Take part to the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award 2019 Edition

The ASEAN Sustainable Award (ASTA) is the recognition of ASEAN best sustainable rural or urban tourism products proposed and implemented by public and private stakeholders who have decided to join forces for the benefit of their destination.

 ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award Master Assessors Training

Tourism plays a crucial role in transforming the ASEAN economies. While some tourism destinations in the ASEAN countries have benefited from the rapid growth of tourism in the recent years, important socio-economic gaps still remain within and between the countries, and increasing challenges can be observed in the protection of the natural and cultural heritage. 

The ASEAN has therefore decided to encourage responsible behaviours amongst stakeholders – in mainstreaming the implementation of the ASEAN Tourism Standards – and to also facilitate the diversification of the tourism supply towards emerging, little known destinations and areas. Therefore, it has been decided to launch an ASEAN recognition that takes place every two years in each ASEAN Member State in order to identify and reward the efforts of the public and private stakeholders in both ASEAN rural and urban destinations.

The ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award (ASTA) enables to recognise and promote sustainable tourism rural and urban products deserving a better visibility in the ASEAN Market and beyond. 

Find out more about ASTA and list of Awardees:

  1. About ASTA 
  2. ASTA Awardees
  3. Who can participate, how and why?
  4. Timetable of ASTA
  5. 2019 ASTA Theme : Culture & Heritage Tourism
  6. Documents for application 
    ASTA Call for competition
    ASTA Guideline for Application
    ASTA Application Set
  7. Other documents
    ASEAN Tourism Plan 2016-2025 
    ASEAN Tourism Standards
  8. ASTA Detailed Guideline
  9. Focal points at each member state 

For any inquiries, please contact



General objective

As sustainable development is a pillar of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan (2016-2025), the overall aim of this initiative is to draw attention to the value, diversity and shared characteristics of ASEAN tourist destinations and, every two years, to promote two products and their destination (areas, small cities, districts, villages), for each of the ASEAN country, where the economic objective is pursued in such a way as to ensure the social, cultural and environmental sustainability of tourism. The more specific objectives of the ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award (ASTA) aim to conjointly:

> Enhance the visibility of destinations and products that fulfil key sustainability standards of the ASEAN (good practices);

> Create awareness about the ASEAN’s diversity and quality;

> Promote all ASEAN countries and regions;

> Help decongestion, combat seasonality, rebalance the tourist flows towards the non-traditional destinations;

> Award sustainable forms of tourism;

> Create a platform for the exchange of good practices at ASEAN level;

> Promote networking between awarded products which could persuade other destinations to adopt sustainable tourism development models;

> Trigger a greater support from national tourism organisations at the local level and an increase in private sector investment in the destinations;

> Prompt a sense of pride of the local community of team of applicants which will lead to addition enthusiasm for further improvement of their sustainable tourism offer;

> Provide incentives for innovation and efficiency in the field of CSR;

> Enable the implementation of several strategic action and activities from the “General Framework of the ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025” and the “Five-Year Action Plan 2016-2020”.


Specific objectives for the ASEAN


The ASTA enables to achieve several objectives of the 2016-2025 ASEAN Tourism Strategic Plan:  

> Intensify Promotion and Marketing: Expand the ASEAN regional destination-marketing program;

> Implement and expand standards for facilities, services and destinations: Promote the adoption and implementation of the ASEAN tourism standards and certification system into the policy and regulatory and tourism HRD frameworks of the Member States;

> Diversify tourism product: Support the development of ASEAN sub-regional destinations/corridors targeting more inclusive tourism outcomes;

> Mainstream local communities and public-private sector participation in the tourism value chain at the destination level: Develop and implement the strategy on participation of local communities and private sectors in tourism development; 

> Increase responsiveness to environmental protection and climate change: Prepare draft policy and strategy papers for addressing environmental responsiveness targeting tourism cities and towns, ecotourism destinations as found in ASEAN Heritage Parks;

Therefore, ASTA expect the stakeholders to demonstrate their ambition to facilitate the transition of their territory towards sustainability through the commercialisation of one sustainable rural or urban product, according to the following definitions:

Sustainable rural tourism product definition: It focuses on actively participating in rural lifestyle, which should be more than visiting a non urban area;

Sustainable urban tourism product definition: It focuses on involving local people within a specific area or district of a city and its surroundings.



  1. The ASTA aims at recognising existing sustainable tourism product proposed by a team of public and private stakeholders.

    For the purpose of ASTA, a “tourism product” is a combination of one or more activities including at least one overnight stay, beginning and ending in an ASEAN country. 

    > The product must respect legal and technical criteria detailed in the chapter VI. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA as well as ASEAN Tourism Standard criteria, detailed in the chapter VII SUSTAINABILITY CRITERIA of the ASTA call for competition.
  2. In order to ensure the development of partnerships, the product must be implemented by a group of public and private stakeholders, the “Team of Applicants” and the application must be submitted by a “Lead Applicant”. 

