39th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF)
Philippine Secretary of Tourism Bernadette Fatima Romulo-Puyat led a delegation of Philippine tourism officials and tourism industry practitioners at the recently concluded 39th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) hosted by Brunei Darussalam at the Empire Hotel and Country Club from 12 to 16 January 2020.
Under the theme “ASEAN – Together Towards the Next Generation of Travel”, the meeting was chaired by Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, Brunei’s Minister for Primary Resources and Tourism.
During the meeting, Secretary Puyat-Romulo highlighted the initiatives of the Philippine government in promoting sustainable and inclusive tourism, and in developing tourism products that supports local communities.
In conjunction with the official meetings, a three-day tourism exposition (TRAVEX) was held from 14 to 16 January 2020. The Philippine Pavilion at the TRAVEX was the biggest among the ASEAN member-countries that mounted country booths. Inspired by the bahay kubo, and a feel of the “Its More Fun in the Philippines” experience, guests at the Philippine Pavilion were served barako coffee, Philippine pili nuts and dried mangoes while they discuss Philippine tourism products and packages from seventeen (17) Philippine exhibitors comprising of top managers of hotels, resorts, and travel agencies.
The Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board hosted a lunch for more than 300 TRAVEX delegates, highlighted by a cultural performance from the Philippine-based “Sindaw Philippines” and “La Lira Filipina”. The lunch menu featured Philippine cuisine – adobo, kare-kare, kinilaw and pancit.
The ATF is a co-operative regional effort to promote the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as a tourist destination. It is a platform for the region’s Tourism Ministers, government officials and travel industry players to come together and discuss ways to grow and enhance tourism opportunities. The annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors from the 10 ASEAN member nations and this year marks the event’s 39th anniversary. END