ATF chairmanship handed over to Cambodia

James Kon

Brunei Darussalam yesterday handed over the chairmanship of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) to the Kingdom of Cambodia, as the host country of the 40th ASEAN Tourism Forum 2021 themed ‘ASEAN – A Community of Peace and Shared Future’.

The event was held during the closing ceremony of the 39th ATF 2020 at The Empire Brunei’s Indera Samudra Grand Hall.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong handed over the ATF chairmanship plaque to Kingdom of Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon.

Recalling the achievement of the 39th ATF, Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali said, “We had a very productive week in ASEAN tourism sector, particularly in launching the revamped ASEAN marketing website. It will facilitate our efforts to meet the demands of digital tourism experiences and current trends.

“The commitments and cooperation from all ASEAN member states and strategic partners have helped ASEAN progress rapidly in becoming a quality tourism destination offering a unique, diverse ASEAN experience and contribute significantly to the socio-economic well-being of ASEAN people.”

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong hands over the ATF chairmanship plaque to Kingdom of Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon. PHOTOS: JAMES KON
ABOVE & BELOW: Members of the Diplomatic Corps at the closing ceremony; and a traditional Cambodian dance performance

The Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism also thanked the sponsors and volunteers for their contributions in making ATF 2020 a success. The close cooperation with the private sector and communities – at national and ASEAN levels – are very important in ASEAN’s efforts toward sustaining the growth and development of their tourism sector.

Dr Thong Khon expressed his gratitude to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for the support to the ATF 2020 and also His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office for officiating the opening of the ATF 2020.

He added, “Kingdom of Cambodia is ready to host Asean Tourism Forum from January 17 to 21, 2021 in Phnom Penh and welcome the participation of buyers and sellers as well as delegates to the country.”

Guests and Tourism Ministers were given a glimpse of Cambodian culture in a traditional dance.

Meanwhile, ASEAN Tourism Ministers accorded several awards to establishments and entities in ASEAN to recognise their achievements and contribution to the promotion of the ASEAN tourism standards. Forty-six establishments in the region were honoured with the 7th ASEAN Green Hotel Award, 41 establishments were awarded with the 2nd ASEAN MICE (Meetings, Incentive, Conference and Events) Venue Award, 21 cities in ASEAN were honoured with the 2nd ASEAN Clean Tourist City Award and 18 establishments were honoured with the 2nd ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award. The ministers hoped that the achievements of those establishments could inspire more to follow suit and participate in creating ASEAN as a high-quality tourism region. A total of 126 awards were presented.