The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is introducing more tourism projects in 2014 to prepare for receiving greater number of tourists in the future, while adopting the Code of Ethics for Tourism originally constituted by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) under an effort to promote ethical tourism throughout the region, according to the report of the Department of Tourism, Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
The 17th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers was held recently in Malaysia, in conjunction with the 13th Meeting of ASEAN plus Three (China, Japan, and Republic of Korea) Tourism Ministers, and the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2014 (ATF 2014). The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dato' Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia.
Acting Second Lieutenant Arnupap Gaesornsuwan, Director General of the Department of Tourism, said that, the meeting welcomed new projects and activities that would be undertaken in 2014. These projects are Toolbox Development for Travel Agencies and Tour Operations, Training of ASEAN Master Trainers and Master Assessor for Front Office, Food and Beverage Services and Food Production Divisions, and Development of ASEAN Tourism Professional Registration System.
“As for the past projects, Thailand and other countries that were assigned to develop tourism standards were praised by the meeting on its successful development of comprehensive tourism standards for ASEAN Green Hotel, Spa Services, Public Toilet, Clean Tourist City, and Community-based Tourism. The ASEAN certificate-awarding programme will help enhance the quality of human resources, services and facilities in the region. The full implementation of these projects are expected to be concluded by 2015, at the integration the ASEAN Economic Community,” the Director General said.
Meanwhile, the meeting was pleased to note that the ASEAN remain attractive destinations with substantial growth of 14.51% for intra-ASEAN tourists and 9.9% for international tourists in 2013. The meetings also noted that the total number of tourists visiting ASEAN in 2013 was 90.2 million, an increase of 12% from 2012.
At the conclusion of the meeting, Thailand's Vice Minister for Tourism and Sports, Mr Sombat Kuruphan, joined the the ASEAN tourism ministers in the joint declaration on a Code of Ethics of Tourism, recognising the importance of sustainable tourism development to the ASEAN member states by the use of the Global Code of Ethics previously adopted by the UNWTO.
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is a frame of reference for the responsible and sustainable development of the world tourism. Adapted fro105%m declarations and industry codes that have come before it, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism adds new thinking that reflects the changing society at the beginning of the 21st century. With international tourism forecasting to reach 1.6 billion arrivals by 2020, it is believed that the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism is needed to help minimise the negative impacts of tourism on the environment and on cultural heritage while maximising the benefits for residents living in the area of tourism destinations.
“To put it in easier terms, the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism emphasises: tourism's contribution to mutual understanding and respect between peoples and societies, tourism as a vehicle for individual and collective fulfilment, tourism as a factor of sustainable development, tourism as a user of the cultural heritage and a contributor to its enhancement, tourism as a beneficial activity for host countries and communities, obligations of stakeholders in tourism development, the right to tourism for people, and the liberty of tourist movements,” the Director General explained.
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