Report–Brunei–ATF 2010: The Tourism Ministers from ASEAN and India met at their Second Meeting on 25 January 2010 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam. H.E. Pehin Dato Yahya, Minister of Industry and Primary Resources of Brunei Darussalam chaired the Meeting with H.E. Mr. Sultan Ahmed, Minister of State for Tourism, Government of India as Co-chairperson.
The Ministers had a fruitful exchange of views on the impact of the global economic downturn to tourism sector, and shared common view that tourism could take more active role as a strong potential contributor to economic recovery. They unanimously acknowledged the urgency and necessity of cooperation to realize mutual prosperity of the tourism industry in the region, and pledged commitments to revitalize international and intra-regional tourism. The Ministers agreed to further strengthen and enhance mutual cooperation to deal with the forthcoming challenges.
The Ministers noted that the number of tourist arrivals between ASEAN and India had shown steady growth. In 2009, the number of tourist arrivals from India to ASEAN recorded more than 1.9 million.
The Ministers noted with appreciation the progress of the ASEAN-India tourism cooperation especially in joint marketing, crisis communications, tourism investment and tourism standards activities. The Ministers were pleased with the outcomes of the ASEAN-India Workshop on the Development of Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism held on 24-28 August 2008 in Yangon, Bagan and Mandalay, Myanmar with the theme of “Strengthening Partnerships for Peace and Harmony through Buddhist Circuit”. The Ministers welcomed the work plan for the Development of ASEAN-India Buddhist Pilgrimage Tourism including the development of the webpage, tour packages, listing of potential industry players, production of documentary film, photo exhibition and printing promotional material. The Ministers supported the establishment of the ASEAN Tourism Promotional Chapter (APCT) in Mumbai. The APCT will be an important collaborative platform for ASEAN NTOs to market Southeast Asia to the Indian consumers. ASEAN’s Tourism Ministers expressed their appreciation to the Indian Minister for the endorsement of the establishment of an APCT in Mumbai and the facilitation to be extended for its activities upon the application of the Secretary-General of ASEAN. The Ministers welcomed the adoption of the ASEAN-India Aviation Cooperation Framework by transport officials as the foundation for closer aviation cooperation between ASEAN and India. They are confident that its early implementation will result in a more liberalized environment which will be beneficial to tourism integration in ASEAN and India.