Speech by YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri Bin Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture, Malaysia …

SPEECH BY
YB DATO’ SERI MOHAMED NAZRI BIN ABDUL AZIZ
MINISTER OF TOURISM AND CULTURE, MALAYSIA

AT THE CLOSING CEREMONY & HANDING OVER OF ATF 2015
FLAG AND CHAIRMANSHIP TO MYANMAR

BCCK, KUCHING, SARAWAK
23 JANUARY 2014, THURSDAY


YB DATUK AMAR ABANG HAJI ABDUL RAHMAN ZOHARI BIN TUN DATUK ABANG HAJI OPENG
Minister of Tourism Sarawak

Members of the Malaysia and International Travel Trade Fraternity,
Members of the Media,
Distinguished Guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

OPENING / PLEASANTRIES:

1. Good evening and welcome to the Closing Ceremony of ATF 2014 and Handing Over of ATF 2015 Flag and Chairmanship to Myanmar. Tonight, we are gathered here to celebrate the successful conclusion of ASEAN Tourism Forum 2014. On behalf of the Government of Malaysia, I am pleased to say that we are honoured and privileged to have hosted this prestigious annual event, which coincides with Visit Malaysia Year 2014.

2. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude to the State Government of Sarawak for being our co-host in organizing the ATF 2014. The unwavering support and cooperation given the State Government has certainly made a significant difference to ATF 2014.

3. My appreciation also goes to all the Honourable Ministers, tourism officials, delegates, buyers and sellers, as well as our sponsors and media friends for the strong support in making this forum a great success.

Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

4. This is our 33rd ATF. We have certainly come on long way. From humble beginnings 33 years ago, we are now on the threshold of realizing our goal of making ASEAN as “One Vision, One Identity, One Community” by 2015.

5. We have made significant progress indeed. I am pleased to announce that we have completed 75% of the measures outlined under the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2011-2015. By 2015, we shall achieve 100%. Moving forward, let us work together to chart the strategic directions to maximize the potential of ASEAN tourism beyond 2015.

6. I wish to congratulate our strategic partner, ASEAN Tourism Association or ASEANTA for successfully co-organizing TRAVEX and ASEAN Tourism Conference (ATC) 2014. TRAVEX 2014 sets a new record for Borneo Convention Center Kuching (BCCK) in terms of total floor space utilized for the travel fair. In fact, all the booths were taken up. As for the Conference, it was very well received and provided fresh insights on accessibility and development of cruise and river-based tourism.

7. To sum up, I wish to express my heartfelt thanks and heartiest congratulations to everyone in this room for being part of the success of ATF 2014.

Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and gentlemen,

8. Before handing over the flag to Myanmar, I wish everyone a safe journey home and a wonderful and auspicious year ahead. I also hope that you will visit Malaysia again with your family and friends.

9. Even as the final curtain for ATF 2014 is drawn, we leave with fond and enjoyable memories and a bag full of achievements. We hand over the Chairmanship of ATF 2015 to Myanmar with optimism, enthusiasm and team spirit to continue the momentum of advancing tourism together. As we transit to ATF 2015, we know that it is in the good hands of Myanmar. We shall meet again next year in Myanmar, the host of the 2015 ASEAN TOURISM FORUM. We look forward to a brighter future for tourism, with the theme, “ASEAN Tourism Towards Peace, Prosperity and Partnership”.

10. On that note, it gives me great pleasure to hand over the ATF 2015 flag to Myanmar as the next host of ASEAN Tourism Forum 2015 and declare the ATF 2014 closed.

Thank you.