ASEAN Tourism

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Hidayat Ali Soomro


The focus of this article is on one of the long established industries of tourism in ASEAN countries namely: Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei Darussalam, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. These 10 countries are close to each other in all aspects as all are the members of ASEAN which was established in 1967 at Bangkok. The population of these 10 member countries of ASEAN is about 500 million and the area of the whole region is 4.5 million square kilometres, whereas the combined gross domestic product is about US$ 737 billion and its total trade is upto US$737 billion. Originally the word tourist was used in 1772 and the word tourism frequently used by 1811. Then the League of Nations, in 1936, has properly defined foreign tourist as “someone travelling abroad for at least twenty four hours”. Afterwards, the successor of the League of Nations, the United Nations amended this definition in very first year of its existence in 1945 and included a maximum period of six months instead of 24 hours. Thus the tourism has been interpreted as an activity of motion from one place to another by an individual or a group of individuals for sake of performing a specific task. Tourism is a multi-purpose activity as someone visits several places to see the works of art, learn new languages, experience new cultures, and to taste different cuisines. It brings an awareness of other civilizations and cultures and also increases the knowledge of various countries, their environment and their history. Tourism is also made for the purpose of entertainment by the wealthy people in different seasons as Baiae was one of the popular coastal resorts at the time of Roman Republic. No doubt, it has a direct impact on the national revenue of all touristic countries; it also provides many opportunities for establishing industries and several investments in order to raise the performance of workers in every walk of life.

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