"Starting today the brand `Southeast Asia Feel The Warmth` is officially introduced in Indonesia," Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy Mari Elka Pangestu said here on Wednesday.
According to Mari, the preparation to make ASEAN a single destination was getting better and therefore free visa among ASEAN countries should be implemented as soon as possible.
"Therefore ASEAN heads of states/government have agreed that the visa-free problem will be dealt with this year to make it free indeed," Mari said.
In connection with immigration issue, the minister said the governments of ASEAN member states were ripening "ASEAN Schengen Visa" as the "common visa procedure" that had been used in 27 European countries.
"For the issue of ASEAN Schengen Visa, related ministers should give their inputs in the next summit in April or May this year because the ministry of tourism and creative economy will monitor it," Mari said.
The ongoing ASEAN Tourism Forum in Manado that would last from January 8 - 15 was made up of the 35th ASEAN National Tourism Organization Meeting, Ministerial Meeting, and Travel Exchange participated in by 1400 participants from all ASEAN member states.
Of the 1400 participants, 400 are buyers, 900 are sellers, and 100 are reporters from international media.
Themed "Tourism for a Global Community of Nations", the 31st ASEAN Tourism Forum is also involving partner countries such as China, India, Russia, Japan, and South Korea.