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.

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

The Greater Mekong Subregion Sustainable Tourism Development Project funded by ADB developed homestay service, catering services and tours in Viet Nam. Photo by ADB.

Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 Opens Voting for Nominated Mekong Businesses

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is inviting the public to vote for their favorite Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) small businesses to determine the six final businesses that will be recognized for the 2021 Experience Mekong Showcases. The public gets to learn about and choose from the 72 finalists from the Experience Mekong Showcases voting page.  

GMS in the News

Photo by ADB.

Nominations for 2021 Mekong Hero Open

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Mekong Hero. Launched in 2020 by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Destination Mekong, the ‘Mekong Heroes’ program aims to celebrate passionate individuals in Mekong tourism who work tirelessly behind the scenes to inspire and influence, modeling new ways of conceiving and doing tourism better. Nominees could be CEOs or senior government officials, or they might be entrepreneurs or small business owners -- leaders that have made a significant contributio

GMS in the News

Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) 2021: Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and its partners will collectively zero in on strategies and policy responses that countries can adopt to lay the groundwork for post-COVID-19 recovery at the upcoming Southeast Asia Development Symposium (SEADS) Innovation through Collaboration: Planning for Inclusive Post-COVID-19 Recovery

GMS in the News

46th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group

The Government of Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) with assistance of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) virtually convened the 46th Meeting of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Working Group (TWG-46) on 3 December 2020. 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).

Events

The community-based tourism area Bo Trach District, Quang Binh Province was first supported in 2001 by the GMS Sustainable Tourism Development Project. Photo by ADB.

MIST Program to Highlight Innovations in Sustainable Tourism

The MIST program has been reimagined as “Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism,” and shifts its focus to highlight innovations in sustainable tourism, resilience, and climate change in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) made the announcement and opened the latest round of nominations on 1 February 2021. MIST welcomes nominees from startups, established companies, government organizations, NGOs, academia, media, as well as individuals, students, and partnerships on initiatives that can be

GMS in the News

The Joint Declaration adopted at the 11th CLV Summit provides a foundation for the socio-economic development plan until 2030. Photo by VNA.

11th CLV Summit Commits to Strengthen Development Triangle Area

Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam (CLV) Leaders expressed their firm commitment to strengthen the CLV Development Triangle Area (DTA) in order to accelerate economic growth, alleviate poverty, and promote socio-cultural progress in the subregion. At the 11th CLV Summit held online on 9 December, they adopted a Joint Declaration that provides a foundation for the subregion’s socio-economic development plan until 2030 and the Tourism Development Plan. They also adopted the Development Plan for Sustainable Rubber Industry.  

GMS in the News