The tourism ministers of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand have called for the linking of their top tourist destinations through a joint action plan to rejuvenate tourism in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The push was made at the 5th Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) Tourism Ministers Meeting and the 6th Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) Tourism Ministers Meeting held in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

The ministers agreed to continue to implement an action plan to restore tourism that was endorsed at the Asean Tourism Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia in early 2022, in conjunction with related sectors including tourism business operators, to restore visitor numbers to normal and attract more tourists.

Member countries will create a variety of tourism products, organise marketing campaigns, set tourism standards, connect tourism operations, and introduce digital tourism so that tourists can easily access information.

They will also encourage the improvement of services and tourism-related personnel.

Tourism bodies will cooperate with negotiating partner countries and international organisations, with a view to making Asean tourism stronger and creating conditions that facilitate tourism.

The Lao delegation attending the 5th ACMECS and 6th CLMV Tourism Ministers Meetings in Cambodia was led by Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Suanesavanh Vignaket.

Participants expressed satisfaction with the success of the implementation of the tourism cooperation project last year, such as policies to prevent Covid-19 affecting tourism, and the reopening of countries to foreign tourists in ways that ensure their health and safety is protected.

The sub-region has formulated policies and measures to facilitate travel within the region and travel by foreign tourists.

Since the pandemic, the number of foreign tourists visiting ACMECS and CLMV countries has decreased, which has affected socio-economic development.

In the first nine months of 2022, the total number of foreign tourists visiting ACMECS countries was registered at just over 4.7 million, of which just over 2 million were nationals of ACMECS countries, accounting for 42.5 percent of the total.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam was estimated at 3.9 million, of which just over 600,000 were nationals of these countries, accounting for 15.7 per cent of all tourists.

From 2023-2025, the partner countries will continue to work together to create more tourism products, share information, ensure the safety of tourists, and facilitate more land links and direct flights to major tourist destinations.

The Lao delegation said its tourism officials plan to develop a variety of tourist activities and festivals in a bid to attract more visitors.

In the first nine months of 2022, more than 600,000 foreign tourists visited Laos and it is expected that this number will have increased significantly by the end of the year. – Vientiane Times/ANN.

Source : The Star

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