36.8 C
Thursday, June 20, 2024

Thailand Leads Greater Mekong Tourism Revolution

Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS)In a bold move to solidify its position as the leading tourism hub in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), Thailand is setting the stage for an unprecedented increase in regional tourism. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism and Sports, is spearheading efforts to draw over 95 million tourists to the GMS by 2025. This initiative underscores Thailand’s commitment to fostering regional cooperation and economic growth through tourism.

Uniting Regional Leaders

Thapanee Kiatphaibool -  Governor.
Thapanee Kiatphaibool – Governor.

Senior tourism officials and executives from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar will join Thailand at the prestigious Thailand Travel Mart Plus (TTM+) from June 5-7 in Khao Lak, Phang-nga Province. This annual event, a key fixture on the international travel trade calendar, will feature representatives from over 15 agencies working together to boost regional tourism.

TAT Governor Miss Thapanee Kiatphaibool will lead the delegation, and she highlighted the importance of this initiative. “This trip is a vital part of the policy set by Mr Sermsak Phongpanich, Minister of Tourism and Sports, to further strengthen the relations between Thailand and our neighbours in the Greater Mekong Subregion,” she said. We share common borders, values, and culture and heritage. I firmly believe we can all learn from and help each other.”

Showcasing Thailand’s Tourism Assets

Ahead of the official opening of TTM+, delegates will embark on exclusive tours of Phuket, Thailand’s idyllic island resort and gateway to Khao Lak. The itinerary includes visits to the Ban Bang Rong Community, Phuket Old Town, and various facilities promoting sports, health, gastronomy, and marine tourism. These tours aim to showcase Thailand’s diverse tourism offerings and highlight the potential for collaborative tourism packages.

Greater Mekong Tourism Set to Exceed 95 Million Visitors by 2025 in Landmark Regional Cooperation.
Greater Mekong Tourism Set to Exceed 95 Million Visitors by 2025 in Landmark Regional Cooperation.

The distinguished guests will include Mr Seila Hul, Under Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia; Mr. Khom Douangchantha, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department, Lao PDR Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism; Mr. Maung Maung Kyaw, Director General of the Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar; and Miss Suvimol Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO).

Strategic Vision for Regional Tourism

The GMS initiative encompasses six countries: Myanmar, Cambodia, Lao PDR, China (Yunnan and Guangxi), Thailand, and Vietnam. The joint tourism strategy aims to increase visitor numbers to an impressive 95 million by 2025. TTM+ is a crucial platform for GMS countries, allowing them to participate in Thailand’s leading B2B travel trade show and connect with 425 hosted tour operators from 50 countries worldwide.

Miss Thapanee elaborated on Thailand’s ambitious plans, stating, “One of the key components of the Royal Thai Government’s IGNITE Thailand Vision is to position Thailand as a Tourism Hub of ASEAN. During the TTM+ 2024 event, we will be discussing ways to improve rail, road, air, and sea connectivity between Thailand and the GMS countries to make it easier to design creative packages and facilitate seamless travel to and within the region.”

Long-standing Commitment to Regional Tourism

Thailand’s commitment to regional tourism is not new. Since the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996, facilitated by the Tourism Authority of Thailand in cooperation with the Pacific Asia Travel Association, Thailand has been a staunch supporter of tourism and travel in the GMS. “We strongly believe that intra-regional tourism has great promise and can play a major role in boosting our economies, promoting culture and heritage, and meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” said Miss Thapanee.

This initiative also aligns with broader regional and sub-regional goals, including BIMSTEC, BRICS, and APEC, and builds on bilateral agendas with countries such as China, South Korea, and Malaysia. Miss Thapanee expressed gratitude to various Thai government bodies, including the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Transport, National Economic and Social Development Council, and the Board of Investment, for their support in promoting Thailand as a Tourism Hub of ASEAN.

Looking Ahead

The ambitious goal of attracting 95 million visitors to the GMS by 2025 is a testament to the region’s potential and Thailand’s leadership. As the TTM+ 2024 approaches, all eyes will be on Thailand as it continues to drive regional tourism forward, fostering economic growth, cultural exchange, and sustainable development.




Written by: Supaporn Pholrach







Related Articles


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.