While the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) revealed details of its Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Jubilee celebrations and consumer marketing campaign, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) warned that the infrastructure of some member states is not ready for increased tourism flows.
Investment in travel & tourism infrastructure within ASEAN over the next decade will grow faster than the global average. Indeed ASEAN will account for nearly 10 per cent (US$782 billion) of global investment in such infrastructure between 2016 and 2026.
However some ASEAN nations are not investing enough to match the expected boom. According to WTTC, Myanmar, Cambodia and the Philippines, which are already facing infrastructure constraints, are not committing enough funds into developing their airports, hotels, and attractions to benefit from increased tourism demand.
WTTC President & CEO David Scowsill said: “Countries such as Singapore and Indonesia are leading the way in terms of their infrastructure development, but across ASEAN, much more is required. For some countries, this might mean expanding capacity through increasing visitor accommodation, airport capacity and tourist facilities; others need to maintain and enhance their current infrastructure.”
According to WTTC, air and ground transportation “should be a key priority” for investment in Vietnam, Cambodia and Myanmar, while Thailand and the Philippines would benefit from increased investment in ground transportation.
WTTC sees historically low interest rates as an opportunity to attract and fund the investments required. Mr Scowsill said: “Countries that exploit this opportunity will be best placed to realise the economic growth, jobs and tax revenues that come from [travel & tourism].”
Meanwhile, ASEAN announced its partners for its Visit ASEAN@50 Golden Jubilee campaign and events in 2017. They will include Air Asia, MasterCard, and the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA).
The campaign will promote the twin objectives of commemorating the 50th anniversary of ASEAN in 2017, and embracing Southeast Asia as a single and united, yet diverse, tourism destination.
“This campaign is a platform for everyone to work together to promote the 10 member nations of ASEAN,” Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, chairperson of the VISITASEAN@50 campaign, said.
The VISIT ASEAN@50 campaign will be launched officially at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore on January 18, 2017 and will run till December 31, 2017.