A photo of the press conference. (Source: VNA)
 
Singapore (VNA) – Members of the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) will promote cruise tourism with a goal of serving 4.5 million visitors by 2035, noted the joint statement of the 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in Singapore.

Speaking at a press conference on January 20 after five days of meeting, Singaporean Minister of Trade and Industry (MTI), S. Iswaran stressed that ASEAN boasts advantages for tourism development, especially cruise ship tourism.  

Accordingly, the countries will focus on improving infrastructure, ashore activities and human resource training to bolster cruise tourism.

ASEAN countries welcomed about 450,000 visitors of cruise tourism in 2016. The figure is expected to increase tenfold in 2035.

Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said that Vietnam has devised a plan to expand investment and complete deep-water seaports to receive large ships that carry up to 3,000 passengers, and to create specific products for cruise tourism.

Representative from Indonesia said that the country will take priority in infrastructure development in five ports while the Philippines has announced to launch a campaign to develop national tourism.

Besides, the countries also agreed about the action plan for 2017, in line with the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025 which was approved in the meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers earlier.

ASEAN member countries will jointly develop qualified tourism products and collaborate in human resources training for tourism, meeting the increasing demand of regional and international tourists.

Themed “Sharing our tourism journey together”, the ATF 2017 took place from January 16 to 20. Vietnamese delegation was led by Deputy Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism Le Khanh Hai.

The regional event was first held in 1981 in Malaysia. Vietnam will host the 38th ATF in 2019.-VNA