The six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the People’s Republic of China, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam – prioritize joint tourism marketing.
Introduced at the 20th Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Ministerial Conference in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar on September 10th, the new Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 has been launched and aligns the shared objectives of GMS countries by developing thematic multi-country tour programs and promoting secondary destinations to help distribute the benefits of tourism more widely.
The plan has the aim of boosting tourism competitiveness in GMS and thereby increasing visitor arrivals and destination expenditure.
A strategic objective is to promote secondary destinations and encourage multi-country itineraries, especially those with themes of community-based tourism and river-based tourism, as well as local cuisine, and cultural appreciation. “We encourage tourists to spread their spending beyond established locations such as Angkor Wat, the Grand Palace in Bangkok, and Yangon in Myanmar,” said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.
Thraenhart said he was optimistic that the marketing plan would help further raise the profile of the GMS as a world-class destination, with good air, land, and water connectivity, diverse tourism activities, quality tourism services, and convenient tourist visa policies. The plan recognizes the competitive global tourism landscape, changing consumer behavior, the importance of the internet and mobile usage, improved infrastructure and access to the GMS. As such, the focus is around travel experiences and connecting with the local culture of the region.
The new plan includes collaborative marketing tools such as the MekongTourism.org digital platform, which hosts a freely accessible GMS tourism e-library.
Preparation of the plan was led by the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Working Group, with support from the Asian Development Bank and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.
The Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020 can be downloaded in the Mekong Tourism e-Library at http://www.mekongtourism.org/index.php/about/marketing-strategy/.