Tourism forum opens doors

Published: 07/04/2011 05:00



Tourism officials spoke to Viet
Nam News about the importance of co-operation among ASEAN countries on the
sidelines of a regional meeting in Ha Noi yesterday, April 5.

Photo: VNS

Ngoc Duc, acting head of the International Co-operation Department, Viet Nam
Administration of Tourism

co-operation is part of an overall co-operation framework among members of the
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Tourism is one of very
important co-operation fields as tourism is accompanied by opportunities to
enhance mutual understanding, which is the grounds for development in trade,
culture and politics.

also one of five key markets for Viet Nam’s tourism sector. The number of ASEAN
tourists accounts for about one-fifth of international tourists to Viet Nam. In
particular, in the wake of the credit crunch and hiking fuel prices, all
countries, including Viet Nam, are tending to return to closer markets, making
ASEAN even more important.

co-operation among the ASEAN members will make it easier for the country to
access those markets.

sectors might see competition among neigh-bouring countries but in tourism,
co-operation always brings mutual benefits.

When a
non-ASEAN tourist visits a country in the ASEAN, they often tend to go to some
other countries. Therefore, if Viet Nam co-operates with other countries in the
region, they will offer a much more interesting package than promoting only one
single tourism site.

ASEAN tourists visit

Members of the Association of the South East
Asian Nations (ASEAN) received more than 65 million international tourists
last year, up 12 per cent against 2009, according to deputy director of Viet
Nam Administration of Tourism Hoang Thi Diep

Of that number, foreign tourists from other
ASEAN countries accounted for 45 per cent.

About 1 million tourists from other ASEAN
countries visited Viet Nam last year, accounting for one-fifth of all
international tourists of the country. Most came from Thailand, Malaysia and

The 2011-15 ASEAN Tourism Strategy was adopted
by tourism ministers of member countries last January. The document focuses
on co-operation in developing tourism products, improving services by
setting up common standards for them, and promoting tourism of the ASEAN as
a whole.

Viet Nam has done well with Laos and
Cambodia in that sense. Road-way package tours for Viet Nam-Laos-Thailand and
Viet Nam-Laos-Thailand-Myanmar have been offered. The country can also do
sea-route tourism packages with Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

co-operation is being stepped up within the ASEAN, member countries can exchange
experiences and learn from each other. For instance, Viet Nam can learn from
Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore, which have very strong tourism industries.

create better conditions for non-ASEAN tourists to travel within the region,
ASEAN needs to have common policies and give a priority to improve travel
issues, including visas and transportation.

Viet Nam
has now visa-free agreements with other ASEAN countries, except for Myanmar,
with whom negotiations towards a similar deal are still on-going.

Viet Nam
and other ASEAN countries are also discussing a single visa initiative for the
whole region.

Razip Hasan, director of Communications and Publicity division, the Malaysia
Tourism Promotion Board ASEAN
itself is a very big market. It offers many unique products, while some of the
products in different member countries are similar.

Therefore it’s very important that ASEAN countries speak in one voice when
promoting themselves as a very attractive destination region.

We have
to work together. We should share a common ground and common identity. I know it
will be very challenging because ASEAN is a large region but efforts must be
continuously made and never given up. At the end of the day, we would expect
that more international tourists will come to this region.

It is
expected that we will have better access for travel within the ASEAN by 2015.

instance, we will have low-cost carriers that fly to all corners of the region
and also to other parts of the world.

connectivity, better transportation infrastructure and better border crossing
are all important.

region will need to have a single mission - different countries, but one single
goal. Once tourists visit one part of the ASEAN, they can easily go to other
parts of the region.

* Sounh
Manivong, director general of the Lao National Tourism Administration

I also
expect ASEAN common tourism products to attract international visitors to Laos.

The Lao
tourism industry has committed itself to improving its service quality and
creating favourable conditions for tourists to travel.

can now get a visa at the border at 20 out of our 23 international border gates.

Nam News

Provide by Vietnam Travel

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