Focus on Greater Mekong Subregion tourism

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GMS mapThe tourism potential of the Greater Mekong Subregion, comprising of the regions of six states or provinces that are covering the Mekong River basin, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province, China, has not yet been fully tapped due to poor infrastructure and human resources, worsened by cumbersome immigration procedures, said tourism officials.

During a recent “survey trip” by tourism officials of the three countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, they discovered that roads from the border gate in Vietnam to Cambodia’s Kratie extend 230 kilometers but are not in good condition.

In addition, many travel companies want to organise tours but have been unable to do so because of immigration procedures. Caravan tours between cultural and historic sites in the region have faced challenges.

“We need strong links between the three nations to deal with immigration. In addition, more investment for infrastructure, including roads, services and rest stops, is needed,” said Ho Tan Cuong, vice director of Vietnam’s central Quang Nam provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.

Tourists could enjoy the cultural values of the region via road and air means. Trips on roads from Vietnam to Laos and Cambodia are now convenient. Good tourism services along with good cultural preservation would attract lots of tourists.

In recent years, Cambodia and Laos have become more attractive to many Vietnamese tourists. Data from the Vietnam Administration of Tourism revealed that in the first ten months of 2013, more than 700,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia. This represented 21 per cent of international tourists in Cambodia, an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, and the highest proportion of foreign tourists to Cambodia.

According to Tran Phu Cuong, deputy head of the Tourism Authority’s International Co-operation Department, tourism development co-operation among Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has been negotiated since 1994. Enterprises have been asked to take part in the promotion programs and more negotiations between governments and the private sector were encouraged.

At the 32nd annual meeting on tourism development among the three countries, held in Kampot, Cambodia, in early December 2013, the Asian Development Bank announced a support loan of $100 million for tourism infrastructure projects in the subregion.

Accordingly, the funds will be used for seaport construction, waste water treatment for tourism areas, green tours on sea, and tourism development with the participation of local communities. About 240 million people live in the region.

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Reading Time: 2 minutes

The tourism potential of the Greater Mekong Subregion, comprising of the regions of six states or provinces that are covering the Mekong River basin, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province, China, has not yet been fully tapped due to poor infrastructure and human resources, worsened by cumbersome immigration procedures, said tourism officials.

Reading Time: 2 minutes

GMS mapThe tourism potential of the Greater Mekong Subregion, comprising of the regions of six states or provinces that are covering the Mekong River basin, namely Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, and Yunnan Province, China, has not yet been fully tapped due to poor infrastructure and human resources, worsened by cumbersome immigration procedures, said tourism officials.

During a recent “survey trip” by tourism officials of the three countries of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, they discovered that roads from the border gate in Vietnam to Cambodia’s Kratie extend 230 kilometers but are not in good condition.

In addition, many travel companies want to organise tours but have been unable to do so because of immigration procedures. Caravan tours between cultural and historic sites in the region have faced challenges.

“We need strong links between the three nations to deal with immigration. In addition, more investment for infrastructure, including roads, services and rest stops, is needed,” said Ho Tan Cuong, vice director of Vietnam’s central Quang Nam provincial Culture, Sports and Tourism Department.

Tourists could enjoy the cultural values of the region via road and air means. Trips on roads from Vietnam to Laos and Cambodia are now convenient. Good tourism services along with good cultural preservation would attract lots of tourists.

In recent years, Cambodia and Laos have become more attractive to many Vietnamese tourists. Data from the Vietnam Administration of Tourism revealed that in the first ten months of 2013, more than 700,000 Vietnamese tourists visited Cambodia. This represented 21 per cent of international tourists in Cambodia, an increase of 11.5 per cent compared to the same period in 2012, and the highest proportion of foreign tourists to Cambodia.

According to Tran Phu Cuong, deputy head of the Tourism Authority’s International Co-operation Department, tourism development co-operation among Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia has been negotiated since 1994. Enterprises have been asked to take part in the promotion programs and more negotiations between governments and the private sector were encouraged.

At the 32nd annual meeting on tourism development among the three countries, held in Kampot, Cambodia, in early December 2013, the Asian Development Bank announced a support loan of $100 million for tourism infrastructure projects in the subregion.

Accordingly, the funds will be used for seaport construction, waste water treatment for tourism areas, green tours on sea, and tourism development with the participation of local communities. About 240 million people live in the region.

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