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Oct 13, 2022 / 17:46

Vietnam, Greater Mekong Subregion countries boost sustainable tourism

The GMS countries will expand connectivity in the tourism industry and promote the Mekong cooperation “Six countries, one destination”.

Vietnam has called on six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) to reshape tourism towards a sustainable future, said General Director of the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) Nguyen Trung Khanh.

 The Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 attracts many local and foreign visitors. Photo: VNAT

Speaking at the Mekong Tourism Forum 2022, with the theme “Rebuild tourism, Rebound with Resilience”, on October 12 in the central province of Quang Nam, Khanh said members of the GMS need to continue bolstering cooperation for the implementation of the Mekong Tourism Strategy for 2016-2025 as well as action plans and projects to ensure efficiency and achieve positive results for the regional tourism recovery.

He stressed that tourism is a priority field in GMS’s economic cooperation framework. In recent years, sub-regional tourism cooperation has received special attention from national governments, attracting the practical and active participation of international organizations, tourism businesses and partners.

The VNAT General Director said tourism in Vietnam and the region had grown in terms of traveler numbers and product quality in recent years. In the pre-pandemic year 2019, arrivals to the GMS were nearly 74 million, up 7% from 2018, accounting for 15% of the total to Asia-Pacific.

The VNAT’s leader said in the first six months of 2022, the GMS welcomed more than 3.2 million international arrivals, which is expected to grow, while Vietnam received 1.65 million in the first nine months of this year. 

"More than 100,000 visitors from GMS countries visited Vietnam between January and September, and the number is expected to continue to grow soon as countries in the sub-region phase out Covid-19-related entry requirements one by one," he added.

Echoing the VNAT’s leader, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Liz Ortiguera said that after the Covid-19 pandemic, it is necessary to think and reshape tourism towards sustainable development.

“The travel trend after the Covid-19 pandemic is changing, many tourists will consider where to travel. Therefore, the tourism industry in each country needs to create new products to attract more tourists,” she said.

Nguyen Trung Khanh emphasized the need for GMS countries to expand connectivity in the tourism sector and promote the Mekong tourism program "Six Countries, One Destination" by developing and improving tourism quality, infrastructure and facilities. 

“Especially, it is necessary to utilize digital tools in support of tourism resilience and sustainability, as well as enhance the industry's capacity through training programs,” he added.

 An overview of the event.