BANGKOK, 18 February 2015: Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports plans to host the next ASEAN Tourism Working Group meeting in Chiang Rai, 27 March.
Tourism and Sports Minister, Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, said the invite was based on a Memorandum of Understanding between Thailand and Cambodia, that agreed the Thai ministry should host ASEAN’s first Tourism Working Group meeting of the year, next month in the far north town.
The plan was agreed on by the tourism ministers of Cambodia and Thailand during the UNWTO/UNESCO World Conference on Tourism and Culture held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, earlier this month.
“The ministry has proposed Chiang Rai as the venue for the next meeting of the ASEAN Tourism Working Group to help encourage tourism for the country and the region,” she said.
More detail about the meeting are not available, but it is held twice a year and brings to together ministry and department of tourism officials from the 10 member countries for committee style meetings. Discussions follow on from decisions and policies agreed by tourism ministers at the annual ASEAN Tourism Forum held in January.
It has no impact on tourist arrivals and has very little value from a media perspective as the meetings are routine and closed to the press, except for a vaguely worded closing statement.
Besides the meeting, Thailand and Cambodia tourism ministries also agreed to revive the dormant tourism campaign, “Two Kingdoms One Destination”, by facilitating cross-border travel for tourists staying in a third country.
“Cambodia has also asked Thailand for human-resource development and training assistance for the tourism sector,” the minister said.
Cambodia welcomed 279,457 Thai tourists last year, an increase of 26.3% from 221,259 visits in 2013. Meanwhile, Thailand received 553,809 Cambodian travellers last year up 14.99% from 481,595 visits in 2013.