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ASEAN Tourism Forum endorses USC tourism expertise

ASEAN Tourism Forum endorses USC tourism expertise
February 17, 2015

The expertise of the University of Southern Queensland (USC) in sustainable tourism has contributed to a groundbreaking set of standards adopted by countries across Southeast Asia to ensure quality experiences for tourists and flow-on benefits to local communities.

USC Professor of Heritage Resource Management Bill Carter recently attended a presentation to the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Myanmar, where the new Community-Based Tourism (CBT) standards were endorsed by member tourism organisations and approved by Ministers.

The development of the standards was led by Cambodia, whose Minister of Tourism Dr Thong Khon has worked with USC for more than five years and is an Honorary Doctor of the University.

Professor Carter, who is Director of USC’s International Projects Group and a member of the executive of the Sustainability Research Centre, said the standards considered the wide range of existing and potential tourism products offered by communities as well as the diversity of contexts.

He explains “these guidelines will play a critical role in ensuring that tourism projects support both the environments and the economies of poor regional and remote communities in Southeast Asia.”

Professor Carter was assisted by USC researcher Kym Cheatham, who was previously Chief Executive of Ecotourism Australia, and Research Fellow Dr Chris Jacobson.

The project is the result of two years of work by the University with 10 governments.

Dr Thong, who acknowledged Professor Carter’s technical advice and facilitation of workshops, said the standards aligned with the ASEAN Ecotourism Strategic Plan.

Dr Thong stated “the CBT standards seek to build the capacity of communities, especially the rural poor, to engage directly with tourism, presenting to visitors their culture, livelihoods and the environments and activities that support the Khmer way of life.”

USC is continuing work with the ASEAN on six other sets of standards: green hotels, home stays, food and beverage services, public restrooms, ecotourism and tourism heritage.

USC’s Sustainability Research Centre has a Memorandum of Understanding with Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism and Griffith University to encourage collaboration for the advancement of sustainable tourism and related community development.

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29th November 2014 - 2015 Global Eco Conference heads to Rottnest Island

12th September 2014 - ASEAN economic community to enable free movement of tourism workers

29th August 2014 - ASEAN to promote Southeast Asian tourism at PATA Travel Mart

19th September 2013 - PATA advocates sustainable development of the visitor economy

13th July 2013 - Cambodia receives 1.79 million foreign tourists in 2013

12th December 2013 - Sustainable tourism at the heart of 2014 ASEAN Tourism Forum

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