Tourism

Countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working together to promote the subregion as a single destination for international visitors and encourage communities to enhance the environmental, social, and economic benefits of tourism.

The Tourism Working Group (TWG) provides operational leadership and technical guidance to plan, implement, monitor, and evaluate subregional activities.


This work has included marketing sustainable and pro-poor tourism in the subregion through the development of multi-country tour packages; training government officials and people working in the tourism industry; producing local products for sale to tourists; and preserving the ecological and cultural heritage of key tourist sites in the subregion.

In September 2017, ministers from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion endorsed the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025 to enable more competitive, balanced, and sustainable destination development.

Related

Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025

Tourism Working Group (TWG)

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office website

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank and Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

  • Steven Schipani
    Viet Nam Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Jens Thraenhart
    Executive Director,
    
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office 
    E-mail

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Rhodora Concepcion
    Thailand Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Flordeliza Melendez
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

A hot air balloon flies over Bagan. Photo: Piktour UK via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Myanmar Releases Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery

The Government of Myanmar released a Strategic Roadmap for Tourism Recovery that aims to establish ‘new normal’ conditions to help tourism make  a comeback.  

Mr. Ohn Maung, Union Minister of Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, provided guidelines for implementation of the plan. It includes three phases:  

Survival 

GMS in the News

Photo: Rajesh_India/ Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Travel Bubbles Proposed to Kickstart Tourism in the Region

‘Travel bubbles’ are being considered by Southeast Asian countries, including Myanmar and Thailand, as a means to safely resume travel activities. Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group recommended creating travel bubbles to kickstart regional tourism in the absence of a coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in their meeting in May.

GMS in the News

A 24/7 automatic dispensing machine provides free rice for people out of work following the lockdown. This was spearheaded by a Vietnamese entrepreneur in Ho Chi Minh City. Photo by Reuters on Twitter.

Initiative Gathers Mekong Innovations Spurred by the COVID-19 Pandemic

An initiative by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), Destination Mekong, and the Mekong Institute (MI) taps individuals' help in crowdsourcing newly-spotted innovations on how the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is being managed and/or overcome in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

GMS in the News

Can Tho Prepares to Become a Major Smart City in the Mekong Delta

Through the use of modern information technology, Can Tho is transforming itself to become Viet Nam’s first smart city in the southwestern region by 2025. By transforming itself into a smart city, Can Tho hopes to further encourage civic engagement,  increase competitiveness, and improve the city’s socio-economic development.   

GMS in the News

Cambodia Plans Improvement of Thailand and Viet Nam Border Gate Facilities

A press release from the Royal Government of Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance announced plans to improve facilities at border gates with Thailand and Viet Nam.   

Cambodia’s border crossing points with Thailand and Vietnam are crowded with traffic of cross-border transport and tourists. The country wants to develop the necessary infrastructure to manage this traffic flow to ease cross-border transport and boost trade activities.

The Economic and Financial Policy Committee, chaired by Deputy Prime Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, approved the proposal. 

News

Lao PDR and Myanmar to Work on a New Cooperation Master Plan

The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Myanmar will explore opportunities to enhance tourism cooperation through bilateral and multilateral frameworks. This was agreed by the two countries at the 12th Meeting of Myanmar-Laos Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation held in Vientiane, Lao PDR on 6 March 2020. 

Lao PDR and Myanmar aim to create a new cooperation master plan. Tourism could help promote each other’s rich culture and heritage and bring their people together.  

News

Border gate between Lao PDR and Viet Nam in Lao Bao (ADB Photo)

Lao PDR, Viet Nam Plan to Open New International Borders

Lao People’s Democratic Republic (PDR) and Viet Nam plan to upgrade two local border crossing points to international border crossings this year. The plan was announced during the 29th annual border meeting of the two neighboring countries on 26 December 2019 in Ha Noi, Viet Nam. 

The Dak Ta-Ok (Lao PDR)–Nam Giang (Viet Nam) between Xekong (Lao PDR) and Quang Nam (Viet Nam) provinces will be the first international crossing point in Xekong. The neighboring countries plan to open this upgraded international border crossing in the first quarter of 2020.

GMS in the News