Prime Minister Hun Sen has urged Ayeyawady-Chao Phraya-Mekong Economic Cooperation Strategy (ACMECS) members to promote travel between Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam (CLMV) through more air, land and water connections.
At the 5th ACMECS and 6th CLMV Tourism Ministers Meeting on Thursday, Hun Sen said that for two years, the role of tourism has been seen as increasingly necessary to sustain economic growth and strengthen the relationship between the region’s nations and people.
“I would like to support the continued campaign “Five countries, one destination,” the PM said.
He added that ACMECS and CLMV should enhance cooperation on tourism products to drive diversity for tourists in response to post-Covid-19 tourist trends.
“The member states shall multiply efforts of cooperation on developing rural tourism including community-based tourism, eco-tourism, adventure tourism, health and wellness tourism, gastronomy tourism,” the PM added.
In addition, it responds to increasing tourism demand and directly contributes to the local development. He said ACMECS and CLMV should lay out a cooperation framework to support MSMEs to become the backbone for sustainable and resilient tourism development.
Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism, Thong Khon, said after the meeting, ACMECS members agreed to support the Promotion of Inland Travel, which emphasizes air, land and water connections, including the promotion of self-driving tourism and the continuation of the "five countries, one destination" campaign to attract tourists from third countries.
ACMECS members agreed to continue to enhance cooperation in the diversification of tourism products, including community-based tourism, ecotourism, adventure tourism, sporting events, tourism, health tourism, food tourism, and also agreed to promote tourism policy.
“Responsible for creating favorable conditions for product development and tourism business, the ministers also set out a framework for cooperation to support MSMEs as the backbone for sustainable and responsible development,” he said.
President of the Cambodian Association of Travel Agents (CATA), Chhay Sivlin, said the private sector is in recovery mode and some business owners have already started to open their business again. They will provide service according to tourists’ needs, including, staying, food and other services.
International tourists in ACMECS reached about 10 million in the first nine months of 2022, of which the number of domestic tourists was about 4.8 million, equal to 49 percent of the total number of international tourists, according to the Ministry of Tourism.