Bangkok, 10 August, 2016 – Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and the People’s Committee of Thue Thien Hue Province, Vietnam, recently held round-table talks in efforts to boost cooperation between Thailand and Vietnam’s Thua Thien Hue Province in all matters relating to tourism.
The talks, presided over by Thailand’s Minister of Tourism and Sports, H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, were attended by Chairman of People’s Committee of Thue Thien Hue Province, Vietnam, Mr. Nguyen Van Cao, who was leading a Vietnamese delegation to Thailand to celebrate 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations. Also presented during the meeting were representatives from the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT).
During the talks, agreements were made to improve tourism cooperation and to promote cultural understanding as part of efforts to improve the longstanding friendship between Thailand and Vietnam. There is a drive to enhance the experience of tourists visiting the two ASEAN nations by sharing information on visitor preferences.
TAT has also offered to help with the human resource training and to help build connections with Thai travel agents, hotels and airlines and to jointly promote holiday destinations and attractions in the both countries.
H.E. Mrs. Kobkarn said, “We are very pleased that big tourism players in Vietnam want to improve collaboration between our nations as a way of boosting visitor numbers and improving the experience of all tourists.
“With improved cooperation on tourism, both Thailand and Vietnam will benefit in terms of trade, travel and investment. It will also help create a stronger bonds and unity between two important ASEAN partners.”
She added that the talks offered a great opportunity to link Thailand and Vietnam as part of the on-going “Two Countries, One Destination” initiative which the TAT has been running since 2015.
The campaign was established to promote cross border travel in ASEAN, create links between tourist cities and towns and offer combined holiday packages to long-haul tourists so they can explore more than one destination.
Mr. Nguyen, representing the People’s Committee of Thue Thien Hue Province, said he was looking for cooperation with Thailand to help link the kingdom’s major tourist attractions with Hue, a popular tourist destination in central Vietnam.
At the talks, one example of a potential link was between the cities of Chiang Mai and Hue, as they are both ancient capitals and boast similar attractions in terms of natural scenery and a rich and vibrant culture.
Chiang Mai and Hue have long been popular, attracting sports, adventure and health tourists. The cities could be promoted as part of the “Two Countries, One Destination” package with similar agreements to be made with destinations in Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia in the future.
To encourage cooperation on tourism matters, priority will be given to air travel connections between Thailand and other ASEAN nations such as Vietnam, as well as improved road and sea links. There have already been talks with airline partners about the possibility of new routes between Hue and Chiang Mai, as well as other Thai cities.
Last year, nearly 30 million tourists came to Thailand with 7.88 million of these coming from ASEAN nations. ASEAN is a growing market for Thailand’s tourism. By helping to enhance cross-border tourism across ASEAN including from Vietnam to Thailand, the kingdom’s tourist industry can only benefit.