The 5th ASEAN Tourism Investment Forum (ATIF) kicked off in Indonesia’s Lombok island on November 7, drawing the participation of around 100 participants from the governments and private sectors of ASEAN member countries, China, Japan and the Republic of Korea.

Speaking at the event, General Director of the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry’s Cultural and Tourism Development Department Firmansyah Rahim stressed that the new feature of this year’s forum is the presence of representatives from private sectors.

There will be a business to business section which creates conditions for countries to promote investment in their potential tourist destinations, thus boosting the overall tourism of ASEAN, he said.

Eddy Krismeidi Soemawilaga from the ASEAN Secretariat’s infrastructure division affirmed the significance of the forum in promoting tourism in ASEAN countries.

ASEAN nations have shown a remarkable growth in their tourism industries, with the number of international arrivals eaching 81 million last year, a 10.14 percent increase against 2010, he said.-VNA