Expect out-of-the-box thinking in the organisation and implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2024, as the powerful forces of sustainability, digitalisation and labour shortage reshape the tourism industry in Southeast Asia.
Elevating the quality of content, quality of experience, and quality of networking opportunities will be key focal points behind the transformational new approach to the next ATF, which will be held in Vientiane, Laos from 22-27 January 2024.
That was the key message delivered at the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Laos Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) and ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA), which has been appointed to organise the Travex for ATF 2024. The signing was witnessed by Laos Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Vansy Kuamua.
Laos is working hand in hand with ASEANTA to organise a successful ATF 2024, building on the depth and breadth of experience that ASEANTA and its established partners will bring to the event, says Khom Douangchantha, director general of the tourism marketing department at MICT.
The ASEANTA has assembled a team of travel trade partners with an established track record in the industry to ensure a successful outcome for the next ATF. These include MP International (MPI) as the event organiser, Fusionex as the technology partner and provider of the ASEANTA Travel Exchange (ATEX) platform, and Travel Weekly Asia as the official media.
Collective creativity a driving force for consortium
Led by ASEANTA president Eddy Soemawilaga, strengthening sustainability, elevating human capital development with a focus on education, and improving the quality of buyers and event experience will be key pillars for ATF 2024 in line with the theme, “Quality and Responsible Tourism: Sustaining ASEAN's Future”.
“ATF 2024 will be an event by the industry, for the industry. We are harnessing the collective creativity of the ASEAN tourism community as a whole.”
“ATF 2024 will be an event by the industry, for the industry. We are harnessing the collective creativity of the ASEAN tourism community as a whole,” he says. “ATF will leverage stronger education conference session to raise human capital development as the manpower shortage becomes a glaring issue. Technology, too, will be a core component in an era of sustainability.”
Soemawilaga points out that Laos is growing on travellers’ radar as a sustainable tourism destination. “With its wealth of natural attractions and landscapes, diverse ecotourism offerings, and rich cultural heritage, Laos will prove a captivating destination to attract quality buyers,” he comments.
ASEANTA has appointed MP International (MPI) as the event organiser and Travel Weekly Asia as the official media. From left: Fusionex's BH Chuang, Travel Weekly Asia's Irene Chua, ASEANTA's Eddy Soemawilaga, Laos Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Vansy Kuamua, MPI's Jason Ng and Laos Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism's Khom Douangchantha.
Reunion of industry forces in Laos
ATF 2024 will also see the combined forces of MPI executive director Jason Ng and Travel Weekly Asia publisher Irene Chua, both travel trade veterans and whom were among the pioneer team that launched Laos’ first ATF in 2004.
Expressing his excitement about returning to Laos and working together with the industry’s heavy hitters, Ng says, “MP is delighted to bring our learnings and experience of having organised past ATFs to the team. Together with ASEANTA, Travel Weekly Asia and Laos MICT, we will be giving ATF 2024 a refreshed experience. Delegates can look forward to new business networking opportunities at Travex, and at the same time gain new insights and perspectives from the new ASEAN Tourism Conference which we are launching."
Chua concurs, “Travel Weekly Asia is proud to be appointed by ASEANTA as the official daily for ATF 2024. We will help shape the transfer of knowledge within the industry, as well as acting as driver of topics that are currently moving our industry. Expect many breakthroughs next year.”
More details about ATF 2024, including seller and buyer registration information, will be unveiled in the coming weeks.
Watch this space.