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                    Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program


                        GMS TOURISM MINISTERS’ MEETING
                         Bangkok, Thailand, 21 January 2008


                            SUMMARY OF PROCEEDINGS


Introduction

1.     The Ministers of Tourism of the 6 GMS countries (Cambodia, People’s Republic
of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam) met in Bangkok, Thailand on 21
January 2008. Senior officials from the GMS National Tourism Organizations (NTOs),
representatives from the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and
development partners including the Asian Development Bank, the Governments of
France, GTZ, and Japan, the Netherlands Development Organization (SNV), UNESCO,
UNESCAP, UNWTO ST-EP Foundation, and PATA also attended the meeting. The
meeting was held in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Forum 2008 and ASEAN
Tourism Ministers’ Meeting. A list of participants appears in Appendix 1, and a copy of
the Agenda appears in Appendix 2.

Opening Session

2.       H. E. Dr. Suvit Yodmani, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Kingdom of Thailand,
extended his warm welcome to all the participants and expressed his thanks to the ADB
for its strong support to the tourism cooperation framework. He also acknowledged the
support that key development partners have provided to sub-regional cooperation. He
proposed the holding of a Visit the GMS Year in 2009 and looked forward to getting the
support from the other GMS countries to the proposal.

3.       In his remarks, Mr. Arjun Thapan, Director-General, Southeast Asia Department,
Asian Development Bank, noted that sub-regional cooperation in the tourism sector has
put the GMS firmly on the world’s tourism map and is contributing to the realization of
the vision and goals of the GMS Program. He mentioned the major programs and
initiatives under the tourism sector that the ADB has supported in collaboration with key
development partners. He congratulated the GMS Tourism Working Group for
successfully steering tourism cooperation to an unprecedented level of maturity. He
noted that the decisions of the Ministers’ Meeting with regard to the Tourism Marketing
Plan and the Tourism Development Plan are important inputs to ongoing preparations
for the Third GMS Summit to be held in Vientiane, Lao PDR in March 2008.

4.     Copies of the statements made at the opening session appear in Appendix 3.

Meeting Proper

5.     The meeting was chaired by H. E. Dr. Suvit Yodmani, Thailand, and co-chaired
by Mr. Arjun Thapan, ADB.



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Overview of the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy

6.      Mr. Alfredo Perdiguero, Senior Economist, Social Sectors Division, Southeast
Asia Department, ADB, gave an overview of the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy. The
Strategy aims to “develop and promote the Mekong as a single destination, offering a
diversity of good quality and high-yielding sub-regional products that help to distribute
the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the tourism development efforts of each GMS
country; and contribute to poverty reduction, gender equality, and sustainable
development, while minimizing any adverse social impacts.” It covers 7 strategic
programs and 29 priority projects (13 spatial projects and 16 thematic projects), with a
total estimated cost of US $429.9 Million, with infrastructure representing US $361.3
million. A copy of his presentation is in Appendix 4.

Tourism Marketing Plan

7.      Mr. Peter Semone, Senior Adviser, MTCO, presented the Tourism Marketing
Plan covering the period 2008-2011. The Plan was developed in consultation with a
Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) and communicated widely among private and
public sector stakeholders in the seven GMS destinations. In addition, country missions
were undertaken for consultations with representatives of respective NTOs and private
sector entities.

8.      The Plan aims to provide strategic advice and direction on how to advance the
MTCO’s marketing agenda in two specific areas: (i) institutional development and
management of the MTCO as the lead agent for marketing GMS tourism; and (ii)
marketing implementation plan recommending specific marketing-related actions to be
undertaken by the MTCO in the short (2008), medium (2009) and long (2010-2011)
term. The Plan outlines 3 key marketing objectives for the MTCO in the short and
medium terms, including: developing and strengthening sub-regional institutional
capacity to market the sub-region as a single destination; enhancing sub-regional
product development and product quality; and enhancing the promotion of the sub-
region as a single destination. Mr. Semone emphasized that the Plan should be treated
as a living document and should be continually revised and updated. The Plan requires
a budget of about US $700,000 proposed to be funded by the NTOs and the private
sector. A copy of Mr. Semone’s presentation appears in Appendix 5.

Tourism Development Plan

9.      Ms. Christine Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO, recalled the earlier
decision of the TWG to focus the actions of the MTCO for the next 2 years on a selected
number of projects. Toward this end, the MTCO Project Coordinator was requested to
carry out a prioritization exercise. The Tourism Development Plan embodies a 2-year
action plan presented to the TWG at its meeting in Vientiane in December 2007. The
projects under the plan have been divided into 3 categories: short-term (2008-2010),
medium-term (2008-2012), and longer-term (2010-2015).

10.     Ms. Jacquemin explained the process and the criteria used (country priorities,
current status of the projects, feasibility, and sustainability) in arriving at the prioritization
of the projects under the Tourism Sector Strategy, as well as the main activities planned


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                                                                                    FINAL




under each category/phase. The selection of projects was done in close consultation
with the NTOs, key development partners, and other stakeholders. She emphasized
that the Plan’s success depends not only on the TWG, but also on the active
participation and support from the main actors of tourism development in the GMS,
namely, the governments, private sector, and development partners. The Plan will be
evaluated regularly and readjusted, depending on available funding resources. In 2009,
another 2-year plan will be developed. A copy of Ms. Jacquemin’s presentation appears
in Appendix 6.

Discussion

11.     The representative of the French Government reaffirmed his government’s
continuing support to the GMS countries on such areas as sustainable tourism
development, tourism human resource development, and conservation of cultural and
natural heritage sites, among others.

12.     The representative of the UNWTO ST-EP Foundation noted the intangible goods
arising from tourism development. She mentioned the forthcoming meeting of the
Foundation’s Board during which she will discuss GMS tourism cooperation, hopefully
with the assistance of an invited GMS TWG representative. She looked forward to
having the Foundation fund some of the small projects under the Tourism Sector
Strategy.

13.    H. E. Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia,
expressed his support for the 2 plans and emphasized the need for the countries to work
more closely to implement the priority projects under the Tourism Sector Strategy. He
encouraged the mobilization of additional support from the development partners. He
stressed that more should be done in HRD and Product development, and that there
should be a country representative within MTCO.

14.     H.E. Dr. Du Jiang, Vice Chairman, China National Tourism Administration of the
People’s Republic of China, expressed his appreciation for the opportunity to share
views with the other GMS countries and his government’s continuing commitment to
further deepen sub-regional cooperation in the sector to develop regional projects.

15.     H. E. Mr. Somphong Mongkhonvilay, Minister and Chairman of the Lao National
Tourism Administration, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, noted the substantive
progress that has been achieved in sub-regional cooperation in the tourism sector which
has benefited the country tremendously. He expressed support for the 2 plans and
emphasized the need to conserve the natural heritage sites as well as the biodiversity of
the sub-region. He also suggested that another GMS Tourism Ministers’ Meeting be
held in the near future. He stressed the fact that the ADB/ MTDP apart from all the
projects undertaken, raised awareness at the higher state level on the important role that
tourism can play.

16.    H. E. Brigadier General Aye Myint Kyu, Deputy Minister of Hotels and Tourism,
Union of Myanmar, emphasized sustainable tourism development in the sub-region and
noted that the GMS countries shared the same identity and common natural resources.
He noted that continued support from the development partners is critical and looked


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                                                                                     FINAL




forward to more support being provided to Myanmar. He invited all to visit Myanmar and
enjoy the warm hospitality of its people.

17.    Mr. Pham Quang Hung, Director, International Cooperation Department, National
Tourism Administration of the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, designated representative
of the Minister, expressed support for the 2 plans. He acknowledged the achievements
of the MTCO but emphasized that the MTCO needs to play a more proactive role in
implementing the Strategy and action plans, as well as in mobilizing support from the
development partners. He also expressed support for the proposed Visit the GMS Year
and noted the need for the GMS countries to work harder for more substantive
achievements to celebrate the year. He also supported the holding of the GMS Tourism
Ministers’ Meeting on a regular basis in conjunction with the ASEAN Tourism Ministers’
Meeting.

18.    The Meeting unanimously agreed to endorse the Tourism Marketing Plan and the
Tourism Development Plan.

Adoption of Joint Ministerial Statement

19.    The Ministers adopted the Joint Ministerial Statement as it appears in Appendix 7.

20.     The Ministers noted that the decisions arising from their meeting will serve as
inputs to the preparations for the Third GMS Summit to be held on 30-31 March 2008 in
Vientiane, Lao PDR.

Press Conference

21.   The Minister of Thailand joined his counterparts from other GMS countries and
the ADB in the press conference immediately following the meeting.

Concluding Session

22.      The Chairperson expressed his thanks to all the participants for their valuable
inputs to the meeting. In turn, the participants expressed their appreciation to the
Government of the Kingdom of Thailand for the warm hospitality and efficient
arrangements made for the meeting. The participants also expressed thanks to the ADB
for its assistance in organizing the meeting.




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                                                                               Appendix 1



         Meetings of GMS Meeting of GMS Tourism Ministers
                          21 January 2008
     Sofitel Centara Grand Bangkok Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand


                       LIST OF DELEGATION

CAMBODIA         1.    H.E. Mr. DR. THONG KHON
                       Minister of Tourism, Ministry of tourism of Cambodia
                       E-mail: siengneak@yahoo.com.au
                       Tel: 855 12 821 114 or 855 16 345 000
                       Fax: 855 23 215 491

                 2.    H.E. Mr. SO MARA
                       Under Secretary of State
                       E-mail: siengneak@yahoo.com.au
                       Tel: 855 12 821 114 or 855 16 345 000
                       Fax: 855 23 215 491

                 3.    Mr. TITH CHANTHA
                       Deputy Director General, Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia

                 4.    Ms. MEAS SINE
                       Assistant to Minister

                 5.    Ms. TROUY LINDA
                       Officer

                 6.    Ms. SO LYNA
                       Assistant to Under Secretary of State

                 7.    Mr. IN THOEUN
                       Director, International Cooperation Department


                 8.    Mr. HOY PHIREAK
                       Deputy Director, International Cooperation Department

                 9.    Mr. PAK SOKHOM
                       Director, Marketing and Promotion Dept.

                 10.   Mr. SOK SOKUN
                       Deputy Director, Planning Development Dept.

                 11.   Mr. SOM BUNNAT
                       Chief of International Cooperation Office

                 12.   Mr. SIENG NEAK
                       Deputy Chief of ASEAN Office
                       Deputy Chief of ASEAN Office
                       E-mail: siengneak@yahoo.com.au
                       Tel: 855 12 821 114 or 855 16 345 000
                       Fax: 855 23 215 491

                 13.   Mrs. POCH VORLEAK
                       Deputy Chief of International Cooperation Office
                                                                       Appendix 1



                      -2-

CHINA   14.   Mr. DU JIANG
              Vice Chairman, China National Tourism Administration
              E-mail: idu@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 86-10-65201121
              Fax: 86-10-65201055

        15.   Ms. LI YAYING
              Deputy Director-General, China National Tourism
              Administration
              E-mail: idu@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 86-10-65201121
              Fax: 86-10-65201055

        16.   Mr. HE MING
              Assistant Director, China National Tourism Administration
              E-mail: mhe@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 65-9829-8301
              Fax: 65-63380777

        17.   Mr. WANG CHENGZHI
              Deputy Director, China National Tourism Administration
              E-mail: ggc@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 86-10-65201010
              Fax: 86-10-65201055

        18.   Ms. WANG YANJIE
              Deputy Director, China National Tourism Administration
              E-mail: ggc@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 86-10-65201828
              Fax: 86-10-65122851

        19.   Mr. MU YUWEI
              Secretary, China National Tourism Administration
              E-mail: ywmu@cnta.gov.cn
              Tel: 86-10-65201121
              Fax: 86-10-65201055

        20.   Mr. YUAN GUANGHAN
              Deputy Director-General
              Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration
              E-mail: mouxue@hotmail.com
              Tel: 0086-871-4608318
              Fax: 0086-8714608319

        21.   Ms. MOU XUE
              Section Chief of Yunnan Tourism Information Center
              Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration
              E-mail: mouxue@hotmail.com
              Tel: 0086-871-4608318
              Fax: 0086-8714608319
                                                                       Appendix 1



