Hanoi: Tourism ministers of The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries agreed here on the 2011-2015 Strategic Plan of ASEAN Tourism with an aim to promote tourism cooperation among its member countries, the Vietnam news agency (VNA) reported.
The plan was adopted at the Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers, held on Thursday during the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2009.
To offset the impacts of global financial crisis on the regional tourism industry in the years to come, ministers agreed on the initiative to make full use of intra-ASEAN tourism market in close cooperation with private tourism agencies.
Under the initiative, the package tours offering competitive prices will be drawn up in 2009 for tourists traveling to ASEAN countries.
At the meeting, ministers spoke highly of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for its support for the ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement (ACE) project.
The memorandum of understanding of the ACE project, scheduled to be inked by leaders of ASEAN Tourism Association on 10 January, is expected to help accelerate the development of marketing activities of ASEAN Tourism.
During the meeting, ministers passed the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) on tourism. The agreement is expected to facilitate the movement and use of skilled labors among ASEAN member countries as well as promoting tourism within the block.