CAMBODIA, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand have reaffirmed their commitment to strengthening their cooperation in promoting tourism.
The countries’ leaders agreed on their tourism partnership during the two-day Regional Workshop on Methods and Strategies for Implementing Public Private Sector, which kicked off here on Wednesday.
The workshop was the first for the public and private sectors of the CLMVT countries, whose representatives came together to discuss various issues in the tourism industry.
Laos’ Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry said tourism had become a significant economic sector for developing countries worldwide.
“The CLMVT countries have potential for tourism due to their abundance of unique cultural attractions, rich natural beauty and relatively developed tourist infrastructure,” he said.
Last year, tourist arrivals in Laos reached 4.2 million and generated income of more than US$7 million (Bt242 million), he said. In the same yea,r visitors from CMVT to Laos exceeded 3 million.
There were 16,000 visitors from Cambodia and over 3,000 from Myanmar, while the largest number came from Thailand at 2 million and more than 900,000 people visited from Vietnam, he said.
“This was an outstanding achievement that certainly indicated existing cooperation between the public and private sectors for the common benefit of all sectors,” he said.
Based on the available potential and infrastructure, all industries concerned needed to work together to develop tourism systematically to maximise the full potential of a public-private partnership.
“This form of business cooperation, if applied properly, can have considerable benefits for sustainable tourism development for economic growth,” he said.
All developing countries consider the public-private partnership to be a good model for tourism promotion and development, he said.
It can help boost community development, generate stable incomes for communities, boost sustainable tourism development through well-preserved cultural identity and heritage, and raise the socioeconomic status of communities through the participation of various sectors, he said.
Last July, a CLMV Tourism Ministerial Meeting took place in Yangon, Myanmar under the theme “Four Countries, One Destination”.
The meeting stressed the importance of further strengthening collaboration among CLMV to develop joint packages of tourism products, facilitate travel and enhance capacity-building.
Promoting public, private and community cooperation is one of the priorities under the work plan of the CLMV and Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy.
“Tourism, an industry of growing importance in many national economies, increasingly provides growth and jobs for developed, as well as developing countries.
“Middle classes grow on a worldwide scale, and so does tourism expenditure,” German Ambassador to Laos Michael Grau said.
International tourist arrivals to the five countries had nearly tripled over 10 years from 18 million in 2005 to just over 50 million in 2015. Annual tourism receipts exceed $60 billion for the five countries combined, he said.
Source: The Nation