                        -3-

LAO PDR   22.   H.E. Mr. SOMPHONG MONGKHONVILAY
                Minister, Chairman
                Lao National Tourism Administration
                E-mail: info_tourismlaos@etllao.com
                Tel: +856 21 212 251
                Fax: +856 21 212 769

          23.   Mr. SOUNH MANIVONG
                Director General of Tourism Planning and Cooperation
                Department
                E-mail: Snh_manivong@yahoo.com
                Tel: +856 21 212 251
                Fax: +856 21 212 769

          24.   Mr. SULIVONG LUANG APHAY
                Deputy Chief of Cabinet
                General Administrative Department
                E-mail: luang999@yahoo.com

          25.   Mr. KHOM DOUNGCHANTHA
                Director of International Relations Division
                E-mail: Kdoungchantha@yahoo.com
                Tel: +856 21 212 251
                Fax: +856 21 212 769

          26.   Ms. CHANVILAY RASSAVONG
                Staff
                General Administrative Department


MYANMAR   27.   H.E.Brig. GENERAL AYE MYINT KYU
                Deputy Minister of Hotels & Tourism, Myanmar

          28.   Mr. U HTAY AUNG
                Director-General
                Directorate of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar
                E-mail: dg.dht@mptmail.net.mm
                Tel: 95 67 406056/ 406057
                Fax: 95 67 406057

          29.   Mr. MAUNG MAUNG SWE
                Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

          30.   Mr. KHIN ZAW
                Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

          31.   Dr. AUNG MYAT KYAW
                Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

          32.   Mr. THEIN THAN
                Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

          33.   Mr. THIHA AUNG
                Ministry of Hotels and Tourism
                                                                Appendix 1



                         -4-

           34.   Mr. KYAW KYAW AUNG
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           35.   Mr. SURAJ KUMAR
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           36.   Mr. SAW LU LU HTAW
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           37.   Mr. MAUNG MAUNG
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           38.   Dr. PHONE WIN
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           39.   Mr. KHIN AUNG TUN
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           40.   Mr. ZARNI SOE
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

           41.   Mr. MYO WAI TINT
                 Ministry of Hotels and Tourism

THAILAND   42.   H.E. Dr. SUVIT YODMANI
                 Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand

           43.   DR. SASITHARA PICHAICHANNARONG
                 Permanent Secretary
                 Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand

           44.   Mrs. THANITTA MANEECHOTE
                 Director-General
                 Office of Tourism Development
                 Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand
                 E-mail: thanitta@tourism.go.th
                 Tel: 66-2219-4023 Fax: 66-2219-4023

           45.   Mr. ANOTHAI UDOMSILP
                 Director of General Affairs Division
                 Office of Tourism Development
                 Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand
                 E-mail: anothai@tourism.go.th
                 Tel: 66-2216-6905 Fax: 66-2216-6657

           46.   Ms. WIPARAT THARATEERAPAB
                 Director of International Relations Division
                 Ministry of Tourism and Sports
                 E-mail: wippy_07@yahoo.com
                 Tel: 66-2356-0684 Fax: 66-2356-0678
                                                                      Appendix 1



                        -5-

          47.   Ms. PRAPA TANTASUPARUK
                Chief, International Cooperation Section
                Office of Tourism Development
                Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Thailand
                E-mail: prapatanta@gmail.com, prapa_t@tourism.go.th
                Tel: 66-2-219-4024 Fax: 66-2216-6658

          48.   Mr. VUDTHIDECH CHAMNIKIT
                Plan and Policy analyst
                The Office of the National Economic and Social
                Development Board
                E-mail: woodycham@yahoo.com
                Tel: 66-2280-4085 Ext: 3710 Fax: 66-2282-1475

          49.   Mr. ARTHYUDH SRISAMOOT
                Deputy Director-General
                Department of ASEAN Affairs,
                Ministry of Foreign Affairs
                E-mail: arthayus@mfa.go.th
                Tel: 66-2-643-5000 ext 4433
                Fax: 66-2-643-5223

          50.   Ms. SIRIN SURATHIN
                First Secretary
                Department of ASEAN Affairs,
                Ministry of Foreign Affairs
                E-mail: sirins@mfa.go.th
                Tel: 66-2-643-5000 ext 4463
                Fax: 66-2-643-5230

          51.   Mr. PORNSITH PIBULNAKARITR
                First Secretary
                Department of ASEAN Affairs,
                Ministry of Foreign Affairs
                E-mail: pornsith@mfa.go.th
                Tel: 66-2-643-5000 ext 4467
                Fax: 66-2-643-5230

VIETNAM   52.   Mr. PHAM QUANG HUNG
                Director of International Cooperation Dept.
                Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
                Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
                E-mail: hung65icd@yahoo.com
                Tel: 84-4-99422070 Fax: 84-4-9424115

          53.   MRS. NGUYEN THI HONG DIEP
                Officer of International Cooperation Dept
                Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
                Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
                E-mail:diep78vnat@yahoo.com
                Tel: 84-4-9421061 Fax: 84-4-9426860
                                                                     Appendix 1



                    -6-

       54.   Ms. TRAN THI PHUONG NHUNG
             Officer of International Cooperation Dept
             Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
             Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism
             E-mail: nhungvnat@yahoo.com
             Tel: 84-4-9421061 Fax: 84-4-9426860

MTCO   55.   Mr. PETER SEMONE
             Senior Advisor
             Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)


       56.   Ms. JACQUEMIN CHRISTINE
             Project Coordinator
             ADB/ Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)


       57.   Ms. PARIYANUD TRINIKORN
             Operations Manager
             Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)


       58.   Ms. SAENGRAWEE THONGDEE
             Office Manager
             Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO)


ADB    59.   Mr. ARJUN THAPAN
             Director General, Southeast Asia Department
             Asian Development Bank

       60.   Ms. SHIREEN LATEEF
             Director, Social Sectors Division
             Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

       61.   Mr. JEAN-PIERRE VERBIEST
             Country Director, ADB Bangkok

       62.   Mr. ALFREDO PERDIGUERO
             Senior Economist, Social Sectors Division
             Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

       63.   Ms. FLORDELIZA S. MELENDEZ
             Consultant, GMS Unit,
             Regional Cooperation & Country Coordination Division,
             Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank

       64.   Mr. PRAVIT RAMACHANDRAN
             Environmental Assessment Specialist
             ADB-GMS Enviormental Operations Center

SNV    65.   Mr. DOUGLAS HAINSWORTH
             Senior Advisor, SNV
             E-mail: dhalnsworth@snvworld.org
             Tel: 84 48463791 Fax: 84 48463794
                                                                                    Appendix 1



                                 -7-

GTZ                 66.   Ms. KIRSTEN FOCKEN
                          Marketing Advisor, GTZ
                          Lao National Tourism Administration
                          E-mail: Kirsten.focken@gmail.com
                          Tel: +856202465340

UNESCO              67.   Mrs. MONTIRA UNAKUL
                          E-mail: culture@ubescobkk.org
                          Tel: 0-2391-0577 Fax: 0-2391-0866 Ext: 503

                    68.   Mrs. HEATHER PETER
                          E-mail: culture@ubescobkk.org
                          Tel: 0-2391-0577 Fax: 0-2391-0866 Ext: 506

UNESCAP             69.   Mr. RYUJI YAMAKAWA
                          Chief, Tourism Unit
                          UNESCAP
                          TTD, UN Building, Rajdamnern Avenue
                          Bangkok 10200
                          E-mail: yamakawa.unescap@un.org
                          Tel: 66-2288-1426 Fax: 66-2288-1067

PATA                70.   M.L. HATHAIJANOK KRITAKARA
                          Honorary Secretary-General
                          Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA Thailand Chapter)
                          36 Fl, Office at the Centralworld
                          E-mail: hathaijanok.KRITAKARA@accor.com
                          Tel: 0-2659-4500 Fax: 0-2264-5758

UNWTO ST-EP         71.   Madam YOUNG-SHIM DHO
                          Chairperson of Board of Directors
                          UNWTO ST-EP Foundation
                          E-mail: ysdho@unwtostep.org
                          Tel: 82 2 318-5005 Fax: 82 2 318-6005

Embassy of France   72.   Mr. PASCAL LE DEUNFF
                          First Counsellor
                          Embassy of France
                          Tel: 0-2657-5106 Fax: 0-2651-5114

                    73.   Mr. MAURICE SIVETON
                          Regional Counselor for Cooperation
                          Embassy of France
                          E-mail: maurice.siveton@diplomatie.gouv.fr
                          Tel: 0-2627-2140 Fax: 0-2627-2144

                    74.   Ms. HARVET CLARISSE
                          Assistant to Regional Counselor for Cooperation
                          Embassy of France
                          E-mail: clarisse.hervet@diplomatie.gouv.fr
                          Tel: 66-2627-2143 Fax: 66-2627-2144

Embassy of Japan    75.   Mr. KATSUYA IKKATAI
                          Counsellor
                          The Embassy of Japan, Bangkok
                                                     Appendix 1



                          -8-

             76.   Mr. KENSUKE KOBAYASHI
                   First Secretary
                   The Embassy of Japan, Bangkok

Embassy of   77.   Mr. MICHAEL BANZHAF
Germany            Deputy, Head of Mission
                   The Embassy of Germany, Bangkok
Appendix 2
                                                                         Appendix 3




                     Address by H.E. Dr. Suvit Yodmani
                  Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand
         At the 1st Meeting of GMS Tourism Ministers of Tourism
                          21 January 2008, Bangkok
                         …………………………………..
Excellencies Tourism Ministers of Greater Mekong Sub-region,
Mr.   Arjun   Thapan,    Director     General,   Southeast   Asia   Department,
      Asian Development Bank,
Distinguished Delegates,


              Thailand is honoured to host the first Meeting of Tourism
Ministers of the Greater Mekong Sub-region in conjunction with the ASEAN
Tourism Ministers’ Meeting.         We acknowledge the presence of various
international organizations and donor countries and would like to express our
appreciation to the Asian Development Bank for the strong support to the
cooperation framework.      May I also express my wish that Thailand will
consider to host the Visit GMS Year in 2009 and wish to receive participation
from Member Countries.       Thailand also appreciates assistance from the
Republic of France in providing technical assistance for the Mekong Tourism
Coordinating Office and allowing 2 – year contract to Ms. Christine Jacquemin
to help coordinate GMS projects. I note with appreciation the presence of
Madam Dho Young Shim, Chairperson of ST-EP Foundation of the World
Tourism Organization and I am certain that Sustainable Tourism Development
and Tourism to Eliminate Poverty will be on her agenda for the cooperation in
the sub-region.
              May I give the floor to Mr. Arjun Thapan, Director General,
Southeast Asia Department, Asian Development Bank for his remarks.
                                                                                     Appendix 3

                                                                    As of 16 January 2008


                        GMS TOURISM MINISTERS’ MEETING
                         21 January 2008, Bangkok, Thailand


                                 Draft Remarks by
                 Director General, Southeast Asia Department, ADB


Excellencies – Tourism Ministers of the GMS Countries,
Heads of the GMS National Tourism Organizations,
Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


       I am honored to address this distinguished gathering this afternoon. Let me, on
behalf of the Asian Development Bank, and the rest of the delegates, express our deep
appreciation to the Royal Thai Government, particularly the Ministry of Tourism and
Sports, for organizing and hosting this important meeting.


       Subregional cooperation in the tourism sector has played a very significant role in
putting the GMS firmly on the world’s tourism map and in contributing to the realization
of the vision and goals of the GMS Program. ADB is pleased to have been an active
partner of the GMS countries in pursuing a tourism development agenda since the
establishment of the GMS Tourism Working Group in 1995.


       One of the programs that ADB supported together with the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) was the Mekong
Tourism Forum which was held annually from 1996 to 2005 in collaboration with the
Pacific Asia Travel Association. The Mekong Tourism Forum was aimed to market the
GMS as a tourism destination, with the active participation of the private sector.


