WTO TOURCOM & South Asia Forum of Tourism Journalists (SAFTOJ)
> From: <comm@...>
> To: <mendicott@...>
> Date: jue, 01 sep 2005 14:48:46
> Subject: SOUTH ASIAN MEDIA COMMIT TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENTS IN TOURISM
> News from the World Tourism Organization!
> SOUTH ASIAN MEDIA COMMIT TO SUPPORT GOVERNMENTS IN TOURISM
> 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
> 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
> "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@...