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FIFTH MEETING OF ASEAN-INDIA TOURISM MINISTERS 22 January 2016, Manila, the Philippines

JOINT MEDIA STATEMENT


1. The Fifth Meeting of ASEAN and India Tourism Ministers was held on 22 January 2016 in Manila, the Philippines, in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2016. The Meeting was co-chaired by Mr. Benito Jr. Bengzon, Undersecretary, Department of Tourism of the Philippines, and H.E. Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, India.

2. The Ministers were pleased with the increase in tourism exchange between ASEAN and India in 2015 where the preliminary total number of arrivals from India to ASEAN was 3.57 million, an increase of 9.9 per cent as compared to 2014. The Ministers also noted that the number of ASEAN tourists to India in 2015 has reached 0.7 million, an increase of 2% per cent compared to 2014.

3. The Ministers agreed to implement the decision of the 13th ASEAN-India Summit held on 21 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur to further enhance ASEAN-India cooperation in tourism under the framework of the 2012 Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India on Strengthening Tourism Cooperation with intensified efforts and activities. In this regard, the Ministers emphasised the need to expedite efforts on visa facilitation to promote tourism exchange. In accordance with the announcement made by Hon. Prime Minister of India to extend electronic-visa facility to all ASEAN countries, India has now extended this facility to 9 ASEAN Member States and the tenth country will also be included shortly. The Ministers also welcomed the on-going annual programmes to enhance people-to-people exchanges including students, farmers, media and diplomats in ASEAN Member States and India.

4. The Ministers commended the progress made in the implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding including:

(i) Participation of tourism stakeholders in travel marts, tourism exhibitions and festivals in ASEAN Member States and India;

(ii) Establishment of the ASEAN-India Crisis Communications Team;

(iii) Progress of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) in Mumbai; and

(iv) India’s support of visit from ASEAN Member States teachers/faculty of hospitality institutes to India.

5. The Ministers expressed their sincere appreciation to the Government and People of the Philippines for the warm hospitality and excellent arrangements made for the Meetings.

LIST OF MINISTERS

The Meeting was attended by:

(i) Mr. Wardi Haji Mohammad Ali, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam, representing H.E. Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam;

(ii) H.E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia;

(iii) H.E. Mr. Vinod Zutshi, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India;

(iv) Mr. I Gde Pitana, Deputy Minister for International Tourism Marketing Development, Ministry of Tourism, Indonesia, representing H.E. Dr. Arief Yahya, Minister of Tourism, Indonesia;

(v) H.E. Mr. Chaleune Warinthrasak, Vice Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR;

(vi) H.E. Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia;

(vii) H.E. U Ye Myint Aung, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Union of Myanmar to the Republic of the Philippines, Myanmar;

(viii) Mr. Benito Jr. Bengzon, Undersecretary, Department of Tourism of the Philippines, representing H.E. Mr. Ramon R. Jimenez, Jr. Secretary of Tourism, Philippines;

(ix) Mr. Leong Yue Kheong, Assistant Chief Executive (International Group), Singapore Tourism Board, representing H.E. Mr. S. Iswaran, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Singapore;

(x) H.E. Ms. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister for Tourism and Sports, Thailand;

(xi) H.E. Ms. Dang Thi Bich Lien, Vice Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism of Viet Nam; and

(xii) H.E. Mr. Le Luong Minh, Secretary-General of ASEAN.

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