ED 45 January 2020

ASEAN VOICES Magazine ED 45 January 2020

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Release Date: 15 January 2020.

Drawing tourists as a race between member

countries in Southeast Asia, Asean,

seems to have come to a pivotal point

where tourist overloads brought windfall

no more but adversities instead. There were close to

129 million tourists visited ASEAN member states last year

according to figures released during ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) in

Vietnam. Except for Malaysia, all ASEAN member nations saw an increase in

arrivals, reports indicated.

Yet, these encouraging increase in tourist arrivals received mixed responses

among member counties as officials in the region reaffirmed their

commitment to pepper profits with promoting sustainable tourism – which

is one of the key tenets of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy (ATMS)


The term overtourism is then a new term found in holiday industry. It

occurs when there are too many visitors to a particular destination. To put

it simply, when narrow roads become jammed with tourist vehicles, that is

overtourism. When wildlife is scared away, when tourists cannot view landmarks

because of the crowds, when fragile environments become degraded

– these are all signs of overtourism.

In short, every tourist site has its own carrying capacity to sustain on its

own. The perfect example tourism adversity might have been the Phillipines

‘s Borocay Island that the country’s president himself has called it a cesspool

and ordered it to temporarily totally close for re-arrangements.

The phenomenon was a regional issue in Asean as reports indicate similar

occurrence in tourist famous destinations such as Phuket (Thailand), Bali

(Indonesia) and Boracay (Philippines) where over-crowding and pollution resulting

in damage to the once pristine environments were obvious.

“We are learning that overcapacity is becoming one of the major issues,

and we are all going to pay a lot of attention to it,” said Weerasak Kowsurat,

Thailand’s minister for tourism and sports.

“For us, it’s not the numbers that matter now,” noted Bernadette Romulo-

Puyat, the Philippines’ secretary of tourism. “It’s balancing business

opportunities with social responsibility.”

While the industry has created million jobs and generated revenues for

the host countries it takes far-reaching calculations to address the problem.

One must also keep in mind that problems will persist if economic benefit

is the only aim, leading to economic gains that eventually become culturally

ruinous. It is also important to consider that visitors nowadays are increasingly

demanding cultural, environmental and social considerations before

even booking a holiday.

It is to say that to effectively implement sustainable destination practices

and to guarantee long-term sustainability of the industry, a suitable

balance must be established between the four pillars of sustainable tourism:

Efficient Management, Economic Benefits, Community Sensitivity and Environmental


Language : English
Country : Indonesia
Publisher : Bina Komunika Asiatama
Page Count : 42
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