       Another major initiative supported by ADB is the GMS Mekong Tourism
Development Project that has provided financing support to Cambodia, Lao PDR and
Viet Nam. The project, amounting to $47 million, is helping promote sustainable tourism
in the lower Mekong basin countries through infrastructure improvements, community
and private sector participation, and subregional cooperation.        It is supporting the
improvement of high priority, tourism-related infrastructure in Cambodia, Lao PDR, and
Viet Nam; the promotion of pro-poor, community-based sustainable tourism in rural


                                                                                          1
                                                                                     Appendix 3

                                                                    As of 16 January 2008


areas; and the strengthening of subregional cooperation. The project is also supporting
components that will help mitigate environmental degradation, develop human
resources, and promote cooperation between private and public sectors within the GMS
by establishing tourism marketing and promotion boards.


       A GMS Mekong Tourism Sector Strategy has been prepared and is now
providing the strategic road map for subregional cooperation in the tourism sector. The
strategy focuses on marketing and product development, tourism human resource
development, heritage conservation and social impact management, pro-poor tourism
development, private sector participation, facilitating the movement of tourists, and
development of tourism-related infrastructure in priority tourism development zones.


       We must congratulate the GMS Tourism Working Group for successfully bringing
subregional cooperation in this sector to a level of maturity not yet seen in other sectors.
A Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office has been set up in Bangkok, whose operations
are sustained by annual contributions from the GMS countries.              Participation of
representatives of national tourism organizations in meetings of the TWG continue to be
financed by the countries themselves. To complement the limited staff of the MTCO, the
French Government has seconded a tourism expert to ADB to assist the MTCO in
coordinating the implementation of priority projects. These positive developments augur
well for the continued strengthening of tourism cooperation in the subregion.


       Our meeting today is crucial in further defining the concrete action plans that will
translate the vision and goals of the GMS Mekong Tourism Sector Strategy into doable
and realistic projects in the next few years. As we prepare for the Third GMS Summit to
be held in March 2008, the outcome of our meeting today will feed into the overall
direction of the GMS Program that the GMS Leaders will emphasize in their Joint
Summit Declaration. In this regard, we look forward to hearing the presentations of the
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office regarding the Tourism Marketing Plan and the
Tourism Development Plan. These two key presentations represent in capsule form the
essence and substance of subregional cooperation in tourism that will be pursued over
the next few years, hopefully with increased resources and support from other
development partners.




                                                                                          2
                                                                                    Appendix 3

                                                                   As of 16 January 2008


       Indeed, our gathering today, no matter how brief, has very significant implications
for the future work of the GMS Tourism Working Group and the Mekong Tourism
Coordinating Office.


Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,


       The GMS is one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the world today.
Tourism is bringing in much-needed foreign exchange, creating jobs, and contributing to
economic growth in the subregion. However, growth in tourism is constrained, among
others, by difficulties in access, lack of investment in tourist infrastructure, absence of
new products to attract visitors, and weaknesses in policy and institutional capacities.
The sector also needs to increase its contribution to the reduction of poverty, while
managing any potential negative environmental or social impacts. For this reason, we
must intensify our collective resolve to further strengthen subregional cooperation in this
sector. Subregional cooperation in tourism is central to the GMS existence, particularly
in light of the highly competitive world tourism market.


       I look forward to our intensive discussions over the next couple of hours and wish
all of us a successful meeting.




                                                                                         3
                                                      Appendix 4
                                                      Page 1 of 5




The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
          Tourism Strategy

             Alfredo Perdiguero
             Senior Economist
          Asian Development Bank
              21 January 2008




      The Greater Mekong Subregion’s
             Strategic Position




                     The GMS has a very strategic
                     location, transportation
                     crossroad, and potential to
                     attract large regional markets




                                                                    1
                                                                                Appendix 4
                                                                                Page 2 of 5




                       Strong Tourism Assets




The GMS has unique & precious natural assets, with diverse
and rich blend of culture, nature, and history




                    GMS Tourism Strategy: Why

    Tourism is recognized by the GMS countries as a priority sector under the
    GMS Economic Cooperation Program
    Potential to contribute to socioeconomic development, conservation of
    natural and cultural heritage
    Strong tourism growth prospects (world, Asia-Pacific and GMS)
    New opportunities: Rapid interconnection of GMS through development of
    transportation network, Chinese and Indian Tourism
    New challenges: competition from other regions, high oil prices, new
    demands from tourists, new epidemics, potential negative impacts on the
    environment and cultural heritage
    Need to build on previous 10 years of cooperation, face the new
    challenges and use the new opportunities working together with a
    common Strategy




                                                                                              2
                                                             Appendix 4
                                                             Page 3 of 5




                      THE STRATEGY


                       Overall Goal
 To contribute toward the vision of the ten-year strategic
 framework of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program,
 of achieving substantial poverty reduction, greater
 gender equality and women’s empowerment, and
 sustainable development




                      THE STRATEGY

      Expected Outcome
“Develop and promote the
Mekong as a single
destination, offering a diversity
of good quality and high-
yielding sub-regional products
that help to distribute the
benefits of tourism more
widely; add to the tourism
development efforts of each
GMS country; and contribute to
poverty reduction, gender
equality, and sustainable
development, while minimizing
any adverse social impacts.”




                                                                           3
                                                          Appendix 4
                                                          Page 4 of 5




               Strategic Objectives

                          Marketing the subregion as a
                          single destination
                          Raising tourism human
                          resource capacities
                          Enhancing sustainable
                          management of the natural &
                          cultural heritage assets
                          More benefits to poor people
                          Strengthening private sector
                          participation
                          Enhanced facilitation and
                          monitoring
                          Focusing limited resources on
                          priority tourism zones




              The Strategic Programs

1. Marketing and Product Development

2. Human Resource development

3. Heritage Conservation and Management of
   Negative Social impacts

4. Pro-poor Tourism Development

5. Cross-border facilitation
6. Private Sector Participation

7. Tourism-related Infrastructure Development




                                                                        4
                                                          Appendix 4
                                                          Page 5 of 5




           The strategy will be implemented by
               the GMS countries through:

29 Projects including:
   13 spatial projects dealing with the planning and
   development of priority tourism zones
   16 thematic projects dealing with specific GMS-wide
   interventions
   Each project has a lead country
   The Mekong Tourism Coordination Office (MTCO) assist
   the Tourism Working Group to implement the Strategy

The cost of implementing the Strategy is estimated at
$429.9 Million, with infrastructure representing $361.3
million




                   THANK YOU




                                                                        5
                                                 Appendix 5
                                                Page 1 of 39




            Mekong Tourism
             Marketing Plan
                 21January 2008

                 A Living Document


                    Prepared by:
                   Peter Semone
                   Senior Advisor
                Mekong Tourism Office




          Presentation Outline
1.   The Mekong Tourism (Coordinating) Office
     (MTO / MTCO)

2.   Global Travel and Tourism

3.   Tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion

4.   The GMS Tourism Marketing Plan
                                                                       Appendix 5
                                                                      Page 2 of 39




              1. The MTO / MTCO




      MARKETING                         DEVELOPMENT
 Mekong Tourism Office         Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
        (MTO)                               (MTCO)
    Marketing Expert                  Development Expert
  Market GMS in order to         Orchestrate implementation and
 increase long-stay above     funding of 28-Development Projects as
     average spending                     prescribed TSS
   subregional travellers
                                       Donor Partnerships
Private Sector Partnerships
                                                                   Appendix 5
                                                                  Page 3 of 39




             Available Resources

• Annual Government Contribution for
  Operating Budget = US$90,000 ($15,000
  each country)
• Marketing Fund: = US$25,000
• Private Sector Cash and In-Kind
  Contributions
• Support by Thailand Ministry of Tourism and
  Sports and French Government / ADB




          Critical Success Factors
    Internal communication between the MTO / MTCO and
    member NTOs;
    Awareness of the MTO / MTCO among GMS private and
    public sector tourism stakeholders;
    Simple, focussed, cost effective and well managed
    marketing activities must be implemented in the short term;
    The private sector must be fully engaged, initially as a
    dialogue partner and later potentially as a financial
    supporter;
    Improved information content and flow to the international
    trade, media and consumer is essential;
                                                  Appendix 5
                                                 Page 4 of 39




2. Global Travel and Tourism Trends




                                           GMS




  Tourism is a Globally Competitive Business
                                                  Appendix 5
                                                 Page 5 of 39




  By 2020 Tourism Demand will DOUBLE
Expenditure Expected to be > US$1 Trillion




   21st Century Travel Trends

The Leisure Society
E-Savvy Consumer (increased B2C transactions)
The Rise of Lifestyle Focused ‘Niche’ Products
Targeting and Segmentation Essential in a
Crowded Marketplace
Destination Image to Create Brand Appeal
Concern for Social and Environmental Issues
                                                                                                                          Appendix 5
                                                                                                                         Page 6 of 39




                              Tourism in the GMS
                                                   Section Three




      Overall GMS Tourism Arrivals
                                                  Visitor Arrivals to GMS
      No. in MNS                                         1996-2006
        25


        20


        15


        10


         5


         0
              1996       1997       1998       1999      2000       2001       2002     2003   2004   2005   2006

             Source: Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre



2006 - 22 million                             2010 – 32 million (f)                              2015 – 52 million (f)
                                                                                                                               Appendix 5
                                                                                                                              Page 7 of 39




GMS Tourism Arrivals by Destination
                                                Visitor Arrivals to GMS
        No.
   16
                                                      1996-2006

   14

   12

   10

    8

    6
    4

    2
    0
         1996       1997       1998        1999       2000       2001       2002       2003    2004     2005   2006
         Cambodia              Lao PDR               Myanmar               T hailand          Vietnam      Yunnan

         Source: Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre




                    Top Markets to GMS

                                                   Market                                        Arrivals % of Total
Overall (GMS)                                     1.Japan                                         2,120,731           9.6%
                                                  2.Malaysia                                      2,022,222           9.2%
                                                  3.Korea                                         1,903,153           8.7%
                                                  4.China                                         1,764,819           8.0%
                                                  5.USA                                           1,587,801           7.2%
                                                  6.United Kingdom                                1,109,407           5.0%
                                                  7.Thailand                                      1,030,649           4.7%
                                                  8.Singapore                                       910,184           4.1%
                                                  9.Australia                                       876,768           4.0%
                                                  10.Taiwan                                         855,746           3.9%
                                                                                                 14,181,480           64.5%
                                                                                                                                                                      Appendix 5
                                                                                                                                                                     Page 8 of 39




                  Subregional Traveller Facts
                       Based on Tourism Sector Strategy Survey


Subregional travellers estimated 1 Million in 2006 (4.5%)
Key Activities: Hiking, Visiting Natural Parks, Visiting
Cultural Sites, Visiting Local Communities
Young (Backpackers) and/or Senior Travellers
Use Alternative Lodging Services
High Spend on Local Handicrafts and F & B Services
Desire to Visit Natural Attractions and Engage with People
and Cultures




                              GMS SWOT Analysis
                                 Strengths                                                                       Weaknesses

Unique range of nature based and cultural attractions;                             Weak and inconsistent branding in key markets;
UNESCO World Heritage sites;                                                       Historically low level of promotions and funds thinly spread across a number of
Fascinating indigenous cultures and traditions;                                    markets;
Generally friendly and hospitable local population;                                Limited capacity among many governments to plan and market the tourism sector;
Well established and spectacular cultural events;                                  Low community and government awareness of tourism benefits and needs;
Extraordinary natural environments, many possessing unique and rare flora and      Lack of market research/weak statistical base;
fauna;                                                                             Weak provincial tourism bureaus and associations;
Relative closeness to Asian source markets;                                        Limited private sector involvement in destination marketing;
Excellent accessibility through international hubs such as Bangkok and HCM City;   Weak public private partnership frameworks;
Comprehensive air and land transport network;                                      Insufficient government investment and commitment to regionalism;
Relatively unspoiled environment;
Increasing support from central governments for tourism (and some provincial
governments);
Strong regional private sector companies;
Well establish cooperative framework through MTCO.




