Last updated: Tuesday, March 26, 2019


ATF 2019: Opportunity to Uplift Vietnam Tourism Status

Posted: Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (AFT) 2019, themed the “ASEAN-The Power of One”, will be held from January 14 to 18, 2019, in Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province. This is the most important annual event on ASEAN tourism cooperation. To learn more about this event, the Vietnam Business Forum Magazine has an interview with Mr. Ha Van Sieu, Deputy General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) and Head of the ATF 2019 Subcommittee for Content, Communication and Press. Thu Huyen reports.

Could you please elaborate on ATF 2019 and its significance to Vietnam?
The first ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) was held in Malaysia in 1981. Then, this annual event has been rotated among ASEAN member countries. Today, ATF has become the largest and most important platform in ASEAN tourism cooperation. ATF attracts the attention of over 2,000 delegates, including tourism ministers, leaders of national travel agencies and international organisations, dialogue partners, tour operators, experts in hospitality, reporters in ASEAN and beyond.

This major event is of great political, economic and social significance and is an initiative and a collective effort of member countries to build ASEAN into a common destination, develop sustainable tourism, promote tourist exchanges, increase friendship and cultural exchanges, and foster peace and prosperity in the region.

In 2009, Vietnam hosted ATF for the first time. In 2019, Vietnam is once again the host of ATF and has chosen Ha Long City, Quang Ninh Province for this event.

ATF Vietnam 2019 will be an opportunity for Vietnam to affirm and enhance its role and position in regional tourism cooperation while introducing the image of the Vietnamese land, people and tourism internationally. The forum is a rendezvous for Vietnamese travel agencies to initiate contacts and deepen cooperation with partners in the region and the world. ATF Vietnam 2019 is expected to raise the position of Vietnam as a safe, interesting and top-class destination.

What are official activities of ATF 2019?
ATF consists of theme-based tourism meetings, with the highest-level functions being the ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meetings, the ASEAN+3 Tourism Ministers Meeting, the ASEAN National Tourism Organisation Meetings with Partner Countries, ASEAN - India and ASEAN - Russia Working Group Meetings, ASEAN Tourism Conference themed “Connecting Heritages for ASEAN Tourism Development in the Digital Age” and other sideline events.

With the theme “ASEAN-The Power of One” initiated by Vietnam, ATF 2019 is projected to develop ASEAN as a common destination promoting power of one community by adopting digital technology to connecting heritages of member countries.

ATF 2019 is also comprised of the Travex Tourism Fair 2019. This is an important large-scale event. Professionally organised, Travex is a venue for business meeting and exchange for international sellers and buyers, trade visitors and the public to introduce Vietnamese tourist destinations and products.

How have you prepared for the event?
So far, preparation for ATF Vietnam 2019 has been scheduled as approved by the Prime Minister. The Steering Committee and the Organising Committee has already opened the first meeting while subcommittees have frequently met and updated directive and administrative activities. Accordingly, by logistics, the Organising Committee has carried out many activities like selecting official hotels, deciding room numbers and room rates, and building transport plans for attendees; and worked with TTG - a media firm based in Singapore - to host the TRAVEX Fair. So far, they have invited about 350 buyers and 122 media agencies, granted 211 booths to exhibitors from ASEAN countries and 80 booths to Vietnamese businesses; defined and applied the scope of responsibility and work for the main contractor for TRAVEX Fair and agreed on the execution plan with the Quang Ninh Provincial People’s Committee; coordinated with the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Public Security to elaborate specific plans on ensuring food hygiene and safety for delegates; basically completed agenda scenarios, ministerial-level meetings and leaders of ASEAN national tourism agencies.

bbc and cnn, the two world news corporations, will cover ATF Vietnam 2019, making it an event of global interest.

Main preparatory and communicative contents have been carried out with specific tasks such as building communication clips on ATF in general and Vietnam tourism in particular in target places and on Vietnam Television (VTV) channels, prepared introductory contents on ATF for media agencies to publish on tourism websites; completed the “Book on Tourism Stories in Vietnam”, the “General Introduction on ATF 2019 Book” and the ATF 2019 identity to broadcast on domestic and international media and ATF websites like The spotlight of the ATF Vietnam 2019 will be the Ha Long Declaration 2019 and interconnected heritages for ASEAN tourism development in the digital age.

Thank you very much!

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