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Asean countries to multiply cooperation in revitalising regional tourism

Asean tourism ministers will ramp up cooperation to reduce the impact from the COVID-19 outbreak and revive the sector across countries in the regional bloc.
Asean member countries will promote an implementation plan after the coronavirus is under control to ensure public health and safety. This includes an upgrade in the skills of the region’s tourism sector while building trust among businesses as well as consumers.
The move comes after a joint declaration from Asean tourism ministers on strengthening cooperation to revitalise regional tourism was approved during a special video conference on April 29.
The initiative will seek to stimulate the tourism sector with a focus on marketing and advertising to achieve the target of making Asean a one-stop tourist destination.
The plan also will speed up policy improvements to promote the micro and macro economy, reduce tax, upgrade the digital skills of businesses and tourism sectors focusing on micro, small and medium enterprises, volunteer groups and affected communities.
Meanwhile, authorities will promote region coordination and multiply information exchange about measures for maintaining travel health as well as other essential actions implemented by Asean member countries to control the outbreak.
Cooperation will be increased between National Tourist Organisations and many sectors including health, international organisations and police at border checkpoints to implement measures to reduce the effects from COVID-19 jointly.
The elevation of cooperation exchanges between Asean member countries and Asean dialogue partners in response to the crisis was highlighted, as well as the availability of communication and national relief measures to promote tourism sectors.
Tourism ministers vowed to implement other policies and measures to build confidence among domestic and international visitors, as well as establish standards and clear guidelines on good sanitation and environmental safety.
During Wednesday’s video conference, ministers in each country detailed the impact of the pandemic on their tourism sectors and consulted on multiplying cooperation to build confidence and restore the regional travel industry to normal.
More than 886,440 domestic and foreign visitors holidayed in Laos during the first three months of this year, down 17 percent compared to the same period last year as Covid-19 outbreak, according to Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism.
All parts of the local tourism industry have been affected by the pandemic. Many major events have been cancelled or postponed such as the Lao New Year festival (Pi Mai Lao), the planned celebration of Hai Hin (Plain of Jars) being listing as a world heritage site and the National Games in Xieng Khuang province.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update May 1, 2020)

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