On February 5, 2021, the 8th ASEAN (Association of SouthEast Asian Nations)-India Tourism Minister Meeting 2021 took place virtually, it was co-chaired by Prahlad Singh Patel, Minister of State for Culture & Tourism, India & Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism, Cambodia.
The 8th ASEAN-India Tourism Minister meeting was part of the 24th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers (24th M-ATM) which took place from February 2-5, 2021 hosted by Cambodia.
- Participants expressed their sympathy for loss of lives & livelihood in ASEAN-India region due to COVID-19.
- Highlighted the need for cooperation between Tourism Ministries of Member Countries to reduce the impact of pandemic on the Tourism sector.
i.Key points from Prahlad Singh Patel’s address
Prahlad Singh Patel highlighted India’s efforts of supplying medicines and medical equipment to other countries to contain Pandemic in the region.
- He stated that ASEAN is a key market for Buddhist Tourism in India, the Ministry of Tourism has invested a lot for developing infrastructure in the Buddhist Circuit.
- He invited ASEAN member countries to participate in the International Buddhist Conclave (IBC). The Conclave is hosted by the Ministry of Tourism, India to raise awareness on India’s Buddhist Heritage & to increase foreign tourist traffic to Buddhist sites.
- Highlighted the importance of wellness and Medical Tourism and stated that India is emerging as a preferred country for medical treatments due to advanced quality healthcare, affordable costs, less waiting time & easy medical visa process.
ii.Initiatives taken by India to revive Tourism activities:
Prahlad Singh highlighted initiatives taken by Government of India to revive the Tourism sectors
- SAATHI – System for Assessment, Awareness & Training for Hospitality Industry
- IITF – Incredible India Tourist Facilitator Certification Programme, which is an online learning platform for creating a group of well trained and professional Tourist Facilitators across India.
- Organizing webinars under the theme ‘Dekho Apna Desh’ for showcasing diverse culture, heritage, undiscovered destinations & other aspects of popular tourist spots.
iii.Ministers agreed to increase the ASEAN-India cooperation in Tourism under the framework of Memorandum of Understanding between ASEAN and India.
Recent Related News:
i.On November 12, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi co-chaired the virtual 17th ASEAN-India Summit 2020 along with Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Prime Minister of Vietnam.
About Association of SouthEast Asian Nations (ASEAN):
Members (10) – Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Observers (2) – Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste
Chair (2021) – Brunei Darussalam, Theme – “We Care, We Prepare, We Prosper”
Headquarters – Jakarta, Indonesia