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ASEANTA to hold annual management summit to address key issues

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) held its Inaugural International Management Summit 2003 in…

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) held its Inaugural International Management Summit 2003 in Kuala Lumpur Thursday as part of efforts to address challenges faced by related industries in a new globalised economy.

The two-day Summit, themed Forging Ahead in the Evolving Landscape, was launched by Culture, Arts and Tourism Minister Datuk Paduka Abdul Kadir Sheikh Fadzir.

Also present were the President of ASEANTA Argus Salim, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Pacific Area Travel Association (PATA) Peter de Jong and organising committee chairman Tunku Datuk Seri Iskandar Tunku Abdullah.

In a statement issued at the launch, ASEANTA said the Summit would serve as a platform to discuss key issues relating to the ASEAN travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

It will create knowledge-exchange platforms between industry players and will be showcased as an annual event at venues around ASEAN countries.

Speaking at the launch, Abdul Kadir said the Summit was among initiatives undertaken by ASEANTA since the establishment of its Secretariat in Kuala Lumpur last March.

Over time, this Summit will become the premier private sector initiative for the promotion of ASEAN travel and tourism and accelerate further the growth of the hospitality industry in the region, he said.

Abdul Kadir added that the Association had a strategic position to be the key driver for further developing inter and intra-ASEAN travel.

Meanwhile, Malaysia would host the Conference of Commonwealth Tourism Ministers in March next year, he told a media conference after the launching ceremony.

His Ministry, he said, had also nominated Kuala Lumpur to become the Centre for Commonwealth Tourism Promotions.

Besides Arab countries, China and India, Malaysia is also exploring the prospects and opportunities in Europe.

However, he said, the efforts were stunted as a result of incidents such as the Bali and Jakarta Marriot Hotel bombings, the invasion of Iraq and the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) outbreak.

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