ACMECS countries work toward new tourism corridor

ACMECS countries work toward new tourism corridor

Dao Loan

Tourism officials of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam meet in HCMC on September 6 to discuss ways to step up tourism cooperation – PHOTO: DAO LOAN

HCMC – Tourism officials of five Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) member countries met September 6 to discuss ways to spur tourism cooperation.

Among the topics of discussion were the establishment of a new tourism corridor which connects Bagan (Myanmar), Chiang Mai (Thailand), Luang Prabang and Vientiane (Laos), Siem Reap (Cambodia) and Hue (Vietnam).

The five member nations of ACMECS, a political, economic, and cultural organization, will join forces to promote their cultural and heritage tourism products with the slogan “Trail of civilizations.”

To spur foreign tourist arrivals, the countries will jointly carry out tourism promotion activities and launch transnational tourism products at reasonable prices.

Regarding the promotion programs within the “Five countries, one destination” scheme, the organization will implement a variety of activities such as designing a common tourism logo and slogan, holding cultural events and offering familiarization tours for media and travel companies.

Officials of Myanmar said tourism authorities in these countries should make the most of technology to introduce their tourism products through websites and smartphone apps.

Thai delegates underlined the need to enhance tourism development cooperation programs with different themes. In the coming time, Thailand will organize tours to introduce its products to partners in the U.S. and the UK, including tours from Chiang Mai to some ASEAN countries, tours connecting Thailand, Cambodia and HCMC in Vietnam, and tours of heritage sites from Thailand to Luang Prabang in Laos.

The countries agreed to continue focusing on sustainable tourism development and build links with financial institutions and international cooperation organizations.

Last year, the ACMECS countries attracted 54.75 million international tourists, up 4.93% versus 2015. Thailand and Vietnam took the lead with 32.59 million and over 10 million international tourist arrivals respectively, up 8.92% and 26% year-on-year.

However, foreign tourist arrivals in Laos dipped 38% to 2.9 million and those in Myanmar slid 12.76% to 4.24 million.

The cooperation programs discussed at the meeting yesterday will be forwarded to the Tourism Ministerial Meeting slated for today in HCMC within the framework of the International Tourism Expo HCMC (ITE HCMC).

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