PHNOM PENH, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) -- Tourism ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) on Wednesday agreed to announce the reopening of ASEAN tourism to revitalize the sector amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement.
Chaired by Cambodia's Tourism Minister Thong Khon, the 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers was held in both physical and virtual formats in Cambodia's seaside city of Sihanoukville.
The ministers said the ASEAN tourism sector was not only ready for reopening but would also bounce back quickly with more resilience, according to the statement.
"In this regard, we agreed to announce the reopening of ASEAN tourism, both intra-regional and international," it said, noting that "every possible coordination and cooperation will be provided so that the reopening process will be gradual and steady."
The ministers also agreed to introduce a standardized COVID-19 vaccination recognition system among ASEAN countries, and welcomed the progressive roll-out of COVID-19 vaccination in each ASEAN member state, which is a key indicator for the reopening of ASEAN tourism.
They also highlighted further cooperation in the tourism sector among ASEAN member states to ensure that ASEAN remains competitive in the sector.
Founded in 1967, ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.