Working with the ASEAN National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) – the primary body that supervises, coordinates, and reviews cooperation programs and policy directions set by the ASEAN Tourism Ministers (M-ATM) – and the ASEAN Secretariat’s ICT and Tourism Division, this CTIF TA mandate will produce a study and recommendation actions to inform the development of a gender-responsive and climate smart ASEAN Tourism Sector Post-Pandemic Recovery Plan.
The outputs of this TA will help ASEAN national tourism organisations make informed, coordinated, and environmentally responsible decisions on actions to support the ASEAN tourism sector’s recovery while simultaneously advancing the strategic goals of the ASEAN Gender and Development Framework in Tourism.
The TA will also ensure that NTOs’ policy decisions are based on information gathered through effective engagements with the private sector, and that the Recovery Plan enhances the region’s preparedness for similar future crises.
Problem being addressed by CTIF
Tourism is a key economic driver of the ASEAN Economic Community, accounting for 14.3% of the region’s GDP and 13.7% of total employment as of 2018. As such, reductions in economic activity in the tourism sector caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has inevitably taken a huge toll on the ASEAN economy. In the first quarter of 2020, ASEAN reported that as compared to the same period in 2018 and 2019, the tourism sector had suffered a loss of approximately 36% in tourism receipts, and international arrivals had declined by approximately 34%.
Concerned over the threats the pandemic continues to pose on health, safety, as well as regional and global economic growth and social development, the ASEAN Tourism Ministers met on April 29, 2020, and agreed on a set of actions, which included the development and implementation of a post-COVID-19 crisis recovery plan.
It is envisioned that the Recovery Plan will also introduce new standards and guidelines on security and health factors for protecting employees and communities in the hotel industry and others related to tourism while enhancing the environmental sustainability, resilience, and gender and social inclusiveness of ASEAN’s tourism industry.
While the importance of equal female representation and gender equality in the tourism sector has gained increased recognition over recent years, gaps still exist in terms of laws, policy, rules, and regulations to advance them further in most ASEAN member states, and much work remains to be done to advance the goals of relevant regional frameworks. It is therefore critical for this TA to ensure that a recovery plan for ASEAN’s tourism sector includes tangible recommendations and measures to advance women’s equal participation in the sector, and equal access to the economic benefits derived from participation therein.