Top News ASEAN casts bright tourism outlook on World Tourism Day By TTG India / Posted on 26 September, 2022 10:01 ASEAN has issued a statement ahead of World Tourism Day to emphasise the region’s tourism recovery, with hotel searches, occupancy rates and travel confidence rising. According to ASEAN, tourism growth is already “on the incline” in 4Q2022. Quoting UNWTO’s Tourism Recovery Tracker, ASEAN also pointed to a 28 per cent year-to-date increase in South-east Asia hotel searches as well as a 57 per cent increase in occupancy rates. The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Countries by Forbes finds Wayag Island, Raja Ampat in Indonesia the most beautiful place on earth Overall travel sentiment has also risen by an impressive 40 per cent year-to-date, and it is expected to increase as more Covid-19 vaccines become available across the globe and variants of Covid-19 become milder. ASEAN noted that this progression has led to easing of the regions’ pandemic-related border restrictions. ASEAN said “the pandemic should serve as an impetus and opportunity for the sector to…build forward better – by designing and building a more sustainable tourism sector that would underpin its resilience, which should no longer be taken for granted”. “The vision is for tourism in ASEAN to emerge more sustainable and resilient following the crisis induced by Covid-19, with more focus on environmental conservation and climate friendly policies, as well as on the critical socio-cultural impacts of the tourism sector in the region,” noted ASEAN in its statement. The association also spotlights the region’s tourism tagline, A Destination for Every Dream, as it recalls South-east Asia’s blend of “perfect experiences”. It said: “No other tourism region offers a unified destination so close in the distance and rich in culture, historical sites, varying cuisines, natural landscapes, ecotourism, modern metropolises, and adventure activities.” Five of the ASEAN member states were listed in Forbes’s recent article, The World’s 50 Most Beautiful Countries, based on their inherent natural beauty and the availability of nature-based activities for guests and natives. The article listed Indonesia first out of 50 destinations, and Raja Ampat Island in particular as the most beautiful place on earth. The Philippines ranked 17th on the list; Malaysia at 24th; Thailand at 38th; and Myanmar at 41st.