Travel and tourism is growing in leaps and bounds thanks to growing air and land connectivity and accessibility of the key cities of Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand, or collectively CLMVT. In 2015, visitor arrivals to Cambodia grew by 6.1% to 4.78 million, to Lao PDR. up 13% to 4.7 million, to Vietnam up 0.9% to 7.9 million, Myanmar up 52% to 4.68 million and Thailand up 20% to 29.8 million. More growth is still to come as intraregional transportation linkages grow and the national tourism organisations press ahead with joint marketing activities.
A press conference followed the theme of “CLMVT Link: Prosper Together”. Representatives from the five countries provided the perspective on their countries circumstances as follows: Cambodia – Travel and tourism is now one of the four main pillars of economic growth with 620,000 direct jobs and contributing US$ 3 billion (13%) to the GDP. The target was for travel and tourism to generate 7.5 million to 8 million visitor arrivals, creating one million direct jobs by 2020. Lao PDR – The country is continuing to convert its land-locked status into a strategic advantage.
There are now 10 border checkpoints with Thailand, eight with Vietnam, and one each with Cambodia and Myanmar. There is air accessibility to airports in Lao PDR. from Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh, Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Myanmar – It was noted that airline access to her country was on the rise. Seven airlines are flying from Thailand and two from Vietnam.
There are now four international checkpoints with Myanmar and Thailand and one with Lao PDR. Vietnam – There are now 13 flights a day from both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Bangkok; 17 flights a week between Ho Chi Minh City and Siem Reap, daily flights from Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh, and five flights a day from Hanoi to Siem Reap. In addition, there are now daily flights from Hanoi to Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Yangon, and 10 flights a week from Ho Chi Minh City to Yangon.
New charter flights have been launched from Vinh (Nghe An) to Bangkok on 8th June. Tourism Authority of Thailand Governor Mr Yuthasak discussed the strong emerging potential of the Asian Highway which would make it possible to drive from Chiang Khong in Northern Thailand all the way through Lao PDR. to Kunming in China, and from Mawlyamvine in Myanmar across Thailand to Da Nang in Viet Nam. Another highway route will lead from Nakhon Phanom in Northeast Thailand through Lao PDR. to the Vietnamese capital city of Hanoi.
All this infrastructure connectivity would make it possible to undertake numerous joint projects, such as motor caravans as well as activities such as ASEAN festivals, bazaars, spiritual events, cruise and riverbased tourism. Contact Information International Public Relations Division Tourism Authority of Thailand Website: www.tatnews.org.