                               Opportunities                                                                        Threats

Growing global interest in activity based special interest tourism;                Increasing global oil prices
Growing iconic status of natural and cultural heritage attractions;                Terrorist or security incidents as major deterrent to travel;
Increased intra-regional and international air services (particularly low cost     Inaction;
carriers);                                                                         Global and regional competitions and increasing competitor marketing;
Increase coordination of marketing and industry participation;                     HIV/AIDS epidemic or other pandemics will deter visitors;
The aura and mystique of the Mekong;                                               Political and economic instability;
Mobilisation of MTCO as a centralised regional tourism marketing and               Adverse publicity;
development agency;                                                                Lack of sustainable tourism operations;
Develop stronger branding;                                                         Reduced funding for development and promotion
Commitment to regionalism;
Emergence of Asian tourist;
Concentrate marketing on key defined source markets;
Strengthen research base to underpin marketing strategies;
Positively manage image in key markets through PR programme;
Increased internet marketing activities;
Focus marketing on to niche markets;
Strengthen marketing capacity within MTCO, respective NTOs and regional
industry associations
                                                 Appendix 5
                                                Page 9 of 39




       4. The Tourism Marketing Plan




                Three Phases
I.     Partnership and Information
       Consolidation (short term - 2008)

II.    Awareness Building and Brand Expansion
       (medium term - 2009)

III.   Celebration (long term - 2010/2011)
                                                                         Appendix 5
                                                                       Page 10 of 39




                     Phase One - 2008
       Partnership and Information Consolidation




    Country Coordinator Program      Private Sector Advisory Group

    Other Marketing Tools: International Mekong Tourism
    Functions and GMS Networking Meetings




                  Phase Two – 2009
        Awareness Building and Brand Expansion
                                                 Actively Blog




     Engage Social Media                  Develop Video for Internet




                                          Engage
                                     Travel Distributors
      Re-establish
The Mekong Tourism Forum
                            Appendix 5
                          Page 11 of 39




Phase Three – 2010/2011
       Celebration




       VISIT MEKONG
         YEAR 2010




      Thank You
                           Appendix 5
                         Page 12 of 39




Mekong Tourism Office
   Marketing Plan
     2008-2011




     A Living Document




       Prepared by:

      Peter Semone
      Senior Advisor
      January 2008
                                                                                          Appendix 5
                                                                                        Page 13 of 39



Executive Summary
The Board of Directors of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), also known as
the Tourism Working Group (TWG), has asked the Senior Advisor to prepare this Marketing
Plan (the Plan) to be presented to the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) National Tourism
Organisation (NTO) leaders and Tourism Ministers.

The Plan has been developed with the view of providing strategic advice and direction on how
to advance the MTCO’s marketing agenda in two specific areas:

First, the Plan provides an analysis of the MTCO in its current state and makes specific
recommendations of how institutionally the MTCO should be managed and developed to
undertake its responsibility as the lead agent for marketing Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS)
tourism. This issue is outlined in detail in Section 1 of the Plan and is entitled The Institution.

Secondly, the Plan provides a general analysis of Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) tourism
vis-à-vis global trends in the international travel and tourism industry. GMS tourism strengths
and weaknesses are considered and opportunities and threats identified in a SWOT analysis.
Section 4 of the Plan entitled The Marketing Implementation Plan recommends specific
marketing-related actions that should be undertaken by the MTCO in the short (2008),
medium (2009) and long (2010-2011) term.

In developing the Plan, the Senior Advisor has enlisted a Private Sector Advisory Group
(PSAG) and communicated widely among private and public sector stakeholders in the seven
GMS destinations. In addition, country missions were undertaken in which face-to-face
meetings were conducted with representatives of respective NTOs and private sector entities.

The GMS Tourism Sector Strategy (TSS) has also been referred to extensively. The TSS
includes a sub-regional Marketing Strategy that identifies the mission of the MTCO marketing
program to be to increase the number of high yield sub-regional travellers. A subregional
traveller is defined as any person that visits two or more GMS countries during any single visit
to the subregion.

Furthermore, the Marketing Strategy outlines three key marketing objectives for the MTCO in
the short and medium terms, including: developing and strengthening sub-regional
institutional capacity to market the subregion as a single destination; enhancing subregional
product development and product quality; and enhancing the promotion of the subregion as a
single destination.

Based on a 2000+ respondent survey undertaken in 2004 during the development of the TSS,
the following key sub-regional tourism offerings have been identified: nature, culture and
adventure products. Accordingly, it is important that any ‘single destination’ or subregional’
approach to marketing must embrace market segments that are attracted to these core
products. However, it is strongly recommended that further market research be conducted to
verify the findings of the 2004 TSS survey and integrate emerging tourism development
issues such as improved knowledge of value-chain tourism economics.

This Plan seeks to embrace the findings of the TSS, complement the individual promotion
efforts of the GMS member countries and promote sub-regional tourism around a ‘Mekong
Brand’. The overall approach to achieving these objectives is presented in The Plan as a first
step towards developing an effective, coordinated and tangible marketing program for the
GMS. This Plan should be treated as a Living Document and should be continually revised
and updated.

The MTCO sits at a critical juncture in its development; it is therefore essential that the
organization act and be seen to be delivering a higher return on investment (ROI) on
government as well as future private sector contributions to the MTCO.

Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                        Page 1
                                                                                                                              Appendix 5
                                                                                                                            Page 14 of 39



Table of Contents
Executive Summary................................................................................................................... 1

Table of Contents ...................................................................................................................... 2

1.     The Institution ................................................................................................................... 3
       Evolution of the MTCO as a Subregional Marketing Platform .......................................... 3
       MTCO Finances................................................................................................................ 4
       Going Forward with the MTCO Marketing Agenda........................................................... 4
       Comparable Regional Tourism Organizations.................................................................. 5
       Institutional Recommendations......................................................................................... 7

2.     Global Travel and Tourism................................................................................................ 8
       Issues and Trends ............................................................................................................ 8
       Luring Today’s Discerning Traveller ................................................................................. 9

3.     Tourism in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region .................................................................. 11
       Visitor Arrivals ................................................................................................................. 11
       Existing Markets.............................................................................................................. 12
       Key Segments................................................................................................................. 15
       GMS Product Offerings................................................................................................... 17
       Market Positioning and Branding .................................................................................... 19
       GMS Tourism SWOT ...................................................................................................... 20

4.     The Marketing Implementation Plan ............................................................................... 20
       The Marketing Phases .................................................................................................... 21
       Marketing Principles and Tools....................................................................................... 21
       Short, Medium and Long Term Action Plan.................................................................... 21
       Implementation Schedule ............................................................................................... 24
       Marketing Budget 2008-2011.......................................................................................... 24

Appendix One: Minutes Private Sector Advisory Group.......................................................... 25




Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                                                               Page 2
                                                                                       Appendix 5
                                                                                     Page 15 of 39



    1.       The Institution
This section undertakes to provide an evaluation of the current state of the MTCO as a
subregional institution for marketing. The history of the organization, its current state of
existence from a financial and management perspective, and comparative marketing
organizations are all analysed. The chapter concludes with specific recommendations for
consideration by the Tourism Working Group (TWG) and respective NTO and Ministry leaders
on a ‘best way forward’ for the MTCO in terms of its marketing responsibilities.

                 Evolution of the MTCO as a Subregional Marketing Platform
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office was formed in January 2006 as the coordinating
institution for the implementation of the GMS development and marketing agenda as outlined
in the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy (TSS). The institutional mission of the MTCO as
currently presented on www.mekongtourism.org is ‘to develop and promote the Mekong as a
single destination, offering a diversity of good quality and high-yielding subregional products
that help to distribute the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the tourism development
efforts of each GMS country; and contribute primarily to poverty reduction, gender equality
and empowerment of women, and sustainable development, while minimizing any adverse
impacts’.

Prior to the establishment of the MTCO, the Agency for Mekong Tourism Activities (AMTA)
was charged with orchestrating sub-regional marketing. AMTA, which was headquartered at
the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), was discontinued in late 2005 and the responsibility
of GMS subregional tourism marketing was assumed by the MTCO. At the time, there was
no specific development agenda linked to AMTA.

The marketing mission statement of the MTCO, as outlined in the GMS Tourism Sector
Strategy, is “to increase the number of high yield sub-regional travellers”. Whereby high yield
is defined as someone who stays for 10+ days and/or has per diem expenditures of US$100
plus per day and subregional traveller is defined as any person that visits two or more GMS
countries during any single visit to the subregion. The Plan slightly modifies the marketing
mission by defining the focus market as long stay and above average spending visitors rather
than high yield.

In the context of the overall marketing strategies for the subregion to 2015, the key marketing
objectives to 2010 as set out in the TSS Action Plan are to:

    •    develop and strengthen the subregional institutional capacity to market the subregion
         as a single destination;
    •    enhance subregional product development and product quality; and
    •    enhance the promotion of the subregion as a single destination.

In recognition of resource limitations and capacity constraints when the MTCO was
launched in 2006, a modest step-by-step approach in implementing the marketing program
was proposed in the TSS Action Plan. These steps involved:

    1) Launching a modest campaign to present a unified Mekong tourism branding
       through a consistently updated web page presence, collateral development
       engaging the services of a professional PR/Advertising group, arranging travel trade
       familiarization tours, presenting ‘The Mekong’ at regional trade shows, and re-
       branding AMTA as the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office;

    2) Organizing interactions with core interest groups of the private sector (e.g. investors,
       ground tour operators, tour operators of generating markets, infrastructure
       developers etc.) to engage them in dialogue, present views of the potentials of
       Mekong tourism and seek support for the program as partners; and


Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                     Page 3
                                                                                      Appendix 5
                                                                                    Page 16 of 39

    3) Energizing and staging a re-launch of ‘Mekong Tourism’ as the new thematic
       tourism products and the private sector-driven initiatives are put in place.

At the time of the writing of this Plan in November 2007, the above stated marketing steps (as
prescribed in the TSS) had been implemented either partially or not at all.

                 MTCO Finances
Since its inception, the operational costs of the MTCO have been underwritten by an annual
contribution of US$15,000 by each of the member governments (Cambodia, China, Lao PDR,
Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam). At the close of 2007, the MTCO account held an operating
surplus of some US$40,000.

In addition to this US$90,000 in annual operational funding, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism
and Sport has provided office space (including utility costs). In addition, since August 2007,
the French Government has seconded a senior level tourism expert to coordinate and
oversee implementation of the 28-development projects identified in the GMS Tourism Sector
Strategy which are part of the MTCO development agenda.

In addition to the operating budget, the MTCO has a marketing budget of US$25,000 which is
comprised of residual AMTA marketing funds which were transferred to the MTCO in 2006.
This money is earmarked to be spent in 2008 on enhancing the MTCO website and collateral.

                 Going Forward with the MTCO Marketing Agenda
The limited marketing budget of the MTCO dictates that in the short term the subregion will
not have the luxury of the massive spending power enjoyed by many competitive destinations
to draw visitors to the sub-region.

Any marketing projects undertaken by the MTCO in the short term need to be highly focussed
and aimed at developing a strong marketing framework. In order to attract private sector
support for its marketing programs, the MTCO needs to revitalize its institutional credibility
which is currently viewed as ‘weak’ at best.

A Private Sector Advisory Group (PSAG) comprised of senior executives of regional private
sector organizations has been formed to provide advice and direction to the MTCO’s
marketing program. During a 31 October 2007 meeting of the Advisory Group, members
expressed concern that the MTCO’s reputation had been seriously diminished as a result of
inactivity and lack of continuity. It was unanimously agreed that if the MTCO is to ever
receive financial support from the private sector as prescribed in the TSS Marketing Strategy,
it must establish its relevance and authority as the ‘lead marketing organization for
cooperative GMS tourism’. It was furthermore expressed that in order to be realistic, any
financial contributions by the private sector to the MTCO’s marketing activities must provide
clear and tangible returns on investment. Minutes of the first meeting of the PSAG are
attached in the appendices of this Plan.

In addition to heeding the advice of the PSAG, the MTCO should carefully abide by the
following marketing guidelines which are incorporated in the Marketing Action Plan which is
outlined in Section 4 of this document:

    •   To maximize the potential of the internet as an effective marketing tool and source of
        comprehensive visitor information;

    •   To facilitate coordinated joint marketing and promotional activities with all
        stakeholders and partners;

    •   To encourage more effective and targeted sub-regional tourism marketing based on
        sound market research and understanding of consumer needs;



Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                     Page 4
                                                                                          Appendix 5
                                                                                        Page 17 of 39

    •   To establish a stronger, more systematic and coordinated basis for sub-regional
        destination marketing by MTCO member countries and the private sector;

    •   To increase awareness of the GMS by creating a strong and distinct image (brand)
        and clear positioning in target markets;

    •   To facilitate awareness of the sub-region; and

    •   To complement existing national tourism marketing and promotion campaigns with a
        unified sub-regional program.

