HO CHI MINH CITY, 11 September 2017: Four Mekong Region countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam attracted 22 million visits, last year, leaders of the CLMV tourism group reported on the sidelines of the International Travel Expo last Friday.
They were attending the 4th Meeting of Cambodia – Laos – Myanmar- Vietnam (CLMV) Tourism Ministers, held during ITE Ho Chi Minh City and concluded tourism was major driver for their economies.
The meeting was chaired by Vietnamese Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Nguyen Ngoc Thien.
The minister stressed that tourism has been driving cooperation between CLMV member countries, since the first meeting held in Vietnam in 2012.
The four countries are pursuing an agenda to push the branding “Four Countries – One Destination” that will develop multi-destination itineraries.
Airlines are being encouraged to link the four countries to make it easier to travel between the main tourist destinations with without backtracking.
The ministers noted that there should be direct flights between the World Heritage destinations in the four countries. Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam have several destinations recognised by UNESCO in its World Heritage listing. Myanmar has various cultural destinations that are likely to become World Heritage sites over the next three years.
However, travelling times between the destinations can often take a day, or more, as flights often require travellers to backtrack through gateway cities. It adds to the cost of travel and the time spent flying and transiting at airports.
At the close of the CLMV meeting, Minister Nguyen Ngoc Thien said the group would increase promotional activities, develop tourism products and improve the participation of the private sectors in each country to reach mutual goals.