The upcoming ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2014 will be held in Kuching, in Malaysia's Sarawak state, from January 16 to 23.
Over 1,600 delegates are expected to attend, including some 150 ASEAN tourism ministers and officials, 500 ASEAN exhibitors, 500 international buyers, 100 international and local media as well as 100 tourism trade visitors.
Minister of Tourism and Culture, Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, said in a press statement: “It is a timely platform to think and act on the implementation of innovative and sustainable energy initiatives that will ensure the preservation of our natural environment for future generations.”
Adopting the theme, ASEAN – Advancing Tourism Together, ATF will explore the sustainable development of tourism and look at how tourism initiatives and plans can further support this decade’s mantra of Tourism Conserves, Preserves and Protects.
Rashid Khan, CEO, Sarawak Tourism Board, told TTG Asia: “Having the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Sarawak is like being handed a gift on a golden plate. This is our golden opportunity to showcase to the trade what the destination has to offer. The economic spin-offs from ATF will be seen for at least three years.”
Rashid said the board will leverage the presence of international buyers and wholesalers through post-event tours and networking with identified buyers.
He added: “We have also developed customised product brochures with a listing of 13 anchor events that will be held in Sarawak next year for international buyers who will attend ATF to showcase new and existing products.”
The board is also planning with Kuching City Councils to create a lively ambience and hive of activities at ATF.
Adam Kamal, deputy president of Malaysian Inbound Tourism Association, believes ATF is the best platform for inbound tour operators from Malaysia to sell packages designed for VMY 2014, as international buyers who come to this show are interested in selling packages to South-east Asia.