                 Comparable Regional Tourism Organizations
Many stakeholders have suggested that there are lessons to be learned from understanding
how comparable regional tourism organizations market their respective subregions. An
internet search using key words such as ‘tourism association’, ‘regional tourism marketing
organization’, and ‘regional tourism cooperation’ produced links to a number of comparable
tourism organizations similar to the MTCO. They include:

The African Travel and Tourism Association
ATTA creates a hub for the positive development of travel and tourism in Africa. With over
350 members the African Travel and Tourism Association (ATTA) is Europe’s largest trade
association promoting Africa. Membership covers all sections of the tourism industry. They
are drawn from those who supply the product including hotels, lodges, camps, airlines and
ground operators and those who service the market throughout the world, tour and web-
based operators, travel agents, representation companies, tourist boards and all sectors of
the media. The prime role of the association is to channel information and breaking news to
its wide membership through its sophisticated web distribution email service “ATTAK”.
National tourist boards, the media, the British Foreign Office and the membership itself use
this distribution facility, to keep the industry informed. Response time is fast and information is
quickly distributed. ATTAK enables members throughout Africa and the UK to keep abreast of
the rapidly changing affairs of tourism.

The Baltic Sea Tourism Commission
BTC is a networking marketing association with the aim to promote tourism to the Baltic Sea
region in North America, Asia and Spain. The main activities of BTC include: press- and
trade familiarization trips, an annual tourism conference, participation in tourism related
projects, advocacy of the tourism industry among political decision makers, cooperation with
other Baltic Sea organizations and the provision of tourism information.

The European Quartet
The European Quartet is a group of central European countries including: the Czech Republic,
Hungary, Poland and Slovakia. The organization has an annual budget of 200,000 to
400,000 Euros which is funded by member governments and to a lesser degree the private
sector. Activities include: maintenance of a common Web-site www.european-quartet.com;
multi-language promotional brochure (Chinese, Japanese and English); statistical Information
press releases and photo library; a common promotional video; road shows to key markets;
marketing workshops; and special interest promotions.

Greater Tumen Initiative (Joint Tourism Promotion)
Tumen River Region Development Area comprising China, North Korea, the Russian
Federation and Mongolia offering cultural and natural heritage, historic and wildlife-based
tourism products targeting mainly North East Asian and European markets seeking soft and
hard adventure experiences in this once secluded area. The UNDP and the Tumen
Programme supported a familiarisation tour of the Tumen Region for selected tour operators
and travel journalists in October-November 1999. The participants from China, ROK and
European countries assessed the tourist attractions, facilities and services of the area. They
also had meetings with local tourism officials and inbound tour operators and travel agents to
generate ideas about multi-destination tours in the region. The project included publication of

Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                        Page 5
                                                                                        Appendix 5
                                                                                      Page 18 of 39

a promotional brochure for the Tumen Region entitled The Tumen River Area - New Horizons
in Travel, which has been translated into Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Russian and widely
distributed to local tourism agencies, tour operators and travel journalists. The project has
been successful in increasing awareness of the Tumen Region’s tourism resources in key
markets, and has been helpful in terms of development of tourism products in the area. The
project has been complemented by Tumen Programme participation in a number of
international tourism fairs in Asia, which are good opportunities to draw international attention
to the attractions of the Tumen Region as a tourist destination. Total Budget of US$ 70,000

The South Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO)
The SPTO is the mandated inter-governmental organization for the tourism sector in the
South Pacific. In the early 1980’s an informal association of South Pacific national tourism
organizations was formed, which subsequently became the SPTO. SPTO is an organization
with a membership that substantially represents both the public and private sectors. Current
full government member countries include The Cook Islands, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati,
New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, People's Republic of China, Samoa, Solomon
Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu. Private sector members include over 200 of the major
tourism operators in the region. The SPTO ’s mission statement is: "To be an internationally
dynamic and leading tourism organization in the development of public and private sector
tourism businesses in the South Pacific.’ Key marketing activities of the SPTO include:
Regional Branding; Overseas Representation; Travel Show/Road Show Coordination and
Facilitation; Regional Collateral Material; Regional Tourism Magazine; Web site development
and promotion; Internet Marketing; Lead Generation; Tourism Products Database; and
Internet and Marketing Training / Consulting

Tourism Vancouver Island
Tourism Vancouver Island is a destination marketing organization whose vision is “To
Position the Vancouver Island Region as a Premier Destination”. The organization is a not for
profit association representing the tourism stakeholders within the Vancouver Island region,
which includes all the islands located between Vancouver Island and the mainland coast and
also includes coastal areas of the mainland coast between Moses and Bute Inlets. Tourism
Vancouver Island is one of six regional destination marketing organizations (DMO) in British
Columbia that are contracted by Tourism British Columbia to deliver marketing initiatives on
behalf of the region. As part of this contract each region administers the Tourism Partner
Program for their respective region. Through the Tourism Partner Program, Tourism
Vancouver Island is able to offer tourism stakeholders within the region the opportunity to
participate in marketing initiatives at greatly reduced costs. In partnership with tourism
stakeholders and Tourism BC, Tourism Vancouver Island coordinates over $1.5 million in
advertising and promotional campaigns targeted at driving tourism business to the Vancouver
Island Region. The association is governed by a board of directors that is made up of industry
professionals from various parts of the Vancouver Island region. The marketing committee
meets regularly to evaluate and recommend strategies and tactics that are focused on
reaching the vision of the association.

The above subregional groupings as well as other individual competing destinations’
positioning concepts range from landscape, sightseeing and urban tourism based on
shopping and nightlife of Hong Kong, Macau, Zuhai and Canton in the Pearl River Delta; soft
and hard adventure and Buddhist culture in the SASEC; relaxation and fun in tropical island
resorts of the South Pacific and Caribbean; hard and soft adventure in the Tumen River Area;
and wildlife tourism in SADC. In ASEAN, Malaysia positions itself as a microcosm of Asia
while Singapore positions itself as an urban tourism destination and gateway to Asia. Within
the broad positioning framework among potential competing regional destinations for its
markets, the GMS is distinctive in its ownership of the Mekong River and its rich array of
ethnic peoples and cultures.

What is clear from seeing what comparable organizations are doing in terms of marketing
activities is that any MTCO marketing plan must include consideration of several core
channels, including: Trade Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Market Research and


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Intelligence, Media and Public Relations, Global Branding, and Internet Marketing. These
various channels will be explored for their individual merit later in this Plan.

                 Institutional Recommendations
In consideration of the input provided by the PSAG, consultations with individuals involved in
tourism marketing and promotion in GMS countries and a review of the marketing activities of
comparable organizations, the following institutional recommendations have been developed.

These recommendations should be seen as ‘critical success factors’ which will enable the
MTCO to overcome the current problems and issues which are symptomatic of the
organization’s weaknesses. These recommendations will provide the necessary institutional
foundation for the MTCO to implement the marketing program outlined in this marketing plan.

                 For the purposes of marketing, the institution should be referred to as the
                 ‘Mekong Tourism Office’ - (the ‘C’ in MTCO is confusing and dilutes the
                 brand);

                 A clear demarcation and distinction between the marketing and development
                 functions of the MTCO should be established (MTO for the marketing role
                 and MTCO for the development role). For hereon, this Plan refers to the
                 MTO and MTCO in these respective roles.

                 A dedicated tourism marketing professional should be retained to lead and
                 organize the MTO marketing program;

                 It should be agreed that the MTO marketing mission statement is to increase
                 long stay and above average spending subregional travellers to the GMS (it
                 is estimated that there were approximately 1,000,000 such travellers in 2006
                 or 4.5 percent of the 22 million visitors to the region);

                 The ongoing financial commitment by member governments in the form of
                 annual membership dues is essential;

                 Internal communication between the MTO, the MTCO and member NTOs
                 must improve through consistent and regular national updates from the NTOs
                 to the MTO and MTCO;

                 Greater awareness of the MTO and the MTCO among GMS private and
                 public sector tourism stakeholders needs to be developed;

                 Simple, focussed, cost effective and well managed marketing activities must
                 be implemented in the short term;

                 The private sector must be fully engaged, initially as a dialogue partner and
                 later potentially as a financial supporter, particularly for the MTO. The same
                 holds true for the MTCO and the donor community;

                 Improved information content and flow to the international trade, media and
                 consumer is essential;

                 The short, medium and long term marketing plan provided in this MTO Plan
                 should be agreed upon and from thereon fully embraced by all member
                 countries.




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    2.       Global Travel and Tourism
This section of the report explores the dynamics of tourism in the new millennium. As many
readers of this Plan will know, travel and tourism is an internationally competitive industry that
in recent years has been increasingly recognized for its ability to attract foreign revenue, lure
international investment, reduce poverty and help preserve the natural and cultural heritages
at the national, provincial (state) and municipal levels of many countries. Nowhere is the
potential of tourism more evident than in the GMS. Only two decades ago a worn torn region,
today the countries of the GMS are experiencing some of the most robust tourism growth
rates on the planet.

                 Issues and Trends
Travel and tourism will grow to new heights in the 21st century as it becomes more accessible
to a larger cross section of the global population. This will result in commensurate economic
opportunities for developed and emerging destinations around the world. It will also create
major challenges, not only in attracting and serving increased tourism demand, but also in
mitigating the numerous potential negative externalities that will emerge as a result of
tourism’s rapid growth. Successful destinations will strike a balance in developing their
tourism industries by monitoring international trends, engaging tourism stakeholders, ensuring
that the benefits of tourism outweigh any potential negative impacts and pledging a more
equitable distribution of tourism revenue.

There is good reason for countries to focus on honing their abilities in tourism: it is a big
business. According to the UNWTO, 846 million international visitor arrivals generated
US$733 billion (US$2 billion/day) in tourism revenue in 2006. Tourism represents 35 percent
the world’s export of services and over 70 percent in the Least Development Countries. The
UNWTO predicts that international tourism demand will double by 2020 to an astronomical
1.6 billion visitors generating well over US$1 trillion.

Currently, the tourism industry is characterized by a variety of issues and trends, which
present a range of inherent threats and opportunities. These include, but are not necessarily
limited to:

         There has been an increase in the perception of terrorist threats in many countries
         most graphically embodied in the Bali bombings in 2002 and 2005. There have also
         been subsequent terrorism scares and attacks in London, Glasgow, Madrid, Bangkok
         and other destinations.

         The notable growth of China into one of the largest source markets in the Asia Pacific
         region has become a primary focus of the world’s tourism industry. Chinese nationals
         have been increasingly visiting international destinations; a trend the industry widely
         agrees will continue to increase in the foreseeable future. Equally phenomenal
         growth is also evident from the Indian outbound market.

         New destination branding campaigns from relative newcomers such as India, South
         Korea, New Zealand, Egypt, South Africa, Vietnam, Eastern Europe and the
         Philippines have been recently launched, adding increased competition to mainstay
         destinations such as Australia, Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

         Technology such as the internet has made booking travel-related products easy and
         convenient, empowering the consumer to be less reliant upon the traditional tourism
         supply chain. This disintermediation opens many possibilities for consumer-direct
         marketing and distribution.

         In what many refer to as the emergence of a Leisure Society, tourism is seen as a
         basic right – as opposed to an activity for a privileged few - and has become widely
         accessible for a more diverse global demographic. The rise of low-cost airlines and
         cut-rate travel deals is fuelling a new wave of demand for tourism in the new
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        millennium. A similar boom last occurred in the early 1970’s with the launch of the
        Boeing 747 and other technological advancements in transport creating a wave of
        mass international tourism demand by increasing affordability and access.

        The emergence of sub-regional cooperative agreements in which neighbouring
        countries jointly market multi-nation itineraries in an attempt to increase the value and
        synergy for the tourist and the participating economies is on the rise.

        Demand is rapidly increasing for niche tourism products that are customised to satisfy
        the tastes of an increasingly discerning traveller, particularly among business and
        affluent leisure travellers. Many of these new niches are narrowly defined, but should
        not be overlooked.

