Berlin, 11 March, 2017 – For the first time at the ITB Berlin, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has invited tourism representatives of Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar and Vietnam (CLMVT countries) to make a joint presentation of their products and services linking their countries to Thailand at the Thailand Networking Lunch.
The presentations at the Thailand Networking Lunch are part of the “ASEAN Connect” strategy drafted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports and TAT to ensure the success of the campaign marking the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, known as Visit ASEAN@50. All the CLMVT countries are also ASEAN members.
It is also designed to promote and strengthen relations amongst the ASEAN countries and make full use of the extensive highway networks and aviation connections that link them.
The Thailand Networking Lunch, attended by many major European tour operators and media, was opened by H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, with Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor, making presentations about the Thai tourism situation, new opportunities to market sports tourism, new tourism products, services and facilities, and infrastructure update.
Mrs. Kobkarn said, “The government has emphasised on its plan to gear up Thailand in five dimensions comprising Sports Tourism, Medical and Wellness, Wedding and Romance, Marine Tourism, and ASEAN Connect.”
The Thailand Networking Lunch was followed by the presentations of the other CLMV countries.
Mr. Yuthasak Supasorn, TAT Governor said, “The integration of the ASEAN Economic Community and growing connectivity among the Greater Mekong Subregion brings vast potential to our regional tourism. The CLMVT, comprising Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, is strategically located at the heart of ASEAN. We have shared our land borders with strong ties in history and culture while each country has its own uniqueness and authentic experiences to offer.”
The number of direct flights per week from Thailand to the CLMVT countries is as follows: Cambodia (154 flights), Lao PDR. (93 flights), Myanmar (196 flights) and Vietnam (248 flights).
Also, there are various routes connecting the CLMVT countries; for example, the R3A route connecting Lao PDR. and Thailand to China, and the East–West Economic Corridor route linking Myanmar, Thailand, Lao PDR., and Vietnam.
According to the figures from the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), the number of international arrivals to the CLMVT countries has nearly tripled over the past 10 years from 18 million visitors in 2005 to just over 50 million arrivals in 2015. The number also represents about 48 percent of the total international visitors in ASEAN.
Mr. Yuthasak said, “We have numerous joint marketing activities under way at the bilateral or multilateral level among the CLMVT countries; for example, we have set up a sample of four tour programmes called “AEC Seamless Discovery” to explore various attractions of Thailand, Cambodia, Lao PDR., and Myanmar.
“Through our collaboration and joint efforts among the CLMVT countries, we will move forward together for the prosperity of the region,” he added.