Thailand community tourism group
Thailand's Tourism and Sports Ministry will promote the country as the sustainable tourism hub of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), thanks to the continually increasing number of tourists in the area.
Seksan Nakwong, director of Tourism and Sports Ministry's Tourism Development Office, said last week that a recent seminar resulted increased tourism cooperation under the GMS's development project to connect travel business between Thailand and the Lao PDR, and Thailand and Vietnam.
He said the travel industry in the GMS area has lately expanded rapidly. A great number of worldwide tourists annually visit the region and the figure tends to continually rise.
According to statistics from World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and tourism reports from GMS countries, 16 million foreign travellers visited the region in 2002, rising to 22.4 million in 2006. This year, tourist numbers are expected to increase to 30 million, while 52 million are projected in 2015.
Thailand would benefit most from Mekong subregional tourism, Mr Seksan said. "It has the highest potential to attract tourists, and it is the tourism leader in the front line of Asia -- the region with the highest economic growth."
Mr Seksan said Asia is the second most popular destination following Europe, and is the continent of which tourism has expanded the most.
Factors affecting the increasing numbers of foreign travellers to the region are natural tourist attractions, local hospitality, food, cultural tourism, historic buildings and places listed as world heritage sites by UNESCO such as Cambodia's Angkor Wat, the former Lao royal capital of Luang Prabang, and Thailand's historic Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.
Cooperation in tourism is among the ways GMS members mutually support their governments' policies to jointly develop the subregion for sustainable economic growth. The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprises Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand.
Valere Tjolle is editor of the Sustainable Tourism Report Suite and Masterclasses current details and special offers at: www.travelmole.com/stories/1142003.php
Sunday, August 1, 2010