The forum started with the Mekong Tourism Marketing Workshop attracting the attendance of more than 100 representatives from national tourism organizations of the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS): Viet Nam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand and China; int’l tourism experts, tourism businesses, int’l organizations in Viet Nam and press.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Deputy Director General of Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism Ha Van Sieu said in the recent years, tourism cooperation in the GMS has been actively backed by governments, int’l organizations and partnerships. To maintain sustainable development of tourism, the GMS should enhance collaboration in joint tourism projects with high quality tourist products aiming to promote the GMS to the world. In addition, the GMS should facilitate to attract strategic investors to build tourism products of high competitiveness as well as to exchange experiences in tourism development.
The Mekong Tourism Marketing Workshop focused on discussing River and Ocean Cruise Tourism; Community-based Tourism; Adventure Tourism; and Food Tourism. The workshop aims to provide technical strategies for handling the challenges surrounding tourism product development and carrying-capacity concerns in emerging markets.
According to UNWTO, since 2002, the number of tourists to the GMS has increased continuously with an average growth rate of 12 %/year. In 2014, the GMS welcomed 54 million int’l arrivals, increasing 8.2% over 2013, accounting for 20% of the total number of tourists to the Asia – Pacific, with total revenue of 61 billion USD. To satisfy the high demand of tourists, many tourism products, infrastructure and facilitation systems, and human resource have been improved in both quantity and quality.
The Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 will take place from 15-18, June 2015.