“Southeast Asia – Feel the warmth” is the new ASEAN tourism slogan, which was ratified on Jan. 11 by ASEAN Ministers of Tourism at their meeting in Manado of North Sulawesi province, Indonesia .

Building a new marketing slogan is part of the implementation of a strategic plan to promote the tourism sector, which was tabled during the forum.

Speaking after the forum, Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the forum focused on diversifying tourism products and markets, and improving service quality, particularly in cultural and themed tourism.

Mari said the ministers also discussed methods to improve the human resource quality for the sector through programmes of training and granting certificates. By 2015, professionals in the tourism industry who have been certified will be allowed to work in any ASEAN member countries.

Visa exemption for ASEAN country citizens in 2012 and issuing a single ASEAN visa for international tourists were other discussions at the forum./.