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Mekong basin countries target double-digit tourism growth
Publication Date : 12-09-2013
Five Southeast Asian countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam, are targeting a double-digit growth rate of international visitors annually by 2015 under the theme "Five Countries One Destination", according to Hoang Tuan Anh, Minister of Culture, Sport and Tourism.
In the press conference to announce the joint statement of the first Meeting of Acmecs Tourism Ministers organised on Wednesday in HCM City, Tuan Anh, the meeting's chairman, said the five countries aimed to attract 50 million foreign investors and 10 intra-regional million visitors by 2015.
"In the meeting, the ministers emphasised that the growth rate of intra-regional visitors should be higher than that of international visitors," Tuan Anh said.
He said a common visa scheme would also be carried out among the five countries of Acmecs, which stands for the Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy. The Acmecs organisation was founded in 2003 to bridge the economic gap among the countries and promote prosperity in the sub-region in a sustainable manner.
"Currently, Cambodia and Thailand have already piloted this scheme. The others, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, will further study and propose to their government in order to implement the scheme soon," he said.
Ministers from the five countries agreed to set up a new tourism corridor along Bagan, Chiang Mai, Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Siem Reap, Da Nang and Hue.
In their first meeting, the ministers were pleased about the performance of the Acmecs tourism in 2012 when the member countries welcomed more than 37 million international visitors, including 6 million intra-regional visitors, an increase of nearly 18 per cent year-on-year.
The ministers also reviewed Acmecs tourism cooperation outlined by the Vientiane Declaration of the fifth Acmecs Summit and Acmecs Plan of Action 2013-15.