ASEAN Heads of National Tourism Organisations should explore creative and innovative ways to adapt to the new norms in the tourism sector. Each organisation should also review the current and future strategies by maximizing the use of digital technology. According to the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism all these are vital in order for the sector to remain relevant and sustainable in the future.
Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong stated this while representing Brunei Darussalam during the Special Meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers (MATM) on COVID-19 via video conference today.
Yang Berhormat emphasized on His Majesty’s speech in the recent Special ASEAN Summit on Coronavirus Diseases 2019 (COVID-19) that there is a need for ASEAN solidarity in facing the unprecedented challenges brought by COVID-19. The meeting was chaired by His Excellency Dr Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Kingdom of Cambodia. Also present were His Excellency Dato Lim Jock Hoi, ASEAN Secretary-General as well as ASEAN Tourism Ministers.
At the end of the meeting, the Minister issued a joint statement on strengthening cooperation to revitalize ASEAN tourism. In the joint statement, the ASEAN Tourism Ministers stressed the need for a strengthened ASEAN coordination mechanism to collectively overcome surging challenges to the tourism sector that had impacted the travel and tourism businesses to a halt. This has led to high unemployment and furlough rates, and adversely affecting the livelihood of many communities.
The ASEAN Tourism Ministers also agreed on several covenant including to mitigate the impact on the outbreak with united effort including supporting the development and implementation of a post COVID-19 Crisis Recovery Plan. These include building up ASEAN tourism capabilities, engaging with industry stakeholders to instill business and consumer confidence, exploring creative and innovative solutions to stimulate the tourism sector, ensuring top of mind recall of the region in marketing efforts and joint tourism promotion programmes with the goal to advance ASEAN as a single tourism destination.
Source: Radio Television Brunei