New tourism pacts link Asean

New tourism pacts link Asean

Bayon Temple in Ahgkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Bangkok Post file photo)
Bayon Temple in Ahgkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia. (Bangkok Post file photo)

The Tourism and Sports Ministry is collaborating with the Cambodian government to link potential tourist destinations in both countries to increase intra-Asean tourism.

The tourism promotion between Cambodia and Thailand is under the Two Kingdoms One Destination campaign running from 2015-17, Tourism and Sports Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul said.

Potential routes are Bangkok-Rayong-Trat-Koh Kong-Sihanoukville-Kampot-Phnom Penh and Bangkok-Aranyaprathet-Poipet-Battambang-Siem Reap-Phnom Penh.

"The collaboration looks forward to exchanging foreign travellers and facilitating travel across both countries. The plan also promotes intra-Asean tourism," Mrs Kobkarn said.

Thailand plans to attend big tourism events such as ITB Berlin next March and the JATA Tourism Expo this Sept 24-27, with networking lunches planned for potential buyers.

Mrs Kobkarn hopes the new tour routes in the two countries will raise awareness among their target groups.

Familiarisation trips will be held to bring travel agents and media from other Asean members and outside the region to visit the routes in the near future.

Previously the ministry worked with Myanmar to promote Chiang Mai, Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw. The next cooperation will be with Malaysia, focusing on snorkelling and diving activities.

Ms Kobkarn said Thailand and Malaysia had beautiful marine nature, and both were well-known as world-class diving destinations. The minister also foresees a potential future collaboration with Vietnam, as its huge population of 91 million offers immense opportunities.

"Collaboration among Asean members is needed because we don't know what will happen next year. All countries in the region should reduce business risk by not relying so much on big markets such as China," she said.

For the first four months of 2015, Thailand reported the highest revenue growth in Asean arrivals.

Arrivals from Malaysia increased by 61.1% to 1.39 million, generating 33 billion baht in revenue, followed by Singapore, with visitors rising 36% to 360,000 and contributing revenue of 10.7 billion. Arrivals from Laos surged 17% to 459,000 visitors generating 10.1 billion baht in revenue.

Arrivals from Vietnam rose 22% to 291,000 visitors creating revenue of 9 billion baht, while Cambodian arrivals grew 4.75% to 221,000 generating 7.5 billion.

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