On behalf of the Royal Thai Government, through the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, I am deeply honoured and it is indeed a privilege for Thailand to be the host of the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) 2018, under the theme “Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity”, to be held from 22–26 January, 2018, in Chiang Mai province, the “Rose of the North”.
This theme reflects the Thai government’s awareness of ASEAN as a community of opportunity and people-centredness for a better livelihood under the mechanism of sustainable development. By connecting together in all aspects, we have created the economic and social opportunities for our people, which has resulted in the reduction of the development gap between all member countries.
In addition, the border cities that are being administered to prevent and reduce negative impacts are the consequences of boundless economic connectivity and prosperity.
The key to connectivity is the realisation of both the physical and spiritual aspects of the hearts and minds of our peoples in order for us to create an environment of peace and understanding between each other. This will no doubt be the road to prosperity for the people of ASEAN, and our efforts will be an indication to the world that tourism extends beyond numbers and figures.
Now we have become united as a single force bearing endless potential for the development of tourism, trade, investment, human capital, and so many other aspects that are required for maintaining a decent level of living for everyone. By reinforcing human security for all, we are collectively addressing the challenges facing our region and peoples – be they global economic and financial crises, climate change, food and energy, security, infectious diseases, or natural disasters. ASEAN’s collective voice and views on these issues have been heard on the world stage and reflect the vibrant spirit of cooperation among us and our recognition of our shared destiny. We are recognised by the world as a region that offers unique, vibrant, local tailor-made experiences that travellers from all over the globe come to see for themselves.
Today we stand together, united as a single force working towards the sustainable development of our beloved tourism industry, and as friends of tourism we will develop our tourism industry and enhance the capabilities of our potential in order for us to move forward into the future together.
So join us at the ATF 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand!.
Minister of Tourism and Sports