The good news here is that the Philippine Department of Tourism is hosting the ASEAN Tourism Forum from Jannuary 18th up to the 22nd of this year. The other half of the news is way different. After the government foot the bill of P10 billion APEC summit last November 2015, the upcoming five-day tourism confab budget looks minuscule at P169-million.
DOT Undersecretary for Tourism Development and Planning Benito Bengzon Jr. confirmed that the bulk of it will be used for travel-related expenses or hosted tours for the delegates. He emphasized that the budget is a “small amount” compared to the revenue the department is expected to generate overall.
According to DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr, the forum will launch the new ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016 – 2020, which will work towards the development and growth of the region’s tourism, ensuring that this growth is grounded on responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism.
The tourism ministers of the 10 ASEAN-member states are expected to attend the event as well as heads of international organizations, representatives from dialogue partners, and heads of national tourism organizations (NTOs).
The ATF confab will mark its 35th year since established in 1981 with 200 government meetings, 450 travel exchange (TRAVEX) buyers from 60 countries, 1,500 sellers, 110 international and 50 local media.
Meetings of NTOs will begin on Jan 18 until 20, meetings of ASEAN tourism leaders happening simultaneously with the TRAVEX will be from Jan 21 to 22, and post tours for delegates will start from Jan. 23 until 25.
While meetings will be held at the Sofitel Philippine Plaza in Pasay, the TRAVEX will be held at the SMX Convention Center. (with PNA / Azer N. Parrocha)
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