Viet Nam Tourism has the honor of hosting the Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 and other related events through to 18 June, 2015 in Da Nang and with over 250 attendees and another 30 plus presenters, this is going to a great event. With the theme “Unlocking the Potential of Mekong Region via Innovative Partnerships”, this is a great opportunity for GMS member countries to declare their roles and positions in the field of tourism, in addition to share tourism development experience and introduce distinctive tourism products to international stakeholders. Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 welcomes the participation of representatives from GMS National Tourism Organizations, international speakers and experts, representatives of related Ministries and departments, local and international tourism businesses, tourism institutions and media, some diplomatic missions and international organization offices in Viet Nam.
Recent years, in the multilateral cooperation of GMS and in the bilateral cooperation between Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and China particularly, tourism sector has attracted significant attentions and supports from Governments, international organizations and related stakeholders. Mekong Tourism Forum is the most important event in the framework of GMS tourism cooperation held annually in conjunction with the Tourism Working Group Meeting and technical workshops. These events have great contribution in promoting the tourism cooperation through joint projects, sharing experiences, updating information and technology in order to develop tourism sector in GMS> This is also a good opportunity for Mekong Subregion to promote its image and attract the concern of regional and international media, increasing tourist flow intra and inter-regional.
Greater Mekong Sub-region maintains the steady growth in recent years both tourist arrivals and tourism receipt. According to the World Tourism Organization, from 2002, international visitors to GMS has increased continuously, with an average growth rate of 12% per year. In 2014, GMS welcomed nearly 54 million international tourists, up 8.2% compared to 2013, accounting for about 20% of the total international tourists coming to Asia – Pacific region; international tourism receipt reached more than 61 billion US dollars. To meet the requirement of increasing visitors, the tourism product, infrastructure, facilities and human resources in tourism industry is being invested and improved gradually, both in quantity and quality.
It is forecasted that in 2015 and the next few years, tourism sector of Grater Mekong Sub-region will face some difficulties and challenges caused by the impacts of climate change, diseases and political conflicts in some areas as well as greater competition from other countries and regions which are boosting investment and promotion for tourism development. In order to overcome these challenges and ensure the sustainable growth of the tourism sector, 6 countries should continuously contribute responsibly to the development of GMS as a whole, enlist the supports from strategic investors, innovative partners in order to provide new tourism products with high quality and better competitive capability compared to other regions. This action will also contribute to the affirmation of GMS tourism brand based on Mekong River and the increase of tourist arrivals intra and inter-regional.
Bearing that in mind, the Mekong Tourism Forum 2015 is organized with the aim at strengthening and innovating the cooperation, partnership and joint developing sub-region tourism. Taking place in 4 days from 15-18 Jung 2015, the Forum includes many important events such as the Mekong Tourism Symposium, the 35th Tourism Working Group meeting and technical workshops with the themes of tourism products, marketing and investment, chaired by Leaders of Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, People’s Committee of Da Nang city and Vietnam National Administration of Tourism. The whole event is expected to welcome more than 600 participants. The technical official meeting ae good opportunities for GMS National Tourism Strategy, including GMS Marketing Strategy, GMS Action Plan and the Priority Programs for 2015-2020 period, in addition to the legal status of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). Three workshops are open events for all participants, who share the same passion in GMS tourism, attracting several presentations, speeches of leading speakers and experts from reputable international organizations and businesses such as World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), Facebook, Tripadvisor ,…These workshops not only create a platform for individuals and organizations working in the field of tourism and related field to meet and share experiences, but also assists in orienting distinctive products, branding and attracting investment in the most prominent trends worldwide.