On 15 June, Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 was held by Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism with the theme of Better exploring potential of Greater Mekong Subregion tourism through new partnership relations at Novotel Hotel in Da Nang City. Opening the forum is the Mekong Products Development Workshop with the participation of nearly 100 delegates from the national tourism agencies of countries in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), including Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, and China. There were also international experts, representatives of relevant ministries, branches, travel businesses, tourist training facilities, domestic and international new agencies, some diplomatic missions, and international organizations in Vietnam.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, Mr. Ha Van Sieu - Deputy General Director of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism said that in recent years, tourism cooperation within the Greater Mekong Subregion has received special attention and support from governments in the region, international organizations and other relevant partners. To maintain the sustainable development of tourism in Mekong River Delta by promoting joint development of tourism projects to establish and promote new products with high quality, characterized brand of Mekong River to international friends and the region. Also, this will attract strategic investors in Mekong River Delta tourism products to have high competitiveness with other regions in the world, actively share international experience in tourism development. The workshop focused on sharing, discussing the contents of key tourism products in Greater Mekong Subregion, including cruise and waterway tourism products, community tourism products, adventure tourism, and culinary tourism products. Thereby, it contributes to guide enterprises in focal product development, establish destination brand, effectively formulate and implement programs to promote Mekong River Delta tourism and in other regions.
According to the statistics of World Tourism Organization, from 2002 to the present, the number of international visitors to the GMS has increased continuously with an average growth rate of 12% / year. In 2014, the Mekong Subregion welcomed nearly 54 million of international visitors, increasing by 8.2% year on year, accounting for 20% of the total number of visitors to Asia - Pacific. The total revenue reached over US $61 billion. To meet the increasing demand of tourists, tourism products, service technical infrastructure systems and human resource for tourism are gradually being invested, increased in quantity and quality.
It is reported that Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 was organized with the aim of strengthening and renewing the cooperation, partnership and joint development sub-region tourism. Taking place over 4 days from 15-18 June 2015, the forum included many important events such as Mekong Tourism Conference, the 35th Mekong Tourism Working Group Meeting and seminars on tourism products, marketing and tourism investment were chaired by leaders of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Vietnam tourism Administration, and Da Nang People's Committee. It was forecasted that all events in the forum had attracted more than 600 representatives. The technical meetings will be opportunities for the national tourism agencies in GMS countries and development partners to discuss the draft on GMS Tourism Strategy, including Marketing GMS, GMS Action Plan and priority projects in term of 2015-2020, as well as legal position of the Coordination Office for tourism cooperation in Mekong Sub-region.
According to the organizers, three seminars were events for all participants interested in GMS tourism, attracting the participation presentations, comments of many scholars and experts coming from prestigious international organizations enterprises such as United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific - Asia Tourism Association, Adventure Trade Tourism Association, Facebook, and Tripadvisor... These workshops not only provide opportunities for individuals and organizations in the field of tourism and related sectors to meet, connect, and share experiences, but also assist in the unique construction-oriented specialty products, brand promotion, and appeal investment under the most striking trends in current world tourism.