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6 NEWS Pre-Launch of

6 NEWS Pre-Launch of VisitASEAN@50 Golden Celebration at ITB Berlin In 2017, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will turn 50: an excellent opportunity to launch a special VisitASEAN year The Malaysia stand at ITB Berlin 2016 witnessed on Thursday the official prelaunch of “Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Celebration” campaign. The event was announced in presence of the Ministries of Tourism of both Malaysia and Thailand as well as ambassadors, heads of NTOs and dignitaries of the region. “ASEAN is a very important region for the world economy with a huge potential,” said Katrina Leung, Executive Director of ITB Asia. “There are over 620 million people living in the region while our 10 countries welcome some 110 million of international visitors.” According to So Mara, Vice Minister of Tourism in Cambodia and also Vice Chairman of ASEAN Tourism Marketing and Communication Working Group, the region hopes to attract, during this special “VisitASEAN@50” year, some 121-million visitors and generate revenues of USbn during the year. “We achieved a growth in total arrivals of over 5% last year and we hope to even do better in 2016 and 2017”, stressed So Mara. “We hope to achieve this target with our ten ASEAN national tourism organisations jointly developing a tourism programme under the campaign theme “Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration”. The objectives are not only of commemorating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN but also of embracing ASEAN as a single and united tourism destination”, added the Vice Minister. “Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration” will highlight ASEAN’s best 50 festivals and 50 most unforgettable travel experiences, whereby visitors will enjoy a wide range of ASEAN tourism products highlighting the diversity of destinations, of ASEAN gastronomy, of festivals and events. “It will also strengthen engagements of visitors with local communities”, added So Mara. Special offers and travel promotions in affiliation with partners will be rolled out for travellers to enjoy the richness of cultural, heritage, nature, and to feel the warmth of ASEAN hospitality. The coming campaign also wants to encourage visitors to link together two to three countries within ASEAN and extend the average length of stay from 5 to 6 or 7 days. “We certainly should work on the creation of more common products. In fact, I believe that Malaysia would greatly benefit from the setting of multi-country tours, especially involving heritage. I am thinking about Peranakan culture in the western part of Southeast Asia or a route linking together UNESCO World Heritage Sites as well as Historical Mosques in the region”, envisioned Malaysia’s Minister for Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz “Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration” targets major regional and longhaul source markets with special emphasis given to China, Japan, Korea, India, Australia, UK, Germany, Russia, the UAE, USA and Canada. “The coming campaign will help strengthening ASEAN’s identity around the world as it is likely to create higher trade and media awareness on ASEAN Tourism. We hope that Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign will bring the world travellers and ASEAN even closer than before”, concluded So Mara. Hall 26 Photo: (Centre) Malaysia’s Minister for Tourism and Culture, Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz, Cambodia’s Vice Minister of Tourism – So Mara, and Thailand’s Minister of Sports and Tourism, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, surrounded by attending heads of NTOs and ambassadors. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 11 th March 2016

ITB Berlin News