Singapore was honoured to host the 36th ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF), from 16 to 20 January 2017. Themed 'Shaping Our Tourism Journey Together', this year’s edition marked ASEAN’s 50th anniversary, with the official launch of the Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Celebration campaign.

Hosted on a rotational basis by the respective ASEAN member countries, the annual event serves as a platform for the ASEAN tourism industry to exchange ideas and insights to further accelerate the growth of tourism in the ASEAN region. ATF comprises Meetings of ASEAN Tourism Ministers and leaders from ASEAN National Tourism Organisations, ASEAN Airlines Meeting, ASEANTA Board Meeting and Annual General Meeting, media briefings and TRAVEX, a travel exchange platform.

ATF 2017 saw the participation of buyers, exhibitors, industry professionals and government officials from various ASEAN nations coming together to address challenges and opportunities and collectively develop and promote ASEAN as a single unified destination.

ASEAN Tourism Meetings

The 20th ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting and 16th ASEAN Plus Three (China, Japan and Korea) Tourism Ministers Meeting was held in conjunction with ATF.

During the meetings, the ministers expressed confidence that with the current progress of implementation and the active role of the lead countries, ASEAN tourism would be able to sustain its contribution towards the realisation of ASEAN integration goals laid out in the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together vision. The ministers reiterated their commitment to develop Southeast Asia into a vibrant cruise destination and agreed to develop a Joint Declaration on Cruise Tourism as part of the cruise work plans under the ASEAN Tourism Competitiveness Committee.

TRAVEX 2017

TRAVEX, a three-day tradeshow showcasing the world's largest contingent of ASEAN destination products and services, was also held during ATF.

Apart from offering networking opportunities for exhibitors and delegates, TRAVEX also hosted Tech Hub@TRAVEX, a dedicated showcase of the latest innovations in hospitality products and services. Tech Hub@TRAVEX served as a bridge between suppliers and delegates and provided visitors with valuable opportunities to explore collaborations and learn more about the technology solutions currently available.

Held alongside TRAVEX was the ASEAN Tourism Conference with the theme 'Riding the Digital Wave: the Fourth Revolution', which offered attendees insights into changing travel patterns and their impact on businesses.

Visit ASEAN@50 Campaign

In celebration of ASEAN's 50th Anniversary, the 36th edition of ATF saw the official launch of the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration campaign. The campaign aims to jointly showcase the region’s rich diversity and promote ASEAN as a single and unified tourism destination.

The campaign features 50 ASEAN festivals and travel experiences, as well as an array of special offers and travel deals. It is supported by various industry partners such as Mastercard and AirAsia.

The Visit ASEAN@50 campaign will run until 31 December this year. Details on the 50 packages and experiences are available on the campaign's official website at www.visitASEAN50.com.