PHNOM PENH, Jan. 18 (Xinhua) -- The 30th ASEAN Tourism Forum opened here on Tuesday evening, aiming at promoting ASEAN as the world class tourist destination by 2015.
The event under the theme of "ASEAN: A World of Wonders and Diversity" was attended by about 3,000 participants, who are government's top officials, ASEAN tourism ministers, tourism delegates from China, Japan, Korea, India and Russia, diplomatic corps, exhibitors and buyers from around the world.
Speaking during the opening ceremony on Tuesday evening, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen said that the ATF 2011 will not only help promote tourism products of Cambodia and ASEAN to the whole world, but also show the importance of tourism in contributing to socio-economic development and in achieving the United Nations Millennium Development Goals and poverty alleviation of the people in the region and the world.
"ASEAN is seen as a captivating and highly competitive tourist destination for development, based on the uniqueness of its potentials and diversity of historical cultural relics and tremendous natural resources," he said.
"I hope that all related stakeholders in public and private sectors will jointly cooperate to develop ASEAN tourism in order to fulfill ASEAN vision as the world class tourist destination by 2015."
The 30th ASEAN Tourism Forum kicked off from Jan. 15 and will last until 21, Cambodian Tourism Minister Thong Khon said during the opening ceremony.
During the event from Jan. 15-18, there had been a series of meetings of ASEAN tourism ministers, ASEAN tourism ministers plus 3 (China, Japan and South Korea) and ASEAN tourism ministers plus India and Russia.
And from Jan. 19-21, there will be the ASEAN Travel Exchange held at Diamond Island Convention and Exhibition Center. "It will be the biggest gathering--up to 1,500 sellers with 512 booths from hotels, airline companies, tour operators and travel agencies of ASEAN countries and 466 buyers from ASEAN, Asia, Europe and the United States of America," he said.
ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Editor: Xiong Tong