    > The Team of Applicants must respect several administrative criteria, detailed in the chapter VI ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA of this document; 

    > The deadline for submission is detailed in the chapter IV. TIMETABLE FOR 2018 ASTA EDITION and 

    > The submission procedure is detailed in CHAPTER X. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION of the ASTA call for competition.  
  3. The ASTA will be organised every two years under a different theme.

    Every two years, a theme will be proposed, in order to enable a large number of product to be recognised. The product proposed must correspond to the chosen theme. 

    > The theme of this ASTA edition is detailed in the chapter V. THEME OF THE 2018 ASTA EDITION of the ASTA call for competition.
  4. The ASTA is an ASEAN recognition for rural and urban tourism in each country.

    The ASTA is organised by the National Tourism Organisation in each ASEAN country, all following the same rules and the same awarding process. 

    > The selection process and the awarding procedure is detailed in the Chapter VII. SELECTION PROCESS of the ASTA call for competition. 

    > The ASTA will recognise in each country the best rural sustainable tourism product and the best urban tourism product. The awarding ceremony will take place at the ASEAN Tourism Forum.

    > The definition and criteria of rural and urban product are detailed in the chapter VI. ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA of the ASTA call for competition. 
  5. In order to participate to ASTA, the Team of Applicants must fill an application form and submit it within a deadline to their National Tourism Organisation.

    The Team of Applicants must read the ASTA Guide for Applicants, fill the ASTA Application Form, sign the ASTA Multi-partner Convention, attach the required legal documents and the Lead Applicant must send it to its national tourism organisation before a specific date. 

    > All the information concerning the submission are detailed in the chapter X. SUBMISSION OF APPLICATION of the ASTA call for competition. 

    > The Application Set and the Guide for Applicants can be downloaded here together with this Call for Application.
  6. The application will be evaluated by each National Tourism Organisation according to the same criteria and procedure for all ASEAN countries.

    The National Tourism Organisation will first evaluate the application against eligibility and sustainability criteria. Finally national assessors will organise a field visit for the best applications to select the winner. 

    > The eligibility, administrative and sustainability criteria are detailed in the chapter VI ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA and VII SUSTAINABILITY CRITERIA of the ASTA call for competition. 

    > The selection procedure is detailed in the chapter VIII SELECTION PROCEDURE of the ASTA call for competition.
  7. In each ASEAN country, a maximum of two teams of applicants (one in each category: Urban and rural) will be declared as « winner » jointly by their national tourism organisation, the ASEAN tourism working group and the ASEAN secretariat. In total, a maximum of twenty ASEAN products will be awarded every two years. 

    The 20 winning product will be invited to participate to a dedicated ceremony during the ASEAN Tourism Forum in January 2018. On this occasion,
    > The Lead Applicant will receive a trophy and a certificate signed by the ASEAN Secretary and the Country's Tourism Minister;
    > The partners, if not present during the ceremony will receive a certificate at home in order to display in their front door.
    > A digital and physical communication/promotion toolkit developed and funded by their respective NTO.

    At national level, each National Tourism Organisation will additionally provide for the its winning products:
    > A dedicated space on their respective tourism national website;
    > A consideration as national best practices during press conference, events. 
    > A dedicated space on their national booth at international tourism fair such as ATF, TRAVEX, ITB, WTM, etc.

At international level, the ASEAN secretariat will provide, for all winning products a dedicated space on the ASEAN Tourism website -



  1. Announcement of the ASTA Theme: “Culture and Heritage Tourism” - ASEAN Tourism Forum 2019
  2. Period of evaluation: July 2019 – October 2019
  3. Deadline date for submission: 30th October 2019
  4. Final selection: November 2019 
  5. Notification of results to team of applicants: December 2019
  6. Award ceremony: ASEAN Tourism Forum 2020



The theme for the second ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Award (2019-2020) chosen by the ASEAN tourism-working group is “Culture and Heritage Tourism”.

Team of applicants must propose products, as detailed in the eligibility criteria, linked to the theme of « culture and heritage tourism » regarding only the following definition:

  1. Cultural tourism is concerned with a country or region's culture, specifically the lifestyle of the people in those geographical areas, the history of the people, their art, architecture, religion(s), performing arts, visual arts, festivals, heritage sites, fashion, theatres and other elements that shape their way of life. Cultural tourism includes tourism in urban areas, particularly historic or large cities and their cultural facilities such as museums and theatres. It can also include tourism in rural areas showcasing the traditions of indigenous cultural communities (i.e. festivals and rituals), and their values and lifestyles.
  2. Heritage tourism, which can be seen as a subset of the larger field of cultural tourism, is a branch of tourism oriented towards understanding and appreciating the heritage of a destination. It involves visiting historical or industrial sites that may include old canals, railways, battlegrounds, etc. The overall purpose is to gain an appreciation of the past. Heritage tourism can also apply to historical events that are dramatized to make them more entertaining such as a historical tour of a town or city. Increasingly, heritage tourism is concerned not only with the tangible elements of the past but with the intangible dimensions of a culture.
Explore By Country

12 - 16 January 2020
Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei

Together Towards A Next Generation Of Travel