Tourism in Many GMS Countries Show Strong and Steady Recovery
View from Lotte Observation Deck in Hanoi. Photo by ADB.
International tourism is bouncing back rapidly in the Greater Mekong Subregion, with 2022 and early 2023 international tourism numbers exhibiting strong and steady recovery.
- In Cambodia, international tourist arrivals increased by more than 1,000%, with around 2.3 million visitors in 2022, compared to less than 200,000 international visitors in 2021.
- In Lao PDR, international tourist arrivals totaled nearly 1.3 million visitors, with more than 1.1 million visitors coming from the GMS. Comparison of tourist arrivals between the 1st quarter of 2023 and the 1st quarter of 2020 also showed a growth of around 80%.
- In Thailand, 11.15 million international visitors arrived in 2022, compared to 6.7 million in 2020.
- In Viet Nam, international tourism continues to bounce back with 2.7 million arrivals recorded for the first quarter of 2023—close to the 3.4 million total number of international arrivals for 2022.
Furthermore, domestic tourism has grown steadily in many GMS countries in 2022, and continues to be a tourism sector priority.
- Cambodia’s domestic tourists in 2022 reached around 13.9 million.
- The PRC reported around 2.530 billion tourists in 2022, which earned them a revenue of RMB 2.04 trillion.
- Lao PDR’s domestic tourists bounced back to more than 1.65 million in 2022, from around 830,000 in 2021.
- Thailand’s domestic visitors increased to 202 million in 2022. This 2023, Thailand continues to prioritize its domestic market, encouraging domestic travelers to travel to emerging destinations especially during weekdays to distribute tourism income.
- Viet Nam’s domestic tourists reached more than 101 million visitors in 2022, exceeding the 85 million domestic visitors from 2019. Viet Nam aims to maintain and/or improve these numbers for 2023.
The 51st GMS Tourism Working Group Meeting (TWG-51), held on 25 April 2023 in Preah Sihanouk, Cambodia, shared updates from GMS countries, including key 2020-2022 tourism statistics (international and domestic visitors, tourism spending and employment); tourism visa/entry policy updates, and prioritized markets in 2023; smart tourism/digital initiatives to improve tourism management and marketing; and GMS tourism cooperation activities. Read the Summary of Proceedings.
Last Updated: 30 June 2023