His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah ibni His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office officiated the opening of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2020 at the Indera Samudra Grand Hall, The Empire Brunei, Jerudong last night.
Upon arrival, His Royal Highness was greeted by Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong as Chairman of the ATF 2020.
His Royal Highness was also greeted by ASEAN Tourism Ministers before consenting for a group photo.
His Royal Highness then proceeded to view a mini showcase by the Ministry of Transport and Infocommunications (MTIC) and Huawei Technologies (Brunei) Sdn Bhd.
At the exhibition, His Royal Highness was given a demonstration of the use of virtual reality (VR) technology in travel and was briefed on Digital Technologies for Smart Tourism by Permanent Secretary at the MTIC; and 5G Technology in Smart Travel by CEO of Huawei Technologies (Brunei) Sdn Bhd.
At the opening ceremony, His Royal Highness consented to officiate the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020 and launched the new ASEAN Tourism website before receiving a pesambah presented by the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.
The ASEAN Tourism website would serve as a one-stop platform for integrated information for the public on ASEAN tourism products and activities. It hopes to drive more interest in the Southeast Asian region as a preferred destination to experience the culture and life of the ASEAN people thereby strengthening people-to-people connectivity and deepening cross-cultural understanding.
Prior to the launch, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism in his welcoming remarks thanked His Royal Highness for gracing the event.
Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali then highlighted that the ASEAN tourism industry has seen significant growth in the last decade and it continues to be an important contributor to socio-economic development in ASEAN.
“ASEAN welcomed over 133 million international arrivals in 2019, an increase by seven per cent from 2018, with intra-ASEAN travel comprising 36.7 per cent of international arrivals in 2018,” he said.
This year’s ATF theme ‘ASEAN – Together Towards a Next Generation of Travel’ is relevant for what the world is facing today as it reflects the way in which the tourism industry is rapidly progressing.
ASEAN Tourism recognises that innovation and technology bring benefits to the tourism industry and shapes the way in which governments, key stakeholders and communities embrace the current trend of digital transformation.
The opening event of the ATF 2020 included cultural performances.
The two-day 23rd ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting and Related Meetings starts today at The Empire Brunei, Jerudong.