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ASEAN LeaderSpeak: Industry leaders, AIM students discuss regional integration effects on tourism

Posted: 2013-11-25
Category: News


IT'S MORE FUN IN ASEAN. Ms. Aileen Clemente (left), Deputy President of the ASEAN Tourism Association, and Hon. R. ToTo Waspodo (right), Minister Counsellor, Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, discuss the plan of action on ASEAN cooperation in tourism in the recent series of ASEAN LeaderSpeak last November 30 at the Asian Institute of Management, Makati City.

In 2015, the planned integration of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) will finally take place. One of the effects of this integration is the creation of an ASEAN Economic community, which is designed to ensure the continued and holistic growth of the region.  This plan is considered by many to directly impact on tourism in the region.

In line with this direction, the AIM Dr. Andrew L. Tan Center for Tourism, conducted a forum entitled “ASEAN LeaderSpeak: Plan of Action on ASEAN Cooperation in Tourism.” The forum aimed to deepen understanding among  industry leaders  and international graduate students on the implications of ASEAN 2015 and the roles that economic integration will play in the future of tourism in Southeast Asia and the entire Asian region.

Ms. Aileen Clemente, Deputy President of the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA), and Minister Counsellor R. Toto Waspodo of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Manila were invited as speakers in the forum held last November 20 at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City. Clemente discussed how ASEANTA is already marketing the region as a single tourism destination with a diverse product portfolio. Waspodo, on the other hand, drove home the point by highlighting the fact that countries in the region can learn from each other in terms of tourism management, embodying the Indonesian national motto—“Bhinekka Tunggal Ika” or unity in diversity. Both speakers, though coming from different points of view, agreed on one thing: ASEAN member-states, in order to flourish, need to complement rather than compete.

Two AIM MBA students were also invited to present in the forum. Mr. Timothy Jorelle Aquino discussed lessons from the European Union experience—“the epitome of regional integration”—and how it could be applied in the ASEAN context. On the other hand, Ms. Cecilia Nakpil-Roxas presented the Malasimbo Music and Arts Festival as an example of managing hallmark events—an integral part of ASEAN tourism.

More than 150 tourism stakeholders, government representatives, members of the academe, and students attended the forum. Prof. Gulliver Go, executive director of the Center, underscored the value of cooperation at the closing of the forum. “It is a comfort to know that leaders of our sector are looking beyond the deadline, preparing for what lies ahead. We can anticipate that the future of tourism policy is in good hands. The country’s tourism industry will come together when called upon if it meant making the country better. We are not alone. We stand together.”


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