[HD videos below] Strong economic growth in Asia, better air
connectivity and simplified visa procedures for most Greater
Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries resulted in over 61.2-million visitor
arrivals (excluding Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan) to
the region in 2017.
This impressive number of arrivals represents a jump of 11.7% on
2016, a year which saw the GM pass the 50-million mark for the
first time to reach 54.76 million visitors.
and Yunnan were to be included in the total, this would represent
an additional 7.03 million international visits in 2016 (10.82
million if Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan are considered ‘international’).
They is no data yet available for 2017 but overseas visits should
have fluctuated between 7.5 and 8 million last year.
Thailand continues to have the largest market
share of all international arrivals in the region. In 2017 the
close to 35.5 million visitors, a jump of 8.6% over 2016. Thailand's
market share shrank slightly from 59.5% to 57.8% of all arrivals,
a slight decrease due to the strong rise in international arrivals
from Vietnam. Thailand retains its lead however, and has the
ambition to welcome over 40 million travellers by the end of
the decade. An ambitious program of upgrading airports and improving
rail connectivity should help bringing more travellers to the
Vietnam is consolidating its position as
the GMS' second largest inbound destination for international
travellers. Total visitors arrivals last year reached 12.9
million, a jump of 29.1% on 2016. This is due to a huge
rise in arrivals from China (+48.5%) but also to a more open
visa policy from the government and, last but not least, to a
increase in air connectivity. Many new international routes
started from major cities like Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh (Saigon) and Danang
and also from
secondary destinations such as Dalat, Haiphong, Nha Trang and Phu
Cambodia is now the third largest inbound
market of all GMS countries with over 5.6 million international
visitors in 2017, a growth of almost 12% on 2016. Cambodia is
targeting 7.5 million travellers by the end of the decade. While
the main destinations remain Siem Reap / Angkor and Phnom Penh, new
resorts along the Gulf of Siam are increasingly positioning
Cambodia as a beach destination with more international
flights landing in Sihanoukville.
Last year Laos recorded a decline in visitor
arrivals of 8.7%,
the equivalent of 3.87 million international travellers. The
hosting of Visit Laos Year 2018 should invert the trend and let
Laos see more visitors during the year. More flights
connect Vientiane and Luang Prabang and by 2022 the
country’s first high speed train connecting Vientiane to Kunming
via Luang Prabang should boost arrivals, mostly from China.
Myanmar managed to revert its decline in
tourist arrivals experienced in 2016. Total international
visitors’ arrivals in 2017 grew by 18.4% allowing the country to pass
again the 3-million mark. Yangon, the country’s largest
international gateway saw arrivals growing by over 6%. Simplified
visa formalities with the introduction of an e-visa for tourists
should have a positive effect this year. The upgrading of Bagan
and Inlay Lake airports to allow them to receive regional flights
will also help boostinternational arrivals in the years
performance of GMS countries is mostly due to the dynamic of the
Chinese holiday market. Except for Lao PDR and Myanmar, China is
now the number one inbound market in the region, generating
25.8% of all arrivals to the GMS in 2017.
to Thailand is slowly approaching the 10-million mark (9.81
million in 2017, up 12% with a market share of 27.7% of all
In Vietnam, Chinese arrivals jumped by 48% last year
to reach 4.01 million, representing a market share of 31% of all
arrivals to the country.
Cambodia received 1.21 million Chinese
travellers in 2017, a jump of 45% on 2016. Chinese
visitors now represent 21.6% of all arrivals.
visitors to Laos declined last year, China continued to grow.
Total arrivals jumped by 17%, or 639,000 visitors. China
was the only large inbound source market for Laos to
experience growth last year and represents 16.5% of all arrivals.
Last year, Chinese arrivals to Myanmar grew by
15.6% to pass the 200,000-visitors mark for the first time. China's
market share remains relatively small as it represents only 15.6%
of all arrivals at international gateways (excluding one-day
visitors movements at land borders).
MIST (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) Panel Discussion at Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 on 26 June 2018. Panelists include Jason Richards, Regional Sales Manager - Asia Pacific at Cloudbeds, Alberto Moreno, CEO and Founder of Baolau and Clement Wong, CEO and Founder of BeMyGuest. The panel discussion was moderated by Jason Lusk, Director of MIST.".
Alberto Moreno, CEO and Founder of Baolau - a multi-transport travel search engine for the Mekong region, gives a presentation during M.I.S.T. (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) at the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand on 26 June 2018.
Jason Richards, Cloudbeds Regional Manager Asia Pacific, gives a presentation at MIST (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) during the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 on 26 June".
Clement Wong, CEO and Founder of BeMyGuest giving a presentation at Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand on 26 June 2018.