Yogyakarta (ANTARA) - Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, invited ASEAN countries to strengthen collaboration in realizing the region as a center for global economic growth through tourism.

Uno made the statement at the opening of the 2023 ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in the Prambanan Temple Courtyard, Yogyakarta, on Friday.

"ATF, as the largest tourism forum in the Southeast Asian region, must be able to become a place for discussion to reformulate the tourism sector. We hope the tourism sector would become more adaptive to the current and future situations," the minister noted in a press release received here, Saturday.

According to Uno, ASEAN countries should be able to build tourism destinations based on the three key foundations of resilience, security, and sustainability.

"This is in line with the theme of this year's ATF, namely 'A Journey to Wonderful Destinations,' which rekindles the spirit of tourism recovery," he remarked.

In order to achieve this goal, Uno outlined three approaches that could be initiated together.

The first movement is Gercep (moving fast) wherein the government along with all stakeholders should be able to provide relevant assistance programs. This step aims to help encourage the revival of the tourism sector and the creative economy throughout the region, especially in the post-pandemic period.

"It can be realized in the form of competency certification and capacity building as major programs. The Indonesian government has realized it in the development of five super priority destinations and 10 priority destinations," he remarked.

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The second is Geber (joint movement) wherein the minister believes that collaborative action among stakeholders is paramount to driving the tourism recovery process.

"One example is through the planning and implementation of quality national- and international-scale activities. This requires the involvement of various sectors, including the government, private sector, and other parties," he stated.

The last movement is Gaspol (working on all potential employment). To achieve this, the Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry presents diversification of tourism products through the development of ecotourism, Muslim-friendly tourism, health tourism, and also domestic tourism packages.

"We are optimistic that this diversification will not only open up job opportunities but also increase the added value aspect of our tourism and provide more options for tourists visiting our region," he noted.

Thus, Uno invited ASEAN countries to continue their regional cooperation and explore better cooperation in future.

"We can achieve it with the recovery and rebuilding of tourism, utilizing digital transformation, and ensuring sustainability issues (are handled)," he concluded.

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Translator: Victorianus Sat P, Resinta S
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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