Tourism

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working together to promote the subregion as a single destination for international visitors and encourage communities to enhance the environmental, social, and economic benefits of tourism.

The Tourism Working Group (TWG) provides operational leadership and technical guidance to plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate subregional activities.


In September 2017, ministers from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) endorsed the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025 to enable more competitive, balanced, and sustainable destination development. The Strategy sets out five strategic directions: (a) develop human resources, (b) improve tourism infrastructure, (c) enhance visitor experiences and services, (d) conduct creative marketing and promotion activities, and (e) facilitate regional travel.

Work of the GMS tourism working group has included marketing sustainable and pro-poor tourism in the subregion through the development of multi-country tour packages; training government officials and people working in the tourism industry; producing local products for sale to tourists; and preserving the ecological and cultural heritage of key tourist sites in the subregion.

The GMS Economic Cooperation Program Strategic Framework 2030 (GMS-2030) builds on the current Tourism Strategy directions. Since the subregion’s tourism industry has been severely impacted, the GMS-2030 will promote recovery efforts, such as intraregional tourism. Over the long term, GMS-2030 will support the development of higher value-added and secondary destinations, as well as strengthen human capital, connectivity infrastructure, public–private linkages, and environmental sustainability. GMS-2030 was endorsed and adopted at the 7th GMS Summit of Leaders in September 2021. It aims to provide a new setting for the development of this subregion for the next decade.

Related

Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025

Tourism Working Group (TWG)

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office website

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank and Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

  • Steven Schipani
    Viet Nam Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Nattakorn Asunee Na Ayudhaya
    Operations Manager,
    Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office 
    www.mekongtourism.org

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Asadullah Sumbal
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Alma Canarejo
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

 A cruise ship in Ha Long Bay, Viet Nam. Photo by Bryan Lippincott (CC BY-ND 2.0)

ASEAN Tourism Ministers Make Plans to Gradually Reopen ASEAN Tourism    

The 25th Meeting of ASEAN Tourism Ministers held on 19 January 2022 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, exchanged views on the way forward for the recovery of the region’s tourism industry. Bearing the theme “ASEAN – A Community of Peace and Shared Future,” the Meeting discussed the impact of COVID-19 on each ASEAN member state and emphasized the development of the tourism sector amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. 

 

Decline in Tourist Growth 

GMS in the News

Waterfall in Phnom Kulen, Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Kim Seng (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Ecotourism to be Developed in Cambodia's Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong Provinces

The Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Environment plans to develop and establish ecotourism in protected areas of Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, and Koh Kong provinces under the “Cambodia Sustainable Landscape and Ecotourism Project.” 

Areas that will potentially be developed include the Preah Jayavarman-Norodom National Park “Phnom Kulen”; the Oral Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary and the Central Cardamom Mountain National Park; and the Tatai and Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuaries. 

GMS in the News


48th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG-48)

The Government of Thailand with assistance of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) virtually convened the 48th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Working Group (TWG-48) on 17 September 2021. The meeting was attended by representatives of the National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of the six GMS countries—Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam—MTCO, the Asian Development Bank (ADB), World Bank, and other GMS development partners.


Chay Lap Farmstay in Phuc Trach commune, Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province. The community-based tourism area was first supported by the GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project funded by ADB. The People's Committee of Quang Binh province allowed it to partner with Oxalis Adventure Tours in order to upgrade the Farmstay to a four-star service. Photo by ADB

Viet Nam Eyes Development of Rural Tourism Powered by Digital Technology

Viet Nam is eyeing the development of rural tourism—such as community-based tourism, agricultural tourism, and ecotourism—backed by digital transformation.  

Viet Nam has around 365 rural tourism spots and more than 2,000 traditional craft villages with potential for development under rural tourism.  

GMS in the News

ADB-supported Event Promotes Cross-border Trade between India and GMS Countries

Trade promotion agencies of Cambodia, India, Thailand, and Viet Nam held an event promoting cross-border trade connectivity between India and countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) on 19 August. Representatives from each country gave briefings on their business environment and exchanged experiences in facilitating trade and investment cooperation. Noting challenges caused by COVID-19, they urged governments to take measures to help their small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) move beyond national borders and expand markets.

GMS in the News

Lao PDR’s Se Kong, Viet Nam’s Quang Nam Provinces Jointly Launch the Dakta Ok–Nam Giang Border Gates

The Governments of Lao People’s Democratic Republic and Viet Nam inaugurated the Dakta Ok (Se Kong, Lao PDR) – Nam Giang (Quang Nam, Viet Nam) border gates on 14 August 2021, which were upgraded to international status this year. This new international cross-border point is expected to further boost bilateral trade, investment, and tourism, and promote opportunities for cooperation between Viet Nam’s central key economic zone and Lao PDR’s south-central region, as well as Thailand’s southeast region.

GMS in the News

Luang Prabang Station along Lao PDR-People's Republic of China Railway Nears Completion

The Luang Prabang Station along the Lao PDR-People's Republic of China (PRC) railway is set to be completed in August, notes the China Radio International Vientiane. It will have two platforms, four tracks, and a station hall that can accommodate 1,200 passengers. The station’s roof incorporates a distinctive “three vertical lines, one diagonal” design in the steel structure.  

GMS in the News