Manado, N Sulawesi (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian and Philippine governments are to form a working group to draw up a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on bilateral tourism cooperation, the very first such agreement between the two, an Indonesian official said.

I Gusti Putu Laksaguna, chairman of the Indonesian delegation at the ongoing ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012 (ATF 2012) in Manado, North Sulawesi, said on Thursday the MoU on tourism between Indonesia and the Philippines had never been made before.

He said the agreement to form the working group was reached at a bilateral meeting between Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and her Philippine counterpart Ramon R Jimenez on the sidelines of ATF 2012.

"At the bilateral meeting, the Philippines agreed to come to Bandung, West Java, in March 2012 for the first working group meeting to draw up the memorandum of understanding," Gusti said.

He said in bilateral relation with the Philippines in the field of tourism, Mari offered a connectivity between the two countries by cruise ships that could sail from Davao in the Philippines to Manado in Indonesia.

Besides, direct flights from Manado to Davao would be reopened because there was a long-standing memorandum of understanding between North Sulawesi and Davao on the flight connection.

Meanwhile, North Sulawesi Governor Sinyo Sarundajang said here on Wednesday that direct flights from Manado to Davao would be reopened on January 22, 2012 with Batavia Air serving the route.


Editor: Suryanto
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