ATRA was invited to this 4th ATSP meeting in Bali, organized to complete the Draft plan developed since April 2014 following the milestones. The ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2011-2015 was the successor to the Roadmap for Integration of Tourism Sector (RITS) 2004-2010 to further integrate tourism in the ASEAN Economic Community in 2015. The plan is ending in December 2015 and since April 2014 it has been several meetings to replace and continue the first ATSP. The second ATSP, for the period 2016-2015 aims to continue the first plan, and to encourage the development of Tourism in as sustainable manner within the ASEAN Community.
The plan underlines the role of stakeholders from the civil society organizations (CSOs) that can serve as partners of the ASEAN in implementing inclusive tourism development. The CSOs have the core competence of engaging communities in the growth and development process. In most cases, they are not fully aware of the ATSP and how it can benefit the local communities. Apart from the dissemination process, CSOs can also serve as partners in the M&E as they have the ability to monitor data at the community and project levels”.
The meeting proved valuable for ATRA to give its feedback of the ATSP. It underlined the need to tap Universities for supporting ASEAN integration and helping NTOs in their efforts. It also provided a reaffirmed presence of ATRA, and expanded its notoriety with the prominent role of its representatives in the meeting. The application towards CSO status was also mentioned to Mr Eddy from ASEAN. He assured of its support to it and expressed the view that while the process is ongoing, ATRA should continue its activities and present them again at the ATF in Manila in January 2016. That note left us with an optimistic view of the growing role of ATRA.