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Vietnam, Laos, Thailand review joint tourism programme
Publication Date : 01-08-2012
Tourism authorities from the provinces of Vietnam's Quang Tri, Laos' Savannakhet, and Thailand's Mukdahan met in central Vietnam recently to review implementation of an agreement they had signed last year.
Speaking at the 8th conference on tourism cooperation in Dong Ha city, Quang Tri, Director of the province's Department of Culture, Sports and Tourism Nguyen Huu Thang said since the previous meeting in Savanakhet last June the three border provinces had eased immigration formalities.
Mukdahan had organised familiarisation trips to Thailand's north-eastern provinces while Quang Tri and Savannakhet had agreed to do surveys to organise tours between Laos and Vietnam for travellers from the two countries, he said.
Many international-standard facilities have been built along the Trans-Asia Highway, also known as the East-West Economic Corridor (EWEC), which runs from central Vietnam through Laos and the north-east of Thailand to Myanmar.
But more facilities such as gas stations, motels, souvenir shops, restaurants, money changers, and information booths were needed there, especially in sections in Quang Tri and Savannakhet, he said.
The conference also agreed to expand the programme from the current three provinces to seven in Vietnam, six in Laos plus its capital Vientiane, and 11 in Thailand.
The newcomers include Vietnam's Nghe An, Ha Tinh, Quang Binh, Thua Thien–Hue, Quang Nam and Da Nang city.
Delegates at the conference agreed to adopt and use an EWEC tourism logo that was recommended at the last conference.
The Lao representatives proposed that tourism cooperation should be incorporated into bilateral Laos-Thailand, Laos-Vietnam, and other relations for better coordination.
According to Vietnam's border guard agency at Lao Bao in Quang Tri Province, last year about 379,000 travellers entered Vietnam and 395,540 left through the border gate.