Sunday, 10 January 2016


Dubai, January 7, 2016: The tourism ministers of the ten countries constituting the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) are meeting in Manila at the staging of the 35th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) this month to map out an integrated tourism development plan and policy framework for the entire region.

The ministers, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT), will also meet with the officers of the national tourism organizations (NTOs) of the ASEAN-member countries during the ATF 2016. Comprising the NTOs are industry players and regulators of the various tourism sectors of Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

The daily meetings will be held at the Hotel Sofitel Philippine Plaza from January 18 to 22 as DOT marketing arm Tourism Promotions Board rolls out the ATF exhibits at the SMX Convention Center, Mall of Asia, for the entire duration of the 8-day international event, or up to January 25.

DOT Undersecretary and ATF 2016 Philippine Host Committee Chairman Benito C. Bengzon Jr. said the ATF exhibits featuring the bests of ASEAN would give thousands of visitors from all over the world an awesome viewing experience. Among the visitors will be hundreds of foreign buyers and members of the international media.

“Representing the Philippines at the ASEAN Ministers Meeting is (DOT) Secretary Ramon R. Jimenez Jr., who sees the region emerging as a major player in global tourism,” Bengzon said.

“The policies to be formulated and polished will be based on the inputs from the various NTOs and how these can be reconciled with the current laws of the ASEAN-member countries and immediately implemented across the board. The overriding objective is to come up with a single tourism policy infrastructure, legal framework or strategic platform for all of ASEAN that will be in line with the AEC (ASEAN Economic Community) blueprint 2025 formulated recently (Nov. 22, 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) and boost the inflow of tourists, not just to one or two countries, but throughout the region,” Bengzon pointed out.

“The objective is to make ASEAN tourism contribute to the overall regional economic integration agenda that is envisioned to address the human requirements of Southeast Asia’s 622 million people,” Bengzon explained.

“That regional population is equivalent to a whopping US$2.6 trillion consumer market, which can be translated into a massive human resource with a GDP or total economic output of US$2.57 trillion at a growth rate of 4.6 percent in 2014, or much faster than the developing Europe’s 2.4 percent, Latin America’s 0.9 percent, and the combined Middle East’s and North Africa’s 2.2 percent, all based on World Bank figures,” Bengzon stressed.

“And while global financial services firm Morgan Stanley has projected the world economy to contract by five percent last year, the ADB (Asian Development Bank) sees ASEAN economic growth rising by 4.9 percent in 2015 and 5.3 percent in 2016 to help balance the deceleration in China and cushion its global impact,” Bengzon added.

He cited tourism as one of ASEAN’s major strategic and tactical weapons in perking up business activities, drawing investments from other global growth centers, generating employment, raising government revenues, increasing corporate and individual incomes, and broadening up the region’s domestic capital and entrepreneurial base to help fight poverty and resist global financial shocks.

“We just have to collectively preserve, develop and promote our distinctly natural, historical and cultural tourism attributes as economic assets and use them sustainably in addressing the needs of the ASEAN people. As the saying goes: ‘The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.’ This exactly is what ASEAN tourism integration is envisioned to achieve and inspire through this year’s ATF theme ‘One Community for Sustainability.’ ASEAN’s tourism resources constitute a gold mine yet to be tapped as, indeed, the best is yet to come,” Bengzon stressed.
Of particular note for the Middle East is the “Kids Stay Free Campaign”, which has been designed exclusively for families (both nationals and expatriates), living in the G.C.C. and offers exceptional value.
The campaign packages provide two children per family under the age of 11 with an exciting array of activities, food, accommodations and other experiences all on a complimentary basis. Additionally the packages allow families to twin both the Philippines capital Manila with another exotic Philippine destination such as Cebu, Palawan, Boracay, Bohol, Davao or Bicol, allowing for both an urban and idyllic getaway experience.  
The Philippines’ no visa requirement for G.C.C. and many other nationals, plus it’s many popular shopping experiences, tranquil beaches and numerous family-friendly attractions has resulted in an increasing number of G.C.C. residents choosing to make the Philippines their holiday destination of choice.
Accordingly to the latest statistics available a total of 65,642 visitors from the G.C.C. visited the Philippines between January and September 2015, resulting in a 12% increase compared to 2014 figures for the same period. Amongst those, the number from Saudi Arabia was the highest at 40,453 travelers, which was an increase of 17% compared to the year before. Visitors from the United Arab Emirates were the next highest, followed by visitors from Kuwait.
For further information about the Philippines visit the Philippines Department of Tourism English and Arabic social media sites at:
Facebook: It’s More Fun in the Philippines – Middle East
Twitter: @PhilTourismME     
Instagram: @PhilTourimME  
Or the Philippine Department of Tourism Middle East Marketing Representative Office at:
Tel: +971 (0)4 433 5952

