Delegates get colourful preview of ATF 2012

Indonesia keen to promote eco-tourism and sustainable development

An evening hosted by Indonesia’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism at the Sofitel Phnom Penh last night gave almost 2,000 ASEAN Tourism Forum 2011 delegates a sneak peek into Manado, the venue for ATF 2012. The event will give Indonesia – already a popular tourist draw for its Bali beaches, Jakarta nightlife and Sumatra cultural heritage sites – the chance to introduce the world to Manado, located at the northern tip of Sulawesi.

“Manado is famous as a diver’s paradise, but also offers wonderful hospitality infrastructure, and diverse and stunning landscapes,” remarked Jero Wacik, minister of culture and tourism. “The people of Manado and the rest of Indonesia are all keen to give you a taste of the famed Indonesian hospitality during ATF 2012.” Indonesia has gained respect among the travel and tourism community for its initiatives to promote eco-tourism and sustainable development while protecting and developing local communities.

Unsurprisingly, delegates are already expressing interest and excitement to be part of ATF 2012. At the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2011 event in Phnom Penh, which was attended by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, Cambodian Tourism Minister Dr Thong Khon stressed that over four days officials had discussed and adopted the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (2011-2015).

This plan aims to develop the region as a world-class destination and focuses on three strategic directions, namely regional tourism product development and creative marketing; strengthening tourism-related services in the region; and promoting travel facilitation and regional connectivity. The ASEAN Tourism Forum 2011 and ATF TRAVEX 2011, a trade-only business meetings platform, are being held in Phnom Penh until January 21.

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