Message From Minister
  A cooperative effort of promoting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as a single tourist destination, the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is an annual gathering that brings together the member countries of the ASEAN to discuss innovations, trends, and developments in the tourism industry and facilitate joint policy formulations to accelerate the growth of the region’s tourism.

Most people describe the countries in our region as "fiercely competitive." But upon closer look, one realizes that the more the countries of ASEAN compete, the more that we all tend to gravitate towards growth. Our region is characterized by coopetition—a cooperative, collaborative decision by all players to compete with each other so that the world will choose the region before choosing the country. Our countries become, in very real terms, each other’s value extension—we become each other’s developing markets. And to make this development last for our children, we have to make certain that we are mindful of the social and environmental context that our region’s growth exists in.

The Department of Tourism (DOT) is, therefore, honored and proud of the Philippines' hosting of ATF 2016. With the theme, One Community for Sustainability, the 35th edition of this forum will launch the new ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2016 – 2020, which will work towards not only the development and growth of the region’s tourism, but also in ensuring that this growth is grounded on responsible, sustainable, and inclusive tourism.

To all the delegates, we welcome you to our home, the Philippines. We hope that, beyond the conference walls of this meeting, you experience our country in different ways—from our diverse natural wonders to our rich cultural heritage and the warmth of the Filipino people. And while this forum will allow for the exchange of ideas for the progress of our economies, we also hope that these meetings will build stronger friendships between our nations.

Thank you, and Mabuhay!

Secretary of Tourism
Host Committee TRAVEX Secretariat