Tourists at a temple in Bangkok (Photo:VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) – The tourism ministers from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on January 22 launched a 10-year plan to ramp up marketing the region as a single destination, to raise tourism's share of the regional economy to 15 percent by 2025.

The 10-year tourism plan calls for intensified promotion and marketing, diversification of tourism products including the development of sub-regional destinations, attracting tourism investment, devising an ASEAN tourism standards certification system, expansion of connectivity and infrastructure, and increased participation of local communities in tourism.

If the projects are fully implemented, ASEAN said it anticipates that tourism's share of total employment could rise from 3.7 percent to 7 percent by 2025 and per capita spending by international tourists could increase from 877 USD to 1,500 USD.

Tourist arrivals in the ASEAN region are expected to increase to 152 million by 2025.
The ministers from the bloc also announced that they will begin a "Visit ASEAN@50" campaign to mark the 50th anniversary of the regional group in 2017.

The campaign, to be launched in March at a travel convention in Berlin, will showcase hundreds of ASEAN tourism products, events and experiences and target people in and outside the region.

In 2013, tourism accounted for 12.3 percent of ASEAN's GDP with 102.2 million tourist arrivals. The number of tourists rose to 105 million in 2014.

ASEAN formally established a unified economic community in December, and officials said tourism is a major pillar of integration for the region of more than 600 million people.

Formed in 1967, ASEAN's members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.-VNA