panorama destination

panorama destination

Malaysia Promotes Sustainable Tourism at ATF 2024
05 February 2024 | Written by Chris Alexander

Various officials from Malaysia took the opportunity to promote sustainable tourism practices at the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2024. The Malaysian delegation included representatives from various travel organisations and ministries, including Perak Tourism, Melaka Tourism and Johor Tourism. They were accompanied by a number of media partners, honoured guests, dignitaries and key players from the tourism industry.

On 24 January, this Malaysian contingent announced their arrival at ATF 2024 in spectacular fashion, with a cultural dance by Istana Budaya that officially opened the Malaysia booth. Dato’ Roslan Tan Sri Abdul Rahman, Secretary General of Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism, Arts & Culture, led the opening ceremony, accompanied by Dato’ Dr. Ammar Bin Abd. Ghapar, Director General of Tourism Malaysia, and H.E. Ambassador Edi Irwan bin Mahmud, Malaysian Ambassador to the Lao PDR.

Held at the Lao ITECC Exhibition Centre in Vientiane, Laos from 22-27 January, ATF 2024 was built around a central theme: ‘Quality and Responsible Tourism – Sustaining ASEAN Future.’ According to the official ATF website, the main aim of the event was to “strengthen collaboration, (improve) tourism products (and) attract more international tourists.” By focusing on quality over quantity and emphasising responsible travel practices, ATF also set out to raise standards across the ASEAN region. Or, as stated on the event website, to “contribute more to our community and to sustainability of tourism within the region.”

Aligned with this concept, various exhibitors and participants showcased some new and improved offerings from their respective locations. Malaysia’s delegation set out with a mission to promote sustainable development, stimulate regional ecotourism and share some best practices. During ATF 2024, their presentations focused on the preservation of existing ecotourism attractions and the involvement of local communities.

ATF 2024 comprised several concurrent events: the Ministerial and Bilateral meetings, held at the Landmark Hotel; and the TRAVEX, hosted at the Lao ITEC Exhibition Hall. The latter enabled suppliers of ASEAN tourism products and services to connect with qualified buyers from around the world through pre-scheduled appointments.

During the TRAVEX showcase, Malaysia presented a number of unique attractions from around the country, each with an emphasis on community, culture and environment. This included traditional handicrafts presented by KARYANEKA at booth number A4 in the Lao ITECC Exhibition Centre, where Malaysia took the lead in promoting responsible and sustainable tourism practices for adoption throughout the ASEAN region.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum is the largest tourism trade event in Southeast Asia, which provides a platform for nations to collaborate and promote responsible tourism. Looking to the future, Malaysia will be the official host of the next ATF event, held in 2025. This will be the first time the event has come to Malaysia since 2014, when the ATF was hosted in Kuching, Sarawak.