Mekong: Opening travel east and west

October 4, 2017 by  
Filed under ASEAN, Events, Mekong, News

HOI AN, 4 October 2017: Vietnam says it will pursue a two-year action plan to encourage tourism along what is called the East-West Corridor, a route that could ultimately link Vietnam, Laos, Thailand and Myanmar through their central regions.

Vietnam National Administration of Tourism introduced the two-year action plan saying it would introduce new travel products for niche markets such as adventure tours, cultural tours based around festivals, food tourism and architectural-based tours linked to the region’s rich history and art.

The plan came up for an airing at the first East West Economic Corridor (EWEC) Technical Tour and Workshop, co-chaired by VNAT and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office last month. Read more

Amadeus backs Mekong seminar

September 25, 2017 by  
Filed under Events, Mekong, News, Thailand

BANGKOK, 25 September, 2017:  Amadeus and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) are jointly organising the first Mekong Trends Aviation Seminar, in Bangkok, 10 October.

They are inviting industry leaders to attend from the six member countries of the Mekong Region; Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guang Xi provinces) Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam

The inaugural Mekong Trends Aviation Seminar will highlight the key insights of the recently published Mekong Trends Snapshot on Air Transport in the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Read more

China opens Bangkok tourism office

June 26, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News, North Asia, Thailand

BANGKOK, 26 June 2017: China National Tourism Administration opened a bureau in Bangkok, last week, the authority’s 22nd overseas office according China Radio Online.

Officials attending the opening ceremony said the two countries enjoy strong two-way travel.

The opening of the China National Tourism Office in Bangkok will also encourage more tourism exchange and provide support for projects linked to China’s “one belt, one road” policy. Read more

Kunming flight turbulence

June 19, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Mekong, News

BEIJING, 19 June 2017: At least 26 people were injured, four of them seriously, when a China Eastern Airlines flight from Paris hit turbulence on Sunday over southwest China, state media said.

The incident happened when Flight MU744 from Charles de Gaulle Airport was descending to land at Kunming Changshui International Airport in Yunnan province, Xinhua news agency reported.

Passengers are being treated for bone fractures, scalp lacerations and soft tissue injuries caused by falling baggage or collisions with overhead lockers, it cited local hospitals as saying. Read more

Luang Prabang bucks travel trend

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Laos PDR, Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: Lao PDR’s World Heritage town Luang Prabang bucked the country’s negative trend in tourist arrivals in 2016 delivering a 5.88% increase, the town’s tourism department reported on the sidelines of the Mekong Tourism Forum last week.

Addressing a press conference, Luang Prabang deputy director Department of Information, Culture and Tourism, Soudaphone Khomthavong, said the destination continues to see positive results during the first quarter of this year, the only province to do so.

Overall, Laos closed 2016 with 4.68 million tourist arrivals, down 12.66% from 4.23 million in 2015. The last time the country saw its tourist arrivals dip was in 2001 and again in 2003. The drop in 2001 was blamed on the terror attack in the US and in 2003 on the SARS epidemic in Asia. Read more

Handouts win airline hearts

June 14, 2017 by  
Filed under Aviation, Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 14 June 2017: Airports and national tourist offices in the Greater Mekong Sub-region are playing a pivotal role to attract airlines to fly to secondary airports, according to ForwardKeys director of business development APAC, Jameson Wong.

Faced by bottlenecks at gateway airports, governments and airport authorities are canvassing airlines to fly to secondary destinations.

The strategy has accelerated in the Greater Mekong Sub-region following the ratification of ASEAN Open Skies Agreement. Read more

Mekong startups win cash awards

June 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 13 July 2017: GoP a travel app startup company serving domestic travellers in Myanmar walked away with the USD10,000 prize at the inaugural MIST awards presentation during the Mekong Tourism Forum last week.

GoP works like a typical travel agency by working with tour operators, hotels tour providers, restaurants and transport operators to offer vacations to Myanmar’s family market. It won the MIST Startup Accelerator Award that comes with a USD10,000 cash prize.

The Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST) Accelerator Programme’s final pitch and awards presentations were key highlights of this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum, held in Luang Prabang, Laos. Read more

ADB funds flow to the Mekong

June 12, 2017 by  
Filed under Don Ross, Mekong, Travel Logs

BANGKOK, 12 July 2017: Achieving balance in Mekong Region tourism was the underlying theme of keynote addresses and discussions at breakout sessions during the 20th Mekong Tourism Forum held last week in the World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos.

But will the region’s tourism policy makers listen to the call for caution, balance and possibly a rethink of long-term goals?

The region known as the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) is heading for an astounding tourist head count of 66.9 million this year and based on the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016 to 2025 the region is on track to welcome 95 million visitors by 2025. Read more

ASIA DMC bags six awards

June 8, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News, tour operators

SHANGHAI, 8 June 2017: ASIA DMC has been named winner at the World Travel Awards in an impressive six categories.

The company was awarded Asia’s Leading Destination Management Company 2017 and also received accolades for the leading DMC in Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia and Myanmar.

ASIA DMC founder Tran Thanh Nam attended the gala ceremony held at Grand Kempinski Hotel Shanghai on the 4 June to collect the awards, accompanied by group managing director Linh Le and Indochina Managing Director Nguyen Thi Tuyet. Read more

Can the GMS connect rail by 2020?

June 7, 2017 by  
Filed under Mekong, News

LUANG PRABANG, 7 June 2017: Rail systems fail to figure in the Mekong Region travel picture, but that might change over the next 10 years as plans to build new lines and link existing rail networks take shape in the six-country region.

A report on the Greater Mekong Subregion website challenges readers. “Imagine boarding the overnight sleeper train in Ho Chi Minh City and waking up in Bangkok, or in Yangon a few days later.”

This is not a remotely possible today in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), but officials and executives of the Asian Development Bank believe that could change a dream into reality by 2020. Read more

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