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Can ASEAN nations lure tourists and keep their soul?

Excerpt from World Economic Forum

Jun 05, 2013 12:37 am

Skift Take

The 10 nations of ASEAN are increasingly tourism dependent, and need common policies and branding to continue building up in a sustainable way, and stay away from bad examples in parts of Thailand and Cambodia.

— Rafat Ali

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Promoting ASEAN as a single tourist destination is indeed part of the region’s roadmap and aside from allowing visitors to travel throughout the region using a single visa in the future, initiatives have been mapped out to develop a set of tourism standards with a certification process, enabling tourism professionals to work in any of the ASEAN member states. Some countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand have done very well attracting hordes of tourists on their own but as a region, ASEAN needs a more collective branding – a series of tourism campaigns that will go viral and bring visitors to multiple countries.

But ASEAN must likewise be wary of overdevelopment….To ensure development is sustainable, eco-tourism should be a core concern for investors, regulators, the local community and tourists.

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