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VIENTIANE – LAOS, Wednesday – Malaysia will host the 33rd ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) next year and will be held in Kuching from January 16-23, 2014.

The Minister of Tourism, Malaysia, Dato Seri Ng Yen Yen, received the plaque to formally pass the “baton” to Malaysia as host country of the 33rd ATF from the Vice Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, of Laos People’s Democratic Republic, Mr. Chaleune Warinthrasak at the closing and handing over ceremony of ATF 2014 flag held at the Laos’ International Trade exhibition and Convention Center here on Monday.

Kuching is expected to welcome more than 3,000 delegates comprising of Ministers of all ASEAN countries, who will be attending the three-day Ministerial meeting. The tourism industry professionals, agents and operators will attend the Travel Exchange which is scheduled to be held three days after the Ministerial meeting.

The 2014 ATF, with the theme “ASEAN – Advancing Tourism Together” aims to raise the tourism industry value chain to a higher level.

In accepting to be the host country for the next year’s forum, Dato Seri Ng said  the premier regional event would be the first international event to usher the Visit Malaysia Year 2014. “Malaysia is honoured to continue the spirit and tradition of the ASEAN Tourism Forum, which embraces the role of being a catalyst for change in tourism policy and development, subsequently improving the economic and social standing among ASEAN countries”, she added.

Introducing Kuching as the host city as the next year’s forum venue, the Minister said Kuching was no stranger in playing host to international business tourism event.

“Many meetings and incentives planners from around the world are attracted to hold events in the city due to the availability of world-class hotels, modern facilities, unique culture and fascinating attractions” she continued. Dato Ng added that the strong track record in organizing and hosting numerous international and regional conferences gave much us confidence in hosting the forum in Kuching, Sarawak.

Tracing back when the forum first started, the Minister said Malaysia was where ATF began in 1981 and the forum was first held at Genting Highlands and Malaysia subsequently hosted the regional gathering and the 2014 event will see ATF being held in Malaysia for the sixth time.

Besides the Ministerial meeting, a Travel exchange will also be held to provide platform for the selling and buying of regional and individual tourism products of ASEAN member countries through the three-day TRAVEX event.


Issued by:

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Date: January 30, 2013