Total Outcome of 24th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings from 04 – 05 February
(Phnom Penh): 24th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting, which was two days lasted – held from 04 – 05 February 2021, under the theme “Join Altogether to Recover a Sustainable and Responsible Tourism Sector”. On two days occasion, ASEAN tourism ministers shared concern over impacts of the last 2020 outbreak of COVID-19, of which tourism is a sector which has received seriously impacts. In 2020, tourism got lost about 75.8% income, with number of international visitors got down about 80.5%. Below is as key outcomes of 24th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting included:
First: Rebuilding Trust and Confidence
- Vaccination Program: All ministers welcomed for the launching of vaccination program in ASEAN member nations and inspired all passengers travelling to ASEAN and within ASEAN region to be vaccinated of anti-COVID-19 vaccine to ensure for the health and safety and to build up trust, confidence and resilience for the recovery of a safe and responsible tourism sector.
- Guidelines on sanitation and safety: ASEAN ministers shared perspective on recovery of tourism sector based on vaccine effectiveness which will mitigate the travel restriction and expansion of protocol facilitation for traveling between partnering countries in ASEAN region and speed up the global economic recovery. The guidelines on sanitation and safety for staffs and communities in ASEAN tourism industry for a more safe and healthy environmental works in order to protect staffs and communities will be established in 2021 to build up trust for domestic tourists and international tourists visiting to ASEAN.
- Recovery after COVID-19 Crisis: Preparedness forward to ASEAN as a shared tourist destination.
- Establishment of Post-COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Plan: ASEAN ministers also supported on the establishment of Post – COVID-19 Recovery Plan and praised Cambodia for leading initiatives, as priority for ASEAN economy in 2021. The recovery plan was determined as a priority rule to rebuild a stronger, sustainable and inclusive ASEAN tourism to be introduced in ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Plan (ACRP). The meeting supported and congratulated for the success in creating road-map for Cambodian tourism recovery during and post –Covid-19 crisis. Experience and best practices of Cambodia will provide benefits to ASEAN’s Post-COVID-19 Recovery Plan.
- Update of ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016 – 2025: All ASEAN ministers welcomed for outcome of review on ASEAN tourism strategic plan 2016 – 2025 and adapted on ASEAN tourism strategic plan, to be already updated, has reflected about strategic direction of a stronger, sustainable and inclusive tourism cooperation in the future taking a global infectious disease as well as development in newly tourism industries as lessons.
- ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy: ASEAN ministers welcomed for ASEAN tourism marketing strategy 2021 -2025, newly updated, to be laid out as road-map for 5 years period to come (2021 – 2025) including marketing activities to promote tourism during and after the crisis of COVID-19 taking matters of health and safety for people as priority.
- Mutual Recognition Arrangement on Tourism Professionals: All ministers noted on the process of the signing on protocol to amend on mutual recognition arrangement on tourism professionals. Along with the realization on the signing on above protocol, the ministers will continue reviewing in inclusion of ASEAN Capacity Standard for Spa Professionals and the creation of curriculum and training box for this standard. Ministers continued waiting to provide a full ratification on this protocol in the near future.
- ASEAN Tourism Investment Portfolio: Ministers adapted on ASEAN tourism investment portfolio which has continued attracting and facilitating investors and international business people in ASEAN tourism sector. This portfolio will inspire investment on additional tourism to ASEAN member nations which will generate jobs and further opportunities for regional people, especially the recovery process.
- ASEAN Statement on Digital Tourism: Ministers stressed the significances of ASEAN Statement on Digital Tourism, to be adapted by ASEAN leaders in the 37th ASEAN Summit and instructed ASEAN tourism national officials to implement in accordance with ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016 – 2025, to be already updated along with vision in pushing the digital transformation in ASEAN tourism industry.
- Phnom Penh Declaration: Ministers also adapted Phnom Penh Declaration on a Sustainable, Inclusive and Resilient ASEAN Tourism and instructed officials to strengthen a closer cooperation with ASEAN relevant parties, international organizations, private sector and other related stakeholders in tourism to implement effectively declaration.
- ASEAN ministers thanked Cambodian Royal Government for hosting in holding 24th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings via video-conference in a difficult time.