Tourism Unites Cambodia-Laos- Myanmar-Vietnam plus Thailand

CMLV+T

On Wednesday, May 3rd, the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism hosted the Regional Workshop on Methods and Strategies in Implementing Public Private Partnerships in the Tourism Sector for Cambodia-Laos- Myanmar-Vietnam plus Thailand (CLMV+T) in Vientiane Capital.

The workshop was organized to gather representatives to discuss various struggles in the tourism industry and for the first time, allowed both public and private sectors of the CLMV+T countries to participate in the discussion.

The Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Savankhone Razmountry, spoke at the workshop and stated that tourism has developed into a significant economic sector for developing countries worldwide.

He explained that due to their abundance of unique cultural attractions, rich natural beauty and relatively developed tourist infrastructure, the CLMV+T countries have a great potential for tourism.

In 2016, visitors from CLMV+T countries visiting Laos reached over 3 million, with 16,000 visitors coming from Cambodia, over 3,000 from Myanmar, 900,000 from Vietnam and 2 million visitors from Thailand. The total number of tourist arrivals reportedly reached 4.2 million, generating more than US$724 million dollars in income.

“This was an outstanding achievement that certainly indicated existing cooperation between the public and private sectors for the common benefit of all sectors,” Mr Savankhone stated.

Based on the vast potential and infrastructure for tourism, all relevant sectors were urged to collaborate in developing 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 added.

A Public-Private Partnership can increase community development, generate stable incomes for communities, boost sustainable tourism development through well-preserved cultural identity and heritage, and raise the socio-economic status of involved communities through the participation of various sectors.

A CLMV Tourism Ministerial Meeting took place in 2016, themed ‘Four Countries, One Destination’ in Yangon, Myanmar.

The meeting highlighted the importance of strengthening the partnerships among CLMV Member States, to develop joint packages of tourism products, facilitate travel, and enhance capacity building.

Promoting public, private and community cooperation is one of the top priorities under the work plan of the CLMV and Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy.

Also present at the workshop, German Ambassador to Laos, Mr Michael Grau stated that

tourism is a sector of growing importance in many national economies, providing growth and jobs for developed, as well as developing countries. Middle class households  grow on a worldwide scale, and so does tourism expenditure.

The ambassador also indicated that international tourist arrivals to the five countries had nearly tripled over 10 years, from 18 million visitors in 2005 to over 50 million arrivals in 2015.

Annual tourism receipts exceed US$60 billion for the five countries combined.

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