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400 Buyers Expected at ATF 2010 in Brunei Darussalam

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The 29th ASEAN Tourism Forum to be hosted by member-nation, Brunei Darussalam, in Bandar Seri Begawan, from 21 to 28 January 2010, has confirmed that all 373 exhibiting booths at TRAVEX (Travel Exchange) have been taken, with the ten member-nations well represented at the annual event which showcases the best of travel products and services in ASEAN. Thailand and Malaysia lead the pack with the largest number of participating organisations.

Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, CEO of Brunei Tourism, ATF 2010 Host Committee, said, “As the global economy is already showing strong signs of recovery, this is an opportune time for sellers to capitalise on suitable platforms available to re-ignite interests and develop businesses. The sell-out reinforces ATF as a great vehicle for networking and trade for the ASEAN tourism industry.”

Among the expected turn-out of more than 1,400 delegates, some 400 buyers from the Asia Pacific region (57%), Europe (33%) and the rest of the world will congregate in Brunei Darussalam, at the three-day TRAVEX event from 26 to 28 January 2010 at the new BRIDEX (Brunei International Defence Exhibition) Centre in Jerudong. Apart from TRAVEX, delegates will also get to explore the unexpected treasures of Brunei and Borneo through the pre-show city tours and post-show tours jointly organised by Brunei Tourism, Sabah Tourism and Sarawak Tourism. These include visits to historic sites and cultural landmarks, spa treats, as well as exciting nature and scenic tours across Brunei and Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia.

Driven by the theme – ‘ASEAN – The Heart of Green’, another highlight of ATF 2010 is the ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) to be held on 26 January. It will feature a keynote address, titled ‘Sustainable Tourism in Transboundary Conservation Areas’, by acclaimed authority on eco-tourism – Hitesh Mehta – on how the region can embrace sustainable development principles and encourage responsible travel behaviour that will help conserve the environment and bio-diversity, as well as sustain the well-being of the local people.

Mehta’s vast experience in sustainable landscape and architectural design projects, eco-lodge and eco-resort design, environmental and protected area planning across continents has earned him the reputation of being one of the world’s foremost leading authorities on eco-tourism. Currently an adjunct professor at the Florida Atlantic University in the US, Mehta runs his own landscape architecture and planning firm – HM Design – with ongoing projects in Costa Rica, Indonesia, Panama and Dominica and the West Indies. From 1997 to 2006, he held the position of Vice-President and Head of the Ecotourism and Environmental Planning Market Sector at EDSA (Florida), one of the world’s largest landscape architecture and planning firms, during which he played an instrumental role in many key projects, such as the Eco-tourism Product Implementation Programme in Kenya and the Vision Plan for Wailoaloa Ecolodge in Nadi, Fiji.

In addition, a panel discussion will be chaired by leading industry professionals, who include Tony Charters, Principal of Tony Charters and Associates and Anthony Wong, Group Managing Director of Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel Sdn. Bhd. They will share their experiences on developing eco-tourism projects in transboundary conservation areas.

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One of the best press conferences held during the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2010 in Brunei was from Laos, who held the pc at 09:00 on the final day (28 January 2010). The main speaker (in the middle) was Mr. Sounth Manivong, Director General, Planning and Cooperation Department, Project Director of STDP, Lao National Tourism Administration, who was assisted by the gentleman to his right - Mr. Khom Douangchantha, Director, International Relations Division, Lao National Tourism Administration, and Mr. Willy Hsieh, Representative, Lao National Tourism Administration to his left.  The video has been cut into 4 parts, the first two of which are below, the third and fourth parts are being uploaded now and will be posted once complete.

Part 2

On 27 January 2010 at the ATF 2010 in Brunei, Royal Brunei Airlines and Tourism Malaysia signed a MoU for a marketing initiative.

During the ATF (ASEAN Tourism Forum) in Brunei, ASIA Travel Tips.com spoke with Mr. Murray Bailey a co-founder of Holiday Volunteers about the new company.

Vietnamese Instrument Band playing some lovely classical Vietnamese music on bamboo, a zither and monochord. Playing the bamboo is Ms. Nguyen Duan Vinh Hao, on the monochord is Ms. Nguyen Duc Thuy Trang and playing the zither is Ms. Chau Tran My Ngoc. They were playing from a stand at the ATF (ASEAN Tourism Fourm) 2010 in Brunei.

Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed, Chief Executive Officer - Brunei Tourism, heads the official ATF 2010 Brunei press conference held on 27 January 2010 at BIDEX in Brunei Darussalem. The light hearted press conference covers visitor arrival numbers to Brunei and even touches on how these statistics are calculated. Sheikh Jamaluddin Sheikh Mohamed also talks a little of where Brunei tourism is going and is hopes for the future. Part 1 of 4. 

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

At the ATF 2010 which is currently taking place (25-29 January 2010) in Brunei, ASIA Travel Tips.com had the opportunity to speak with a man who must have one of the hardest jobs in tourism, despite having one of the most beautiful and culturally rich to promote - Myanmar. In this 10 minute video, we talk with Mr Htay Aung, Director General - Ministry of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar about tourism in the country, developments, tourist numbers since some of the more recent problems and where they are all coming from.

Just a few of the special moments from the opening ceremony of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2010 which took place in the Grand Ballroom at the Empire Hotel & Country Club in Brunei Darussalam on the evening of 25 January 2010.

There are more Videos on Page 2, Page 3 and Page 4.

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