        An increased awareness and consciousness among travellers of the social and
        environmental impacts of tourism which is fuelling a rapidly increasing interest in
        responsible, sustainable and green tourism.

                 Luring Today’s Discerning Traveller
The emergence of mass tourism since the 1960s is a dominant feature in the international
expansion of world travel creating a fundamental shift in the industry. The 1990s saw a move
from industry-based standardized packages toward greater personalised and flexible
itineraries, a difference in the nature of experiences sought and concern with issues such as
the environment and sustainability. As a result, a great range of niche products has been
developed and marketed to fulfil the demand for increasingly sophisticated travel tastes.

One of the most complicated factors to emerge in international travel is how to attract an
increasingly discerning consumer to select one destination over another when making holiday
plans. It is generally acknowledged that most consumers will select a range of destinations
(often three to five) when considering where to go on holiday. A major element in this
decision is the destination’s image. Potential tourists select destinations through a process of
elimination, which is often not a straight linear process from A to B to C. Travellers survey the
many options, analyse and evaluate them and consider specific places based on their
knowledge, the images portrayed in the media, value, and opinions of friends, family and
colleagues. This can make travel decisions a lengthy and complex process often based on
compromises.

Image and perception can be powerful tools in enticing travellers to a destination. Elements
for memorable experiences such as the landscape, culture and interaction with the people of
a country can feature as focal points in promoting awareness of a destination, (e.g. Paris’
Eiffel Tower, China’s Great Wall and San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge). These icons and
experiences can lead tourists to associate positive, must-see reasons to travel to a
destination. This makes it imperative for a destination to create images of their tourism
offerings that differentiate them from the competition. Obviously, negative images and
publicity can be counter productive and present a major challenge to this process.

It is important to reflect on some of the many consumer trends now affecting tourist
consumption, which may shape the quality as well as the nature of tourism demand in the
coming years:

        Consumers are more discerning in their tourism purchases, irrespective of what they
        pay, and have high expectations of quality.

        Increasing numbers of global consumers are becoming more e-savvy and able to use
        new technologies to uncover the range and extent of available travel and holiday
        options, leading to a greater demand for value-adding in the purchase and
        consumption process.

        Increasing numbers of experienced travellers are seeking more innovative, unusual
        and finely targeted products which match their lifestyles, perception of their lifestyle,
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        interests and needs. The traditional annual holiday of one to two weeks, purchased
        through a travel agent from a mass produced brochure, will no longer be the norm.

        The tourism industry is now faced with more discriminating clients, a proportion of
        which are willing to purchase a portfolio of products that appeal to their time-poor,
        cash-rich lifestyles. Ease of consumption is the new buzzword: the holiday or trip is
        now seen as an opportunity to unwind and relax, and travellers will not tolerate stress,
        disorganization and lack of attention to detail.

        Marketing techniques, which stress targeting, segmentation and client identification to
        capture the individual needs of the traveller, provide optimal profits for the tourism
        provider.

        Low-cost, high-volume mass products such as low-cost airline travel will continue to
        fill a niche for independent price-sensitive travellers.

        Consumers continue to be heavily influenced by the image created by branding and
        advertising which establishes market position, defines value-added consumer
        benefits and builds confidence in tourism products. This trend is likely to continue,
        with destinations and operators using the brand image to create a unique appeal to
        more pinpointed markets and groups.

        New product development to appeal to individualized aspects of demand (e.g. health
        and wellness tourism) will see further growth, as niche products aimed at specific
        groups with these interests are developed.

As consumer preferences and behaviour shift with emerging technologies and lifestyle trends,
it is essential that the tourism industry is able to adapt these changes into its product offerings
and marketing approach.

Amadeus, a leading Global Distribution System (GDS), recently commissioned a report
entitled Future Traveller Tribes 2020 which brings together major macro, consumer and
technology trends in order to understand what the future of air travel may hold. The report
identified four tribes that will have the most impact on the travel business in the future. They
include: active seniors, global clans, cosmopolitan commuters and global executives.

Of particularly pertinence to the GMS, is the Active Seniors category which will be aged
between 50 and 75 in 2020. As the global population ages, there will be an unprecedented
number of older people travelling. With advances in science and medicine, this group will be
healthier and more active than previous generations of the same age, and with higher
disposable incomes, many will be taking holidays and short breaks to relax and enjoy the
freedom of retirement. This will further stimulate demand for health and wellness holidays.
Another key finding of the report is the increasing desire among consumers for ‘experience’
and the need to get away from the routines of every day life.




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       3.        Tourism in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region
This section of the Plan takes a closer look at GMS tourism and provides an analysis of
existing tourism demand, key segments, the subregion’s tourism product offerings, and issues
related to market position and branding. Much of the data used here has been extrapolated
from the 2004 market research conducted in conjunction with the Tourism Sector Strategy
and is therefore understandably outdated. The section concludes with a SWOT analysis of
GMS tourism marketing.

                     Visitor Arrivals
Tourism arrivals to the GMS as set in the Tourism Sector Strategy are forecast to increase
from 16.4 million in 2004 to 31.9 million in 2010 and 52 million in 2015. In 2006, total
international arrivals to the sub-region reached 22.28 million1, an increase of 9.4% on 2005
indicating continued strong recovery from the difficult years of 2003 and the Tsunami affected
2005, putting the sub-region on track with regard to the 2010 target of 31.9 million
international arrivals set in the Tourism Sector Strategy.

                                                                Visitor Arrivals to GMS
                           No. in MNS                                  1996-2006
                               25


                               20


                               15


                               10


                                5


                                0
                                      1996   1997     1998    1999    2000     2001   2002    2003       2004    2005   2006


                                    Source: Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre


After a moderate but steady trend towards convergence in the share of arrivals between the
GMS countries between 1996 and 2004, the trend flattened off in 2005 and reversed in 2006.
This reflects both the opening of the new Suvarnabumi Airport coupled with big investment in
the marketing of Thailand which has fueled tourism growth in the Kingdom. The emerging
capacity constraints in the other GMS countries in the area of cross border facilitation, air
services, accommodations, tours and the basic support infrastructure needed to ensure a
sustainable and attractive environment for tourists has created limitations in growth in other
GMS destinations. However, the trend to convergence of market shares should receive a
boost from the additional capacity being developed as a result of various road and air
infrastructure connectivity and tourist facility projects expected to come on line in 2009 and
2010.

                                                                Visitor Arrivals to GMS
                               No.
                          16
                                                                       1996-2006

                          14

                          12

                          10

                           8

                           6

                           4

                           2

                           0
                                1996     1997       1998     1999    2000      2001    2002       2003    2004     2005    2006
                                Cambodia        Lao PDR              Myanmar          T hailand          Vietnam        Yunnan


                                    Source: Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre


1
    This data excludes the data for Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region for which data was not available.

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        Existing Markets
In reviewing the independent and collective key national source markets for MTO member
destinations, several markets stand out for their significant contribution to visitor numbers.

For Cambodia and Vietnam the top ten source markets is clearly predominated by travellers
originating from Northeast Asian countries, particularly Korea, Japan and China (PRC). While
the data for China’s Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces was incomplete, it appears that after the
considerable demand generated by domestic Chinese visitors, there is strong interest among
numerous North American and European markets. Tourism demand for Laos is highly
slanted to cross boarder visitors from neighbouring Thailand. Thailand’s tourism demand is
well balanced with no single market predominating except Malaysia due to heavy cross
border activities in the south of the country. While tourism arrivals to Myanmar remain
relatively low at just over a quarter of a million visitors there is strong penetration into a variety
of markets with considerable interest by high yield visitors.

Notably, four markets appear on each of the top ten source markets lists: Japan, the USA,
China and Thailand.




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               Country               Top Ten Source Markets            Number of        Percent of
                                                                        Arrivals       Total Arrivals
                                                                        in 2006
    Cambodia                         1.    Korea                             216,584      17.9%
                                     2.    Japan                             158,353      10.0%
                                     3.    USA                               123,847       7.8%
                                     4.    Taiwan                             85,139       5.4%
                                     5.    China PRC                          80,540       5.1%
                                     6.    Vietnam                            77,524       4.9%
                                     7.    Malaysia                           77,028       4.8%
                                     8.    Thailand                           76,953       4.8%
                                     9.    United Kingdom                     73,767       4.6%
                                     10.   France                             71,978       4.5%

                                                             Total        1.041,713       65.5%
    China (Guangxi)                  1.    Vietnam                          195,900       19.6%
                                     2.    Malaysia                         135,600       13.6%
                                     3.    Japan                            115,900       11.6%
                                     4.    USA                               87,500        8.8%
                                     5.    France                            66,500        6.6%
                                     6.    Korea                             52,600        5.3%
                                     7.    Thailand                          51,600        5.2%
                                     8.    United Kingdom                    37,000        3.7%
                                     9.    Germany                           35,500        3.6%
                                     10.   Australia                         27,300        2.7%

                                                               Total        805,400       80.5%
    China (Yunnan)                   1.    Malaysia                         112,708       10.1%
                                     2.    Japan                            108,503        9.8%
                                     3.    Korea                             90,180        8.1%
                                     4.    USA                               75,234        6.8%
                                     5.    Thailand                          72,047        6.5%
                                     6.    Singapore                         66,125        5.9%
                                     7.    France                            45,368        4.1%
                                     8.    Australia                         31,381        2.8%
                                     9.    Germany                           29,521        2.7%
                                     10.   Netherlands                       24,319        2.2%

                                                            Total           655,386        58.9%
    Laos                             1.    Thailand                         675,845      55.6%
                                     2.    Vietnam                          190,442      15.7%
                                     3.    China PRC                         50,317       4.1%
                                     4.    USA                               46,829       3.9%
                                     5.    France                            32,453       2.7%
                                     6.    United Kingdom                    31,684       2.6%
                                     7.    Japan                             23,147       1.9%
                                     8.    Australia                         22,021       1.8%
                                     9.    Germany                           18,004       1.5%
                                     10.   Canada                            12,419       1.0%

                                                               Total       1,103,161      90.8%
               Country               Top Ten Source Markets            Number of        Percent of
                                                                        Arrivals       Total Arrivals
                                                                        in 2006
    Thailand                         1.    Malaysia                        1,591,328      11.8%
                                     2.    Japan                           1,311,987       9.7%
                                     3.    Korea                           1,092,783       8.1%
                                     4.    China PRC                         949,117       7.0%
                                     5.    United Kingdom                    850,685       6.3%
                                     6.    USA                               694,258       5.1%
                                     7.    Singapore                         687,160       5.1%
                                     8.    Australia                         549,547       4.1%
                                     9.    Germany                           516,659       3.8%
                                     10.   Taiwan                            475,117       3.5%

                                                               Total      8,085,653       54.9%
    Vietnam                          1.    China PRC                        516,286       14.4%
                                     2.    Korea                            421,741       11.8%
                                     3.    USA                              385,654       10.8%
                                     4.    Japan                            383,896       10.7%
                                     5.    Taiwan                           274,663        7.7%
                                     6.    Australia                        172,519        4.8%
                                     7.    Cambodia                         154,956        4.3%
                                     8.    France                           132,304        3.7%
                                     9.    Thailand                         123,804        3.5%
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                                     10.   Malaysia                         105,558        2.9%

                                                               Total      2,671,381       74.5%
                                                                                                                         Appendix 5
                                                                                                                       Page 26 of 39

        Source: Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre



For the GMS as a whole, there is a good balance in tourism demand with the top ten markets
contributing only 64 percent of the region’s 22 million visitors. The remaining 36 percent of
the sub-region’s tourism demand is broadly penetrated into a variety of other markets. Japan
is one of the world’s top tourism spending markets and produces the most visitors to the GMS
at nearly 10 percent of all tourism demand. Other markets that are recognized as producing
high yield visitors are the USA, the United Kingdom, Singapore and Australia. The markets
from China PRC, Korea and Taiwan, while delivering high volumes of visitors to the GMS,
tend to produce lower yields due to short lengths of stay and low per diem expenditures.
Thailand, because of its central location in the GMS and emerging middle class represents an
important market within the sub-region.