وزارة السياحة الفلبينية تستضيف منتدى آسيان السياحي 2016 بنسخته الـ 35

(مانيلا، 7 يناير / كانون الثاني 2016 ) : تستضيف وزارة السياحة الفلبينية لهذا العام منتدى آسيان السياحي بنسخته الـ 35 ،والذي سيقام في العاصمة مانيلا وتحديداً في فندق سوفيتيل بلازا في الفترة مابين 18 – 25 يناير /كانون الثاني 2016،ويتمثل هدف المنتدى برسم خطط التنمية السياحية المتكاملة وإطار السياسة العامة لمنطقة آسيان بأكملها .
ويضم المنتدى أبرز المتخصصين و المسؤولين في صناعة السياحة والسفر و منظمي الرحلات السياحية من دول تشمل: بروناي ،كمبوديا،أندونيسيا،لاوس،ماليزيا،ميانمار،الفلبين،سنغافورة،تايلاند والفيتنام ،من جهة آخرى سيحتضن مركز  SMX للمؤتمرات والمعارض جميع ما سيعارضوه المشاركين من منتجات سياحية جديدة ،فضلاً عن تبادل الأفكار و إجراء حلقات النقاش التي تهم مستقبل السياحة في الآسيان .
 من جانبه قال السيد بينيتو بينزون ،وكيل وزارة السياحة الفلبينية وئيس اللجنة الفلبينية المضيفة لمنتدى آسيان السياحي 2016 : إن المعروضات المتاحة خلال هذا الحدث الهام ستقدم للزوار والمشترين الأجانب ووسائل الإعلام الدولية تجربة  فريدة من نوعها للمشاهدة الحية بما نزخر به من مناطق جذب سياحي شاملة والتي تناسب الجميع على حدٍ سواء.
وأشار  بينيتو بقوله : إلى إن السياسات التي تصاغ على أساس المدخلات عبر المنتدى الحالي وكيفية التوفيق بين القوانين لدول الآسيان وتنفيذها في مختلف المجالات هو أمر جوهوي من أجل تعزيز البنية التحتية السياحية لتكون في خط واحد مع النظام الاقتصادي للآسيان،وأعرب بينيتو عن أمله في أن يساهم هذا المنتدى في دفع عجلة التكامل الاقتصادي نحو الأمام للمنطقة الآسيان ،لتبقى دائماً تفي باحتياجات سكانها البلغ عددهم 622 مليون نسمة .
وأوضح بينيتو بأن شركة الخدمات المالية العالمية مورغان ستانلي ذكرت أن الاقتصاد العالمي انكمش بنسبة 5% في العالم الماضي ،بينما أكد مصرف تنمية الآسيان أن النمو الاقتصادي للآسيان قد ارتفع بنسبة 4.9% في 2015 ، ووفقاً لتقديراته فأن النمو سيصل 5.3% في عام 2016 مما سيساعد على تحقيق التوزان في عملية التباطؤ الاقتصادي وتأثيره على العالم .
وسيمثل الفلبين في المنتدى،وزير السياحة الفلبيني رامون خيمينيز ،الذي يرى أن سوق الآسيان سوق واعدة وتلعب دوراً محورياً في مجال السياحة العالمية .