On September 22, 2014, in Ho Chi Minh City, UNWTO in collaboration with Viet Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) organized the Conference on ASEAN’s river tourism development.
The conference with the attendance of tourism officials of 10 ASEAN countries together with experts from UNWTO aims to discuss potentials and solutions to river tourism development.
Southeast Asia region has 33 big rivers, of which Mekong River – a large river running through several countries like Viet Nam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos in the region is of great advantage to tourism development. According to tourism experts, the countries should utilize these strengths to develop river tourism into an attractive tourism product and establish ASEAN’s typical river tourism system.
ASEAN river network can create a combination of exciting destinations which have been nowhere to be seen, said Mr. Hans Jacobsen – expert from UNWTO.
Speaking at the conference, Mr. Ha Van Sieu – Deputy Director General of VNAT emphasized that after this meeting, tourism sector of each country would propose development plans and policies for river tourism and submit to the government. Solutions and programs on cooperation among countries and businesses for boosting ASEAN river tourism development will be discussed in the ASEAN tourism ministerial meeting.
This conference is first step in UNWTO’s long-term plan for river tourism development in ASEAN countries.