September 13, 2011

Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar promote tourism cooperation


HANOI, Sept. 13 -- An international conference on tourism promotion themed "Four countries One Destination" was held in Vietnam's southern Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) on Tuesday.

The forum was attended by four tourism ministers of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar, and more than 200 delegates from related ministries and organizations in the region.

According to Vietnam News Agency, the event was held to lure more investment in tourist infrastructure and promote tourism for sustainable development for the benefit of both investors and peoples in the four countries.

Delegates shared with one another the updated information of their respective country's tourism policies to attract more investment and discussed measures to provide favorable conditions for tourism investors and managers, all aimed at highlighting images of the four countries as attractive destinations to both tourists and investors.

Over the recent years, the tourism sectors of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar have strongly developed, becoming an important spearhead to boost social and economic development in each country. The average growth rate in these countries is always higher than the average one of the ASEAN bloc and the world as well. Despite the global economic crisis, the four countries welcomed about 10.9 million tourists in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 25 percent, said the report.

Potentials in tourism of the four countries were also shared among participants, who shared a common view that promoting tourism in their countries as one common destination with attractive and diverse forms of sites and services would help in building a firm foundation for cooperation and development in the Mekong sub-region, and for cooperation and friendship among regional countries.

Addressing the conference, Vietnamese minister of culture, sports and tourism Hoang Tuan Anh said, the Vietnamese government always provides favorable conditions for, and encourages domestic and foreign travel businesses and investors to join hands together in developing tourism.

Vietnam welcomed more than five million foreign visitors in 2010, a year-on-year increase of 34.8 percent. The country sets targets to receive 10.3 million foreign visitors, plus 47.5 million domestic tourists, by 2020, and 18 million foreign visitors and 71 million domestic tourists by 2030, Anh said.

More than 94.2 billion U.S. dollars will be invested to develop 39 national tourist areas, 30 national tourist sites and 10 tourist urban quarters in Vietnam, Anh reported.

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