The tourism ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam on Thursday gathered in Ho Chi Minh City for a forum focused on sustainable tourism among members of economic cooperation pact ACMECS.
ACMECS ministers issued a joint statement on responsible tourism, which reaffirmed one of the fundamental goals of tourism; to promote eco-friendly and responsible tourism within ACMECS member nations.
The statement also underscored the importance of a strong regional bond to facilitate the ease of movement, improve the group’s appeal as a single tourist destination, enhance cultural exchange, and eradicate poverty through economic advancement.
The ministers announced the establishment of seven working groups who will deal with seven categories of cooperation within the group, which are commerce – investment, healthcare, human resources development, industry – energy, tourism, transportation, and agriculture.
ACMECS, or Ayeyawady – Chao Phraya – Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy, is a five-member political, economic, and cultural organization initiated in 2003 by former Thai Premier Thaksin Shinawatra, who raised the idea to bridge the economic gap among group members and to promote prosperity in the sub-region in a sustainable manner.
The organization was initially founded by four countries, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Myanmar, with Vietnam joining a year later to become the group’s fifth and latest member.