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Asean to launch regional tour packages

By: - Reporter / @amyremoINQ
/ 03:35 PM November 11, 2014
In this photo taken on June 28, 2012, Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temples complex stands in Siem Reap province, some 230 kilometers (143 miles) northwest Phnom Penh, Cambodia.  AP FILE PHOTO

Cambodia’s famed Angkor Wat temples complex stands in Siem Reap province, some 230 kilometers (143 miles) northwest Phnom Penh, Cambodia. AP FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippines expects to benefit significantly from proposed Asean-themed tours, as the program will not only boost international arrivals but will also spur more investments in the local tourism industry.

Aileen Clemente, executive vice president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) will offer starting next year four themed tours for international visitors who are looking to travel within the region. Also to be offered are intra-Asean packages involving travel to three or four countries in the region depending on the tourist’s preferences, as well as arrangements for airline and hotels.

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“It will be a diverse set of packages that will focus on the collective strength of Asean member countries. We have always maintained that instead of competing for tourist arrivals, we should be cooperating with each other to maximize the potential of each destination,” Clemente said.

Apart from boosting arrivals and investments, Clemente, who is also the president of the Asean Tourism Association, said this new tourism scheme is expected to improve and widen the

This photo taken on Monday, June 17, 2013 shows the Marina Bay Sands hotel and the Supertrees at Gardens By The Bay covered in haze.  AP FILE PHOTO

 The Marina Bay Sands hotel and the Supertrees at Gardens By The Bay covered in haze. AP FILE PHOTO

manpower base, and promote more environmentally sound programs.

There will be four themes that will be made available to tourists, namely Community Based Tourism (CBT), Nature Based Tourism (NBT), Cultural and Heritage Based Tourism (CHBT), and Cruise and River Based Tourism (CRBT).

CBT will offer 25 landmark sites in the 10 member Asean countries which will start in Cambodia, while the NBT will have 30 destinations starting in Malaysia. CHBT will offer 34 destinations beginning in Indonesia, whereas CRBT will have 34 destinations with Singapore as the first stop.

Some of the destinations to be highlighted will be Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Hoi An Town in Vietnam, the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines, and Gardens by the Bay in Singapore.

A farmer (bottom L) plants rice in a paddy field in the scenic Banaue rice terraces. AFP FILE PHOTO

A farmer (bottom L) plants rice in a paddy field in the scenic Banaue rice terraces. AFP FILE PHOTO

An Asean directory will also be made available for tourists to see the services and destinations each member country can offer.

“We envision the Asean region as a single tourist destination with multi-faceted attractions that have world-class standards and facilities,” Clemente added.

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