             Country                            Top Ten Source Markets                          Number of         Percent of
                                                                                                 Arrivals        Total Arrivals
                                                                                                 in 2006


    Overall (GMS)                              1.     Japan                                          2,120,731       9.6%
                                               2.     Malaysia                                       2,022,222       9.2%
                                               3.     Korea                                          1,903,153       8.7%
                                               4.     China                                          1,764,819       8.0%
                                               5.     USA                                            1,587,801       7.2%
                                               6.     United Kingdom                                 1,109,407       5.0%
                                               7.     Thailand                                       1,030,649       4.7%
                                               8.     Singapore                                        910,184       4.1%
                                               9.     Australia                                        876,768       4.0%
                                               10.    Taiwan                                           855,746       3.9%

                                                                                                    14,181,480      64.5%
        Source: Senior Advisor Estimations, Respective NTO’s, ADB TSS and PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre


According to data provided in the Tourism Sector Strategy, it is estimated that international
visitors to the GMS stay an average of 7.6 nights and spend around $97.42 per day. These
numbers are based on limited information and further research is required to understand the
actual economic impact of the top source markets and segments to the GMS. International
visitors tend to come mostly for leisure and holiday travel purposes (65%), use mainly air
transportation to get to and travel within the sub-region (75% of arrivals), and 20% are on a
package tour.



As shown in the below chart, Northeast Asia clearly produced the highest number of visitor
arrivals to the GMS in 2006 (33%). This is followed by Europe with 22 percent of all visitor
arrivals. Impressively, the GMS produced 16 percent of its own visitors lead by Thailand, a
market included in all of the top ten source market lists. The Americas, the Pacific and
Southeast Asia (other than GMS) each respectively produced 7 percent of all GMS tourism
demand with another 8 percent contributed by a variety of other countries in Asia and the
world.




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                                                                Arrivals by Region



                                                           7%         7%
                                                      4%
                                                    4%                                               Americas
                                                                                                     Europe
                                                                              22%
                                                                                                     NE Asia
                                          16%                                                        SE Asia
                                                                                                     GMS
                                                                                                     Other Asia
                                                7%                                                   Pacific
                                                                                                     Others
                                                                      33%




                Key Segments
A survey of 2,208 international tourists departing the subregion at its main international exit
points was undertaken as part of the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy. The study aimed to
develop a profile of the tourists, their visitation and expenditure patterns, and their attitudes
and opinions towards the GMS as a single destination.

Respondents were asked to identify, from a given list, the specific tourist activities that they
engaged in during their visit in the GMS. Sightseeing (75%) and eating local food (82%) were
the two most common activities of the respondents. Hiking (17%) and visiting cultural
communities (21%) were relatively less popular tourist activities.


                                Research            3%

        Trade, Business and Investment                     12%

                                    Hiking                      17%

               Visit cultural communities                         21%

                       Visit natural parks                                   33%

                                Swimming                                           40%

        Shop for other kinds of products                                                   52%

                        Visit cultural sites                                                   55%

        Shop for traditional arts and craft                                                    56%

                              Sightseeing                                                                      75%

                            Eat local food                                                                           82%

                                               0%     10%       20%    30%    40%        50%   60%   70%       80%     90%   100%

        Source: ADB TSS


One key research objective of the survey was to develop a profile of the subregional traveller,
or the tourist who visits more than one GMS country in a given trip. There appear to be
significant differences between subregional and single-destination visitors in terms of their
participation in other tourist or recreational activities. As shown in the figure below,
significantly greater proportions of subregional travellers participate in hiking and visits to
natural parks, cultural sites, and cultural communities compared to those who visit only one
country at a time. Interestingly, the findings also showed that those tourists engaged in
beach-type holidays were least likely to engage in multi-country visits.




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         100%




          80%
                                                                           67%


          60%


                                                                                                          Single Destination
                                           37%            38%                                             Subregional Traveler
          40%
                                                                                            28%
                          23%

          20%




           0%
                   Hiking        Swimming         Visit natural   Visit cultural   Visit cultural
                                                     parks            sites        communities

        Source: ADB TSS


Of those surveyed, seven out of ten (71.65%) of the visitors to the GMS did not visit any other
countries in the sub-region. About eighty-percent of visitors to Thailand (79.6%) and Yunnan
Province (83.9%) visited those GMS destinations exclusively. In contrast, almost all visitors to
Laos, and about three-fourths of the visitors to Siem Reap, Cambodia said that they visited
other GMS countries in the same trip. The following chart highlights these findings.

                                                                                                                98.83%
           100%



                                                                                                     75.45%
            80%




            60%



                                                                          40.87%        41.67%
                                                             38.41%
            40%
                                              30.43%

                    16.28%       20.77%
            20%




             0%
                    Kunming      Bangkok    Ho Chi Minh      Yangon        Phnom         Hanoi      Siem Reap   Vientiane
                                               City                         Penh

                                Source: ADB TSS


The survey found that: 47 percent visited just one additional country, while another 17 percent
reported visiting two additional countries (for a total of three countries in the same trip);
subregional travellers spent an average of 21.05 nights in the subregion; and subregional
travelers spent an average of $82.13 per day in the country in which they were surveyed.

Europeans (49%), North Americans (17%) and Australians (13%) comprised the main
subregional markets departing the subregion by air between October and December 2004
with the highest lengths of stay visiting up to three or four countries (usually Thailand,
Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam); followed by the Asian markets of Japan, Korea, ASEAN
and India, and a small Middle east segment with considerably lower lengths of stay visiting at
most two GMS countries (usually Thailand and Cambodia or Viet Nam and Cambodia). The

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regional markets of ASEAN, East, and South Asia account for a relatively modest proportion
of total subregional travelers reflecting the limited time they have available for this type of
travel compared to the long haul markets. The survey found that subregional travelers were
more likely to:

    •   undertake pro-poor activities such as hiking, visiting natural parks, visiting cultural
        sites and visits to cultural communities;
    •   use other forms of lodging services in addition to traditional hotel facilities in main
        destination points;
    •   spend on local handicraft, food and beverage services;
    •   have holiday travel as their main purpose of travel in the subregion (over 80 percent
        of long haul subregional travelers and 65 percent for those coming from the Asia
        Pacific Region);
    •   engage in repeat visitation (between 55 and 62 percent) compared to shorter haul
        subregional markets; and
    •   be relatively young affluent professions ranging from 35 to 40 years in age.

The survey also found that a significant number of subregional travellers mentioned the
‘Mekong River’ and ‘Mekong Delta’ as the image that most came to mind about the subregion.
Subregional travellers also associated the Mekong with “culture” and “cultural” with the
cultural features dominated by images of Hindu or Buddhist temples. The people of the region,
especially the ethnic groups, also made strong impressions on the subregional travellers.

                 GMS Product Offerings
The attractions of the GMS countries are unique and at the same time possess many
similarities. All the GMS countries are recognized for their:

    1. beautiful natural attractions;
    2. engaging cultural traditions; and
    3. extremely friendly people.

Thailand which is branded as Amazing Thailand is a major global destination for beach
holidays with over half of its 14 million annual visitors going to the southern beach resorts
along the Andaman Coast. Other major draws to Thailand is the hustle and bustle of
cosmopolitan Bangkok as well as the ethnic and natural attractions of Thailand’s Northern
provinces. Thailand is also world renown for its unique and very spicy cuisine which has
become a global gastronomic fad.

Vietnam which is branded as the Hidden Charm offers a range of attractions from beaches to
ethnic and cultural attractions. Visitors to Vietnam tend to travel from north to south or vice
versa, and absorb the variety of attractions along Vietnam’s vast coast line. Many visits to
Vietnam are for nostalgic and historic reasons. Similarly, Vietnamese food is widely
recognized for its unique taste and natural ingredients.

Tourism in Cambodia is centred almost entirely around Angkor Wat in Siem Reap. Angkor
Wat is one of the leading world heritage sites and a must see attraction for the modern day
globetrotter. Equally exciting, but far less visited, is Cambodia’s capital city of Phnom Penh
and the charming southern coastal town of Sihanoukville.

China’s Guangxi and Yunnan provinces provide a glimpse of the exciting land known as
China. Yunnan is known for its impressive nature and historical Lijiang which is a UNESCO
world heritage city. Guilin’s landscape features mountains, caves and statuesque monoliths.
What better way to start to explore China than in Guangxi and Yunnan.

Mysterious Myanmar is a land unto itself. Yangon maintains a colonial charm with wide tree
lined avenues, lakes and turn of the century architecture. The former royal capital of
Mandalay evokes a romantic bygone era, with the royal palace sitting at the foot of the


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Mandalay Hill. Bagan is a remarkable archaeological sight which has inspired visitors for
decades with its ancient temples dotting the landscape.

Laos is currently working on developing a tourism brand. The country’s main tourist areas
include: Vientiane, Luang Prabang, Champasak, Vang Vieng, Luang Namtha and
Savannakhet. While the main tourism offerings of the country are city tours and cultural visits,
there is a move towards providing more activity-based tours including activities such as: white
water rafting, rock-climbing, kayaking, trekking, village homestays, mountain biking and
elephant riding.

According to the GMS TSS visitor survey, the friendliness of the GMS people is rated highly
when compared with other Asian destinations (a score of five being the highest). Other
attractive features of the GMS vs. other Asian countries include value for money, food, as well
as natural and cultural attractions.

            Friendliness of people                                                                4.13

                 Value for money                                                           3.79

                             Food                                                          3.78

               Natural attractions                                                     3.74

               Cultural attractions                                                    3.73

                            Hotel                                                    3.57

               Price of souvenirs                                                   3.57

              Variety of souvenirs                                                  3.55

               Air Transportation                                                   3.51

                    Public Toilets                                           3.25

             Road Transportation                                          3.06

                                      0         1           2         3                      4           5

                                          Source: ADB TSS


In summary, it can be said that the GMS has a wealth of nature-based and cultural products,
which form the basis of the region’s subregional tourism product. A number of primary and
secondary products segments can be construed which have the potential to bind the seven
GMS destinations and provide an anchor for the marketing message and focus. They include,
but by no means are limited to:

             Primary Product Segments                           Secondary Product Segments
        Culture and Heritage                                Self Drive Tours
        Eco-tourism                                         River Cruising
        Backpacking, Cycling and Adventure                  Bird Watching and Horticulture
        Beach (sun and fun)                                 MICE
        Health and Wellness                                 Gastronomy

Based on the survey of subregional travellers, travel offerings and packages likely to appeal
to the target markets include air, road and water-based:

    •   group and independent general culture/nature sightseeing tours targeting the North
        East Asian, European, South East Asian and Australian/New Zealand segments of
        the market;
    •   group and independent culture tourism programs offering ancient civilizations and
        monuments, pilgrimage, ethnic groups, and historic sites, targeting North East Asian,
        European, South East Asian, North American, Indian, and Australian/New Zealand
        segments of the market;
    •   group and independent nature-based tourism programs including wildlife tourism
        involving visits to national parks, nature reserves, and protected areas targeting

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        nature and wildlife travel segments in North East Asia, Europe, North America, and
        Australia/New Zealand; and
    •   group and independent adventure tourism programs offering trekking, rafting,
        kayaking, tubing, climbing, and caving targeting adventure travel segments in
        Europe, North America, and Australia/New Zealand.

The above programs should be priced in the range $500 to $2,500 per person depending
upon length of the tour excluding cost of travel to the subregion.

In developing the marketing plan for the development of the subregional traveller market, the
MTO must carefully identify those product segments that most accurately reflect the collective
nature of the GMS destinations.

                 Market Positioning and Branding
The Tourism Sector Strategy survey also sought to identify the image of the Mekong
subregion as a destination among travellers. Through the qualitative inputs of the tourists
survey, three key themes were identified. The first is that of water. This includes images of the
water systems: the Mekong River and Delta, as well as other freshwater bodies of water. This
also covers the ways of life in and around these bodies of water – boats, slow cruises, floating
markets, etc.

Another important theme is culture and history. The region’s archaeological treasures
combined with its complex of temples provide tourists with vivid pictures that, for them, are
undeniably from the Mekong region. Finally, the people of the Mekong, leave lasting
impressions of hospitality and warmth on the visitors.

