Lancang-Mekong Cities Sign “Sanya Vision” for Tourism

Proudly contributed by DAVID GILLBANKS

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lmc-forumPRESS RELEASE (unedited): Tourism officials from 16 cities along the Lancang-Mekong River signed the Sanya Vision on Thursday [October 27] to promote the shared development of tourism in the region.

As an achievement of the 2016 Sanya Forum of Lanchang-Mekong Tourist Cities Cooperation, which ended on Friday [October 28], the document highlights the importance of establishing a mutual communication mechanism, official policy support and the building of an integrated tourism development pattern in the region, which boasts of rich natural, historical and cultural resources.

The vision also calls for the development of mutual exchanges within the tourism sectors of the region, training of much needed talent and professionals, cultivation of experience tourist products and marketing networks that enable effective sharing of tourist resources from each of the six countries along the Lancang-Mekong River.

The Mekong River, known as Lancang River in China, rises in China’s Danggula Mountains in Qinghai province. The river runs about 2,160 kilometers in China, moving through five other countries, including Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, before entering the South China Sea.

Running 4,880 kilometers in total length, it is the longest river in Southeast Asia. The Mekong countries cover 233 million square kilometers and include a population of 230 million people.

Natural tourist attractions and new cultural experiences have made countries along the river great destinations in recent years.

More than 15 million Chinese tourists visited destinations in the five Mekong River countries in 2015, according to data from the National Tourism Administration. China has become the largest tourist resource country for Thailand and Vietnam, while the latter is now the largest Mekong tourist resource country for China.

The forum, a new step forward following the first Lancang-Mekong leaders’ meeting on cooperative initiatives and measures held in Sanya in March, attracted more than 140 tourist officials, professionals and diplomats who agree the meeting was a great success in deepening mutual understanding and laying a sound foundation for future cooperation.

Representatives from the 16 tourist cities, including Guilin, Guangzhou, Sanya, Vientiane, Bangkok, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, showed strong confidence at the forum in tapping the region’s tourism potential in the near future.

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