ALT-CFT Industry Outlook:
RAISING TRAVEL AND TOURISM COMPETITIVENESS IN THE PHILIPPINES AND ASEAN THROUGH HUMAN RESOURCES AND MEASUREMENT
November 2014, Volume 1, Issue 8
Ma. Andrea C. Liamzon
Tourism is as a priority sector in Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) plans for full regional integration in 2015. It can foster economic prosperity, bringing about positive societal change while banking on many of the region’s assets. ASEAN has varied landscapes, attractions, ecosystems, wildlife, culture and history, which make it an attractive destination for all kinds of travelers. It comes as no surprise, therefore, that there has been increased interest in the region as a destination for both ASEAN and non-ASEAN tourists. Over the years, the ASEAN tourism market has expanded steadily—reaching 89 million in 2012 and over 99 million in 2013 (ASEAN, n.d.). ASEAN’s prospects for tourism are bright.
To leverage this growth, the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-2015 was formulated to orchestrate ASEAN Member States’ (AMS’) efforts for tourism development. Win-win situations can be had by all AMS when using ‘coopetition’ as a strategy. In tourism, competing destinations located in the same area can combine scarce resources to attract more tourists to their region. When the AMS work together towards a common goal, they increase the competitiveness of the region in the global tourism market. Coordinating among AMS is crucial to achieving the goals of tourism development. “One cannot move unless all the … countries are moving” (Alipio, 2014).
In line with ASEAN’s goals to have a single production base and increased service quality in tourism, a Mutual Recognition Agreement on Tourism Professionals (MRA-TP) was created to facilitate the movement of tourism workers from one AMS to another. The ATSP 2011-2015 also cites the creation of an ASEAN Tourism Research Databank as one of the 19 measures of its Roadmap for ASEAN Tourism Integration (ATSP, 2011).
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