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.

Photo of the Angkor in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Photo by Flip Nomad via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0).

Cambodia Eyes Welcoming Travelers on Package Tours by October

Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism (MOT) and key tourism stakeholders from the country’s private sector, including the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents, the Cambodian Tourism Federation, the Cambodian Restaurants Association, the Cambodia Hotel Association, and the Pacific-Asia Travel Association, held a meeting on 2 June to discuss plans to open the country to vaccinated tourists traveling on package tours as early as October. Tourism brings in around 32.7% share of Cambodia’s gross domestic product. 

GMS in the News

Vientiane toll station photo by _khamla_phimmasone_US$. This file comes from Mapillary.com, a service for sharing geotagged photos. All photos are under a CC BY-SA 4.0

Lao PDR-PRC Expressway to Improve Connectivity and Boost Investment

The planned Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR)-People’s Republic of China (PRC) expressway aims to improve the transport of goods and people, promote production, and boost commerce, investment, tourism and services, in line with the Government of Lao PDR's objectives. It spans 440 kilometers and comprises four sections in total. Section 1 running between Vientiane and Vangvieng, is already in use. 

GMS in the News


47th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG-47)

The Government of Viet Nam with assistance of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) virtually convened the 47th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Working Group (TWG-47) on 27 May 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 PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam—the MTCO, and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).


The border between Aranyaprathet, Sa Kaeo, Thailand and Poipet, Cambodia. Photo by Thanate Tan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0).

New Highway Linking Thailand to Cambodia On Track for Completion

Thailand's Department of Highways noted that construction of the new Highway 3646 linking Thailand and Cambodia is already 70% complete. Full completion is expected by next February. Highway 3646 will connect Ban Nong Ian in Sa Kaeo, Aranyaprathet, Thailand, to Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia, via the Thailand-Cambodia Friendship Bridge.

GMS in the News

Kuang Si Waterfalls, Luang Prabang, Lao PDR. Photo by Sacha Fernandez via Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Lao PDR Prepares Plan to Revive Tourism

The Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism (MICT) of the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) has endorsed a planned strategy for the revival of the tourism industry, shared Mr. Savankhone Razmountry, Deputy Minister, MICT, at a news conference of the National Operation Centre for COVID-19 in Vientiane on 9 May. 

GMS in the News

Lao PDR, Viet Nam to Open New International Border Crossing

The Governments of Lao PDR and Viet Nam will upgrade the Dakta-ok-Nam Giang border crossing between Sekong (Lao PDR) and Quang Nam (Viet Nam) provinces to international status, with the Sekong province opening its first international border crossing on 24 March. This upgrade will further ease the movement of goods and people between the two countries, and shorten the distance between Thailand and Viet Nam via the southern Lao PDR route by more than 100 kilometres.

GMS in the News