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WTO TOURCOM & South Asia Forum of Tourism Journalists (SAFTOJ)

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  • Marcus L. Endicott
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 1, 2005
      > From: <comm@...>
      > To: <mendicott@...>
      > Date: jue, 01 sep 2005 14:48:46
      > PRWTO037/2005
      > News from the World Tourism Organization!
      > MADRID/KATHMANDU, NEPAL, 1 September 2005 - Tourism media from
      > South Asia have responded eagerly to the proposal of the Asian
      > Development Bank (ADB) and Nepal Tourist Board (NTB) to work
      > together in pursuing sustainable development and poverty
      > alleviation through tourism.
      > This follows a meeting held in the Nepalese capital from 26-27
      > August, organised by ADB and NTB and supported by the World Tourism
      > Organization, at which press representatives from Bangladesh,
      > Bhutan, India and Nepal met with government officials to evaluate
      > possibilities for closer cooperation in the promotion of tourism,
      > crisis communications and the ongoing fight against poverty.
      > The main objective of the workshop was to strengthen the
      > relationship between the media and the South Asia Sub-regional
      > Economic Cooperation (SASEC) Programme, to enable the press to make
      > a direct contribution to encouraging tourism in the sub-region,
      > informing travel writers and focusing the media in general on the
      > importance of tourism as an economic activity and the
      > sustainability issues involved.
      > Much of the discussion was geared to regional cooperation among the
      > four countries, especially between the media and the public and the
      > private sectors.
      > The workshop was opened by the Nepalese Minister of Foreign Affairs
      > Ramesh Nath Pandey who stressed the need for governments to
      > recognise the importance of the media in tourism development and
      > his country's commitment to pursuing tourism as its main economic
      > activity.
      > Imtiaz Muqbil, Executive Editor of the Bangkok-based Travel Impact
      > Newswire, said that huge investment plans were already under way in
      > Asia such as the Chinese highway system and India's rapid air-
      > traffic expansion. He predicted a great opportunity for sub-
      > regional development through the new Buddhist circle project, which
      > will connect all the countries.
      > The four countries are all members of SASEC, one of whose main aims
      > is to reduce the plight of the region's poorer citizens. They
      > account for some 500 million people out of an estimated 900 million
      > poor people in Asia and the Pacific.
      > "South Asia is one of the poorest and most densely populated areas
      > in the world. However, because of the region's unique endowment of
      > resources, it can be transformed into a leading sub region of
      > economic growth," said ADB country director Sultan Hafeez Rahman.
      > "It's good to see that governments and international organizations
      > recognise the importance of our work," commented Rahman Janagir, a
      > journalist from Bangladesh. It was on his initiative that delegates
      > agreed to establish a South Asia Forum of Tourism Journalists
      > (SAFTOJ), to which WTO will act as advisor.
      > Nepal's Assistant Minister for Culture, Tourism and Aviation, Ms
      > Yankila Sherpa, said the "success of (staging) such a demanding
      > event and its outcomes confirm that Nepali tourism is alive and
      > dynamic".
      > "It is true that there are security problems in remote parts of our
      > country. However, tourism moves on and we ask the media to also
      > highlight this part of reality". Nepal's attractions include the
      > highest mountain in the world, Mt. Everest, and a string of UNESCO
      > world heritage sites that include seven in the Kathmandu valley
      > alone as well as Lumbini, the birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama
      > (Lord Buddha).
      > WTO Chief of Press and Communications Rok Klancnik spoke of the
      > phenomenal expansion of world tourism, while highlighting the vital
      > need for crisis communications, a topic which countries should pay
      > much more attention to, he added.
      > "Enhancing government - media relationship and increasing capacity
      > in the wide range of tourism communications, including crisis
      > management and the role of the media in poverty alleviation, is at
      > the heart of the TOURCOM Programme, which is itself central to WTO
      > Press and Communications activities."
      > Two further TOURCOM regional conferences are slated for later this
      > year, from 20-21 September in Amman, Jordan, and 12-13 October in
      > Riga, Latvia.
      > For further information please contact:
      > Rok Klancnik, WTO Press and Communications Department
      > T: (34) 91-567-8191 / F: (34) 91-567-8218, mobile: +34 669 111 578
      > Email: comm@...
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