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TRAVEX B2B Sessions at ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012 Manado enjoys full house

This week, Manado, capital of North Sulawesi, will become a hive of activity, as the international tourism Travel Exchange (TRAVEX) component of the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2012 gets under way.

This most important B2B event has a total of 1,400 registered TRAVEX delegates from across the ASEAN region and the world congregating at the Golden Kawanua Exhibition Hall. ASEAN sellers form 920 of these delegates, with 390 international buyers from 51 countries and 103 media representatives from 36 countries completing the delegates list.

While official TRAVEX days are from January 13-15, 2012, preparations and preliminary activities have been ongoing since Monday, January 10.

The Pre-TRAVEX networking activities kicked off on Wednesday, January 11, 2012, with the first of the full-day complimentary pre-show city tours around Manado, organized by the host committee, the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia. These tours give TRAVEX delegates the opportunity to experience the destination
through its architecture, culture, and famous sights, ably brought to life by local guides. The city tours continue today, Thursday, January 12, 2012, followed by other agenda items, including the ATF Friendly Golf Game and ATF 2012 Opening Ceremony and ASEANTA Award Presentation in the evening. In addition to the networking activities, there will also be the ASEAN Tourism Ministers Press Conference and the Signing of an MOU on ASEAN-India Tourism Cooperation scheduled to be held at Novotel Manado Convention Centre.

These pre-show city tours and post-show tours to destinations within the country are excellent platforms for Indonesia, as the host country, to showcase up-and-coming destinations to the industry, allowing them to experience the full scale of its tourism infrastructure, hospitality, and other tourist highlights.

Besides being famous for its stunning dives at Bunaken, Manado offers trekking through rainforests to meet the tiny tarsiers at the Tangkoko-Batuangus reserve, magnificent mountains capes, and yummy culinary presentations.

Highlights during TRAVEX business days include: on-site business appointment scheduling sessions between sellers and buyers, exhibition and TRAVEX appointment sessions, media briefings by all ten ASEAN NTOs, and the ASEAN Tourism
Conference on “ASEAN Goes Green” featuring industry leaders. There will also be 6 other hosted luncheons, dinners, and late-night functions brought by sponsors such as the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy of Indonesia, the
Philippine’s Department of Tourism, Chonburi Provincial Administrative Organization, the Tourism Authority of Thailand: Pattaya Office, Sutanraja Hotel Convention & Recreation, Malaysia Tourism, and the Cultural Office of Manado City Government.

During the stellar opening ceremony, delegates can look forward to an extravaganza of cultural performances, mouthwatering cuisine, and Manado hospitality. “Indonesia has much to offer through its culture, music, dance, and costumes. Arts like puppetry and mask dances are some of the unique ways that Indonesia tells its stories. We are thrilled to be giving ATF delegates a glimpse into this beautiful country,” said Ms. Anastasia Chris Miastuti, Deputy Director International of Promotion for ASEAN – Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy Indonesia.

Meanwhile, ASEAN as a single destination with its branding “Southeast Asia - Feel the Warmth" introduced for the first time at ATF Manado.

“Today, the branding is officially used for the first time,” said Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Mari Elka Pangestu, Chair of this year’s ATF, on Wednesday, January 11, 2012. Preparations towards ASEAN as a single destination are showing significant development, added Minister Pangestu. One of the matters that still needs attention and prompt solution is the Free Visa policy among ASEAN nations, which still left confirmations pending from Indonesia, Cambodia,
and Myanmar.

The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote all countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region as one tourist destination. ATF TRAVEX is the longest-running annual ASEAN leisure travel
trade event, showcasing the largest contingent of ASEAN sellers. This annual event involves all the tourism industry sectors of the 10 ASEAN member nations: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar,
Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

For more information and program updates on ATF 2012, visit www.atfindonesia.com . For the agenda and
outcome of sessions in the full ASEAN governments meetings at ATF 2012, please click: http://www.parekraf.go.id/

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