of ASEAN tourism marketing website in Chinese language.

10. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers thanked Japan for assistance provided to ASEAN Member States particularly on the implementation of various ASEAN-Japan tourism projects/activities in 2012 for human resources development and promotion of travel to the ASEAN region through ASEAN-Japan Centre, including workshops on cruise tourism, training program for employees of tourism industry, and PR activities.

11. The ASEAN Tourism Ministers expressed their appreciation to ROK for its support to the development of ASEAN Tourism through several promotional activities and capacity building such as ASEAN Korean Language Training Course, ASEAN Tourism Guide Book and Mobile Application, etc. organized by ASEAN-Korean Centre and the 6th ROK-ASEAN Partnership Program organized by Korean Government inviting ASEAN tourism officials for enhancing their knowledge on Korean tourism policies.

12. The Meeting expressed sympathy and deepest condolences to the family of the late H.E. Chumpol Silapa-archa, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, and to the Government and people of Thailand for his passing away. It is a great loss not only to Thailand, but also to the ASEAN Plus Three Tourism Community for his significant contribution to the development of ASEAN Plus Three tourism cooperation.

13. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of Lao PDR for the warm hospitality accorded to the delegations and the excellent arrangements made for the Meetings.

The Meeting was attended by:

(i) H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources, Brunei Darussalam;

(ii) H.E.Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;

(iii) H.E. Mr. Wang Zhifa, Vice Chairman of China National Tourism Administration;

(iv) Mr. I Gusti Putu Laksaguna, Inspector General of Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Indonesia, representing Dr.Mari Elka Pangestu, Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia;

(v) H.E. Mr. Yosuke Tsuruho, Senior Vice-Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Japan;

(vi) H.E. Mr. Kwak Youngjin, 1st Vice-Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Rep. of Korea;

(vii) H.E. Prof. Dr. Bosengkham Vongdara, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR;

(viii) Dato’ Dr. Ong Hong Peng, Secretary-General, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia, representing H.E. Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen, Minister of Tourism, Malaysia;

(ix) U Aung Zaw Win, Director General of Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar representing H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, Minister for Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar;

(x) H.E. Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. Secretary of Tourism,Philippines;

(xi) Mr. Lionel Yeo, Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board, representing H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Second Minister for Trade and Industry, Singapore;

(xii) H.E. Mr. Sombat Kuruphan,Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand;

(xiii) H.E. Mr.Ho Anh Tuan, Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports, and Tourism of Viet Nam; and

(xiv) H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

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