UNINET : Universitas Syiah Kuala Internship at CIMT
July 8, 2019
12th IMT-GT Highlight – VIDEO
July 9, 2019

Building Wanderlust in IMT-GT

by: Ms Robita Robinson, Project Coordinator
Last weekend, 12th IMT-GT Summit was held successfully in Bangkok, Thailand with various issues raised by the Leaders. The Leaders concerns on the acceleration of the economic development in this subregion in achieving its vision as integrated, innovative, inclusive and sustainable subregion by 2036. IMT-GT is a subregional cooperation between Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand with the membership of 10 provinces in Sumatera, 8 states in Peninsular Malaysia and 14 provinces in Thailand. This subregional cooperation was established in 1993, aims to accelerate the economic transformation of the subregion.

Home of various tourist favourite destinations such as Medan, Palembang, Penang, Melaka, Langkawi, Phuket and Krabi, tourism is the niche area of IMT-GT, contributed high sharing of total international inbound tourists to ASEAN countries. Its rich cultural and natural heritage are among other pull factors attracting tourist to this subregion. As the key sector contribute to the economic development in this subregion, several areas should be focus to increase the tourist arrival.

The improvement of the infrastructure such as airports, roads, railways and bridges should be accelerated to ensure seamless connectivity between cities to tourism destination. Improved connectivity in the subregion will support thematic cross-border tourism circuits and routes. The connectivity of this subregion should take into consideration on tourism aspect and its potential to generate active economy to the local. At the same time, the growing tourism cities will provide more job opportunities to the local particularly in the tourism-related job.

To enhance the capabilities of tourism professionals, ASEAN adopted the ASEAN Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) in Tourism Professional Work Plan 2019-2023 that envision tourism professionals in the region are certified to deliver quality tourism services. This will increase the service rating in the tourism sector for the region. IMT-GT should step forward in implementing the MRA in tourism professional by expediting the completion of IMT-GT Labour Market Information project focussing on tourism professional. The labour information sharing and certified tourism professional would ensure better service and perhaps could ensure the sustainability of this sector in driving the economic progress for the subregion.

Besides receiving a high number of Chinese and ASEAN tourists, IMT-GT may also look into another potential tourist such as India. IMT-GT moves to make India as the first dialogue partner is a brilliant step in this win-win cooperation, especially on the tourism sector. IMT-GT may refer to the ASEAN-India Cooperation on tourism as a guideline to establish the cooperation. Certain area such as sharing best practices on sustainable tourism development, exchange of information and development strategies as well as investment opportunities are among other things that can look into in developing the cooperation framework on tourism between India and IMT-GT.

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