The Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dato Seri Najib Tun Razak, speaking to delegates as he formally opened the ASEAN Tourism Forum, said that future tourism growth potential for the ASEAN countries is brighter than the global level. Tourist arrivals to Southeast Asia are projected to increase from 69.9 million in 2010 to 187 million in 2030, thereby raising the global market share from 7.4% to 10.3%.
The opening ceremony was a spectacular and colourful display that highlighted the cultural diversity of the nation. A performance by the renowned international violinist, Dennis Lau, was a highlight of the event. This is the sixth occasion that Malaysia has hosted the ATF.
The event is taking place in Kuching, the capital of Sarawak, which sits on the island of Borneo.
Last year Sarawak attracted 4.1 million visitors, who spent €1.8 billion in this eco-friendly destination.