The Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2017. In honour of this achievement the national tourism organisations of member countries have collaborated in creating a themed tourism programme “Visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration”, including this snappy promotional video.
The Visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration video touts the splendours on offer throughout the Asean Community (AC); from diving in spectacular crystal-blue waters, the regions diverse wildlife, gold-glistening temples, Buddhist shrines, and its diverse range of languages, food, and culture.
With some 625 million people living across its ten member countries, Asean is projected to become the fourth-largest economy in the world by 2050.
Last year some 98 million tourists visited Asean member countries, an increase of 7 per cent on the year prior (See: Ministers Eye More Tourists, But no Sign of Single CLMVT Tourist Visa) and the Visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration aims to boost this to 121 million resulting in an additional $83 billion being injected into the regional economy.
Boasting a population that outweighs the European Union or North America, the multiple cultures, religions, and traditions that span the Asean Community and the ease of travelling throughout the region are key selling points of the visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration, which also seeks to focus on the ACs 50 greatest festivals and 50 greatest experiences.
Asean’s 50 greatest festivals
Featured in the Visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration video is Thailand’s Songkran festival marking the Lunar New Year celebrated by Buddhists, which has also gained the reputation as the world’s largest water fight.
How the celebration will be marked next year during the one year of mourning announced following the death of King Bhumibol Adulyadej last month (See: End Of Days: Thailand King Bhumibol Adulyadej Dead) is unknown, with Thai and visitors alike asked to show restraint and avoid boisterous, or exuberant outbursts while in public (See: Thailand Tourism Guide in The Wake of King Adulyadej’s Death).
In the event that Thailand’s Songkran festival becomes downgraded to a water fight limited to 5ml thimbles there are plenty more for visitors to Asean to choose from, including the Aguman Sanduk festival in Minalin, Philippines, where an 83-year-old tradition sees cross-dressing men clad in sequins and frills ring in the January 1st New Year.
More traditional is the Boun Xuang Heua festival in Lao PDR accompanying the end of Vassa (Buddhist Lent) in October, where teams of men representing their respective villages partake in boat races along the Mekong River. As every town assembles its own team of men to row for glory no special bookings are required. Simply join the masses on the riverbanks to cheer-on your favourite team.
Whatever your interest, there’s sure to be something in the Visit [email protected]: Golden Celebration video to spark the travel bug in most people. Check it out.
Feature video ASEAN Tourism