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Mr Savankhone Razmountry (right) and other ACMECS tourism ministers pose for a group photo during the meeting.

ACMECS tourism ministers promote “Five Countries, One Destination”

Tourism ministers of five countries under the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) have agreed to work together to pursue “Five Countries, One Destination” marketing programme, selling the region as a single, world-class destination to attract more visitors.
The ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam reached an agreement and issued a joint statement following their 4th meeting under the theme: “The River of Life” in Chiang Rai, Thailand this week.
Lao Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Savankhone Razmountry led a Lao delegation attending the meeting.
The ministers reaffirmed the commitment to fully and effectively implement the ACMECS Master Plan to realise the vision “Building ACMECS CONNECT by 2023”. The Ministers also reaffirmed the commitment of the ACMECS Leaders made at the 8th ACMECS Summit in June 2018 in Bangkok to promote a win-win partnership and cooperation and to actively engage development partners and financial institutions in promoting connectivity and sustainable development in the sub-region.
Last year, ACMECS countries recorded 67.71 million international tourist arrivals, an increase of 10.61 percent compared to 2017. Of which intraregional visitors were 9.55 million, accounting for 14.1 percent. This generated revenue of US$96 billion.
With active cooperation and commitment, the ministers expected that ACMECS tourism would continue to perform robustly and generate sustainable benefits to all ACMECS countries, both socially and economically.
The meeting noted joint promotional and marketing activities in organising international tourism fairs and events in the ACMECS Countries.
The countries have also engaged in cooperation on capacity development programmes for tourism officials and stakeholders.
The ministers discussed directions to continue the implementation of the Plan of Action on ACMECS Tourism Cooperation 2019 - 2023 which consists of tourism promotion and marketing, tourism product linkages, tourism information exchange, tourism product development, human resource development, tourism safety, and private sector involvement. 
The ministers supported the promotion of “Five Countries, One Destination” and encouraged the ACMECS countries to develop tourism routes or corridors to promote ancient capitals, cultural heritage sites as well as Buddhist trails in the sub region.
The meeting also supported the promotion of responsible tourism and cooperation between the public and private sectors on intraregional sustainable linkages.
The ministers encouraged the ACMECS countries to share best practices and information on tourism development and regulations as well as economic data to develop the ACMECS region as a single world-class destination.
On this occasion, Tourism Ministers from Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMV) also convened their 5th meeting.
The ministers were satisfied to note that CLMV countries welcomed 29.44 million international tourist arrivals in 2018, an increase of 13.96 percent compared to 2017, generating US$33.9 billion.
CLMV noted progress made on their tourism cooperation, including self-driving tours (Cambodia-Laos-Viet Nam), more air carriers and direct flights connecting regional destinations, travel facilitation by reducing unnecessary barriers (formalities) and e-visa expansion.
Progress has also been made on the promotion of a Buddhist Pilgrimage Tour through heritage routes connected within the region.
The meeting highlighted the significance of further intensifying the joint tourism promotion and marketing activities, including the participation in international tourism events, travel fairs and exhibitions.
The ministers adopted the Action Programme on CLMV Tourism Cooperation 2019-2021, which further focuses on promoting the realisation of “Four Countries, One Destination” emphasising intraregional travel facilitation and simplification, tourism capacity building, the involvement of the private sector and local communities, tourism product development and tourism safety.

By Times Reporters
(Latest Update June 14, 2019)

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