Tourism in ASEAN: Potential, Challenges and Way Ahead


About the Seminar

Tourism plays an important role in ASEAN economies. In 2015, the sector contributed 12.4% to ASEAN’s total GDP, which was higher than the world average of 9.8% and the Asian average of 8.5%. Many factors had contributed to this notable share, including ASEAN’s heritage and natural attractions, improved tourist facilities, affordable connectivity, a rising consumer class and geographic proximity to China and India. The region has been promoting itself as a single tourism destination since 1992. It had adopted measures like air travel liberalisation, improved road and rail linkages and mobility of skilled tourism workforce to enhance tourism standard and experience. In 2017, Singapore proposed to work with other ASEAN member states to promote Southeast Asia as cruise destination. Subsequently, in January 2018, ASEAN adopted a Joint Declaration on Cruise Tourism, promising to accelerate development, improve policies and enhance efficiency in administration process in the tourism sector. However, lingering issues, such as the lack of efficient infrastructure, inconsistent immigration and port policies need to be addressed before ASEAN can fully reap the benefits from this relatively underdeveloped but promising sector of cruise tourism. Nevertheless, tourism is an ASEAN growth story that has proven itself resistant to the vagaries of the regional and global economy.

To add to this discussion further, the Seminar will bring experts from the private sector to share their insights on the current state, challenges and ways to move the ASEAN tourism sector forward.

About the Speakers

Topic: ASEAN Tourism Sector – Potential and Risks
Paul Yong, CFA, leads DBS Bank’s regional research coverage on Aviation, Transport and Tourism. He has 15 years of experience in covering equities in the ASEAN and HK/China markets. He has received numerous awards from Asiamoney and Thomson Reuters over these years. Most recently, Mr. Yong was recognised by the Asiamoney Broker Polls 2017 and the Thomson Reuters Analyst Awards 2016 as the second best analyst for Transportation and the top stock picker in the Resources & Infrastructure sector in Singapore respectively. Mr. Yong holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Accountancy and a Master’s Degree in Finance from RMIT University, Australia.

Topic: Marketing ASEAN as a Single Tourist Destination
Elly Nurlaila Hutabarat currently is Deputy President of ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA). She has been on the ASEANTA Board since 1998 and was ASEANTA President in 2009-2011. During her presidency, a portal on ASEAN tour products with branding “ASEAN, Ten Perfect Paradise” was launched along with a video clip titled “Under the ASEAN Sky” that was shown on all ASEAN airlines. Ms. Elly has been a Board Member of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) since 2004, and also President of the Indonesian Travel Agents Association (ASTINDO) and the Professional Certification Body-Air Transport Distribution Services and Agencies.

Topic: Cruise Tourism in ASEAN – Where Are We Heading?
Christina Siaw is the CEO of Singapore Cruise Centre Pte Ltd since early 2011. She is a travel and tourism veteran with more than 30 years of experience, having established an impressive track record with growing some of Asia’s top brands like Cathay Pacific, Zuji Enterprises and In Singapore Cruise Centre, Ms Siaw is leading her team to implement several new initiatives to promote Singapore as a cruise hub. These initiatives include setting up Cruise 360, a collaboration with best-in-class service providers to cruise ships, the leadership and official launch of ACTA (Asia Cruise Terminal Association), a regional alliance to develop the region as a world-class cruise playground and a partnership with a leading educational institution to develop Singapore’s first academic programme to train manpower to meet the industry needs.


For registration, please fill in this form and email to by 16 March 2018.


Mar 19 2018


10:00 am - 12:00 pm


ISEAS Seminar Room 2