ASEAN adopts new five-year 'tourism strategic plan'
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recently adopted a new five-year ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (ATSP) 2011-15 to promote the region as a single tourism destination along with efforts to establish an economically integrated ASEAN Community by 2015 (Philippine Daily Inquirer, 23-Jan-2011). The plan is aimed to promoting ASEAN as a single tourist destination, developing a set of tourism standards with a certification process, enabling tourism professionals to work in any of the 10 ASEAN member states, and allowing visitors to travel throughout ASEAN with a single visa. ASEAN governments agreed to grant increased flexibility to designated airlines to “allow them to fly and carry traffic from any ASEAN city with an international airport to its counterpart in other member states, while ensuring the full third, fourth and fifth freedom traffic rights". The third freedom traffic rights allow an airline to fly and carry traffic from one’s own country to another while the fourth provides for the reverse.