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Mekong Tourism Forum Opens in Cambodia

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Friday, 7 May 2010

The Mekong Tourism Forum opened today in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with private and public sector tourism representatives gathering to assess the opportunities arising from the new road corridors that are opening up the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS).

In his opening remarks to over 170 attendees at the opening session today, H.E. Kuosuom Saroeuth, Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia, said, "The Mekong Tourism Forum represents an inclusive, cooperative effort to encourage both public and private sector participation to represent the GMS as a single destination. We hope to expand our marketing networks, promote the GMS, and its stakeholders, and pool our collective resources to create synergy between the six countries of the region."

The focus of the forum will be on the benefits to tourism that occur from new road corridors linking the region. The GMS countries, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern Chinese provinces of Yunnan and Guangxi, chose the theme "New Roads, New Opportunities" to pinpoint the challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the region.

"The time is right for inspirational and innovative cross-border tourism ideas that utilise the new road links," said Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) Executive Director, Mr Mason Florence. "We're moving from infrastructure provision to promotion and protection in the GMS. That's why the Mekong Tourism Forum will become an annual event again."

During the two-day forum, delegates will also hear from Mekong region governments about their plans for cooperation in tourism. Officials will update the audience on visa regulations, airport developments, border crossing changes, and new policies and incentives for the industry.

During the forum at the Angkor Century Resort & Spa in Siem Reap, panel discussions are being held on "Pioneering Mekong Tourism Products," "The Path to Community-based Tourism," "How Sustainable Tourism Can Drive Profit," and "The Road Ahead".

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