Respondents were asked what first came to their mind when the word “Mekong” was
mentioned. Almost 3 in 4 respondents in the sample (75.48%) answered this question. As
may be expected for an open-ended question, there was a wide range of answers.
Nevertheless, some common themes could be identified from the most frequently-mentioned
words or phrases.

One emerging theme revolved around the bodies of water, specifically fresh-water bodies, of
the sub-region. “River” was mentioned by 174 respondents, while 73 associated the Mekong
with “Delta”. Interestingly, the “River” was more likely to be mentioned by respondents from
Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, while respondents from Vietnam referred more often to the
“Delta”. There were very few comments about the Mekong River from the respondents in
Yunnan and Myanmar. Aside from the Mekong, other bodies of water like the Kwai River (13)
and Inle Lake (20) were specifically mentioned.

Others associated Mekong with activities that could be done on the water. “Boats” were
mentioned by 147 respondents. “Floating” markets or villages were also mentioned 41 times.
“Tubing” and “slow” boat trips were also mentioned by a few respondents. These could
suggest a relatively relaxed, leisurely image of rivers as well as of river life. Not surprisingly,
“beaches” and “islands” were key words that Bangkok respondents mentioned.

There is also a strong cultural element associated with the Mekong. “Culture” and “cultural”
appeared to be among the key words for the subregion. In many cases the image of a
subregional culture is dominated by images of Hindu or Buddhist temples. “Wat”, “temple”, or
“pagoda” was the most frequently mentioned.

Specific religious/cultural destinations also came up in the survey. Not surprisingly, many
tourists – including almost two-thirds of the visitors to Cambodia – specifically identified
“Angkor” with the subregion. Other places mentioned included Luang Prabang and Bagan.

However, the respondents to Yunnan Province tended to remember attractions within Yunnan
or China. The images from Yunnan Province most commonly touched on the stone or


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petrified forest, Chinese tea, or specific destinations (e.g. Lijiang, Xishuangbanna). Others
made comments about the culture or natural beauty of Yunnan in general terms.

The people of the region also made strong impressions on the respondents. There appeared
to be some recognition of the indigenous cultures in the subregion. Words like “communities”,
“minorities” and “nationalities” were used by the respondents – often in conjunction with
adjectives such as “ethnic” or “cultural”. Some respondents also noted the “friendliness” and
“kindness” of the “people”. Twenty-seven (27) respondents wrote “None” or “Nothing”, with
one respondent explaining that “I don’t know what is Mekong”.

                     GMS Tourism SWOT
An analysis of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats has been undertaken for
the GMS. The focus of this SWOT analysis is on marketing related issues.

                       Strengths                                         Weaknesses
        Unique range of nature based and cultural           Weak and inconsistent branding in key
        attractions;                                        markets;
        UNESCO World Heritage sites;                        Historically low level of promotions and funds
        Fascinating indigenous cultures and traditions;     thinly spread across a number of markets;
        Generally friendly and hospitable local             Limited capacity among many governments
        population;                                         to plan and market the tourism sector;
        Well established and spectacular cultural           Low community and government awareness
        events;                                             of tourism benefits and needs;
        Extraordinary natural environments, many            Lack of market research/weak statistical
        possessing unique and rare flora and fauna;         base;
        Relative closeness to Asian source markets;         Weak provincial tourism bureaus and
        Excellent accessibility through international       associations;
        hubs such as Bangkok and HCM City;                  Limited private sector involvement in
        Comprehensive air and land transport network;       destination marketing;
        Relatively unspoiled environment;                   Weak public private partnership frameworks;
        Increasing support from central governments for     Insufficient government investment and
        tourism (and some provincial governments);          commitment to regionalism;
        Strong regional private sector companies;
        Well establish cooperative framework through
        MTCO.
                      Opportunities                                         Threats
        Growing global interest in activity based special   Increasing global oil prices
        interest tourism;                                   Terrorist or security incidents as major
        Growing iconic status of natural and cultural       deterrent to travel;
        heritage attractions;                               Inaction;
        Increased intra-regional and international air      Global and regional competitions and
        services (particularly low cost carriers);          increasing competitor marketing;
        Increase coordination of marketing and industry     HIV/AIDS epidemic or other pandemics will
        participation;                                      deter visitors;
        The aura and mystique of the Mekong;                Political and economic instability;
        Mobilisation of MTCO as a centralised regional      Adverse publicity;
        tourism marketing and development agency;           Lack of sustainable tourism operations;
        Develop stronger branding;                          Reduced funding for development and
        Commitment to regionalism;                          promotion
        Emergence of Asian tourist;
        Concentrate marketing on key defined source
        markets;
        Strengthen research base to underpin
        marketing strategies;
        Positively manage image in key markets
        through PR programme;
        Increased internet marketing activities;
        Focus marketing on to niche markets;
        Strengthen marketing capacity within MTCO,
        respective NTOs and regional industry
        associations
        Source: Senior Advisor Appraisal, ADB TSS



      4. The Marketing Implementation Plan
This section drafts a three phased marketing approach for the MTO. It is founded on the
global and GMS marketing information provided in sections 2 and 3 of this report. It also
takes into consideration the numerous institutional challenges and assumes that the

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recommendations highlighted in section 1 are adopted by the TWG and respective GMS NTO
leaders and tourism ministers. Further consultations and dialogue between public and private
sector stakeholders will need to be undertaken in the refinement of this marketing
implementation plan which should be treated as a Living Document.

                 The Marketing Phases
The Plan proposes three distinct and unique phases of implementation, each supported by a
thematic focus. They include:

        Phase One – Partnership and Information Consolidation (short term)
        Phase Two – Awareness Building and Brand Expansion (medium term)
        Phase Three – Celebration (long term)

Each phase is contingent upon the success of the previous phase. All phases are based on
the assumption that the MTO and the MTCO operating under one umbrella are well organized
and managed as per the recommendations made in section one.

                 Marketing Principles and Tools
The following principles have been adopted in developing the strategies and actions, which
underpin this Plan:

    •   Focus marketing on products where the GMS has world competitive advantage;
    •   Focus marketing on countries/segments where the identified products have potential
        for significant growth;
    •   Coordinate all marketing activities with the private sector, primarily through the
        established industry associations and overseas wholesalers;
    •   Maximize the level of funding available by undertaking all marketing activities on a
        cooperative basis with the private sector;
    •   Focus marketing activities on the overseas travel trade sector and public relations as
        a priority;
    •   Improve the effectiveness of marketing activities and information distribution, through
        the development and use of technology;
    •   Enhance sub-regional cooperation and information flow through dedicated points of
        contact in each member destination.

Distribution of the marketing message will be through the active engagement in following
activities and channels:

    •   Trade Marketing
    •   Consumer Marketing
    •   Market Research and Intelligence
    •   Media and Public Relations
    •   Global Branding
    •   Internet Marketing

                 Short, Medium and Long Term Action Plan
PHASE ONE will take place during 2008 and will focus on the theme of ‘partnership and
information consolidation’. Activities have been developed with the idea of overcoming the
MTO’s two immediate challenges: poor internal communication and a lack of consumer and
trade information on subregional tourism. Importantly, many of these issues also resonate for
the MTCO in its development mission; it is important to facilitate and nurture this overlap.

Following extensive consultation with the GMS public and private stakeholders, several
proposed ‘pilot projects’ have been developed for immediate implementation by the MTO.
The projects are essential to establish internal capacity and ensure accurate and easily
accessible information on GMS tourism.


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MTO Country Coordinator Program: Each member destination of the MTO shall appoint a
MTO Country Coordinator who will be charged with assuring strong two-way communication
between the MTO headquarters in Bangkok and the respective NTOs. The Country
Coordinator should be a motivated junior level NTO staff member with fluency in English. The
country coordinator shall:

        •    Provide up-to-date information on in-country tourism happenings for publication in
             the monthly Mekong Tourism Update newsletter and www.mekongtourism.org;
        •    Facilitate information flow between respective NTOs and the ADB/MTCO Project
             Coordinator;
        •    In conjunction with the MTO, organize media and trade visits to respective
             destination;
        •    Promote MTO and MTCO initiatives in respective country;

It is proposed that the MTO operating budget will subsidise a small monthly stipend to cover
related costs for the administration of these activities at the national level.

Expand www.mekongtourism.org: The website shall be developed into two distinct streams:

        •    Institutional – focus on development agenda by communicating MTCO activities
             as they relate to the 28-spatial and thematic projects outlined in the Mekong
             Tourism Strategy. The target market for these communications is bi-lateral and
             multi-lateral development and donor partners as well as academic researchers
             and GMS member country NTOs.

        •    Consumer/Travel Trade – focus on the marketing agenda by presenting
             comprehensive, un-biased tourism information to the global travel trade and
             consumer in support of the MTO mission to increase the number long stay and
             above average spending subregional travellers.

Creation of Mekong Tourism Travel Planner (CD-Rom format): Develop clear, concise
information on Mekong Tourism for use by the travel trade in their efforts to develop their
wholesale programs in the region. This information will also be used on the MTO website.
Examples of information that will be included are:

        •    Visa information and ‘visa-on-arrival’ border check points;
        •    Country background and history;
        •    Easy to re-produce text and photos;
        •    Tourism circuits by Air, Road, and Rail; and
        •    Maps

International Mekong Tourism Functions: Organize small Mekong events with travel trade
and media focus groups in select source markets. These proposed networking events will
last 1-2 hours including a thirty minute PowerPoint presentation followed by a modest cocktail
reception. The events will expand the relationship between the MTO and major travel
producers and trade/consumer media. Focus markets under investigation include: 1) Intra-
regional travellers in the GMS countries; and 2) ASEAN + 3. The MTO will hold up to three
such events in 2008/2009.

Regional MTO Network Events: Organize Mekong Events in each of the MTO member
destinations to familiarize and engage public and private sector stakeholders with the MTO
marketing plan.

MTO Database: Urgently develop the MTO database to include a broader cross section of
travel trade professionals (particularly special interest tour operators) and media.

Monthly Mekong Tourism Update: Continue to publish this important monthly newsletter
which shall be distributed to the MTO and MTCO database.

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Private Sector Advisory Group Meetings: Continue to engage the PSAG. The proposed
2008 meeting schedule is as follows: February 10, 2008; April 11, 2008; July 11, 2008;
October 10, 2008; and December 19, 2008.

Market Research: In conjunction with partner organizations such as the IFC Mekong Private
Sector Development Fund (MPDF), undertake further market research to monitor the exact
number of subregional travellers as well as key market and product segments for the
subregional marketing focus.

PHASE TWO shall take place between January and December 2009 (12 months) and the
overarching theme will be ‘awareness building and brand expansion’. Activities in this phase
will not only continue to focus on continuing to nurture activities highlighted in phase one, but
will also develop activities aimed at GMS branding, public relations and internet marketing.

Refinement of www.mekongtourism.org: The second phase of web development will focus on
developing and refining the capability of www.mekongtourism.org particularly with respect to
web-technologies; possible engagement of social media websites, such as facebook, skype,
google earth, etc.; expansion of the website to include a hotel booking engine and expansion
of relationship with major GDS’; development of user generated video and an internet TV
channel (Mekong TV); and key word optimization. For example, if today one uses the search
word ‘Indochina’, the following websites appear as top ranked: www.travelindochina.com,
www.tourismindochina.com, www.indochina-tourism.com, and www.visit-mekong.com. The
search word ‘Mekong’, produces the following websites as top ranked:
www.mekongtourism.org, www.visit-mekong.com, www.UNESCAP.org and www.pata.org
(MTF 2005).

Re-establish the Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF): The MTF was a successful subregional
event which brought together public and private stakeholders from a broad cross section.
Many have suggested that the event be re-launched in June or July 2009 and possibly held
annually. The focus of the MTF should include a combination of issues related to Mekong
Tourism’s development (MTCO) and marketing (MTO) agendas.

Conduct Media and Trade Familiarization Trips: In conjunction with member NTOs, organize
a series of Media and Trade familiarization trips that highlight unique subregional travel
opportunities including circuits, eco-tourism products, culture and heritage. This activity
should be complemented with the creation of an engaging and resource rich media kit.

Visit Mekong Year Preparation: In preparation for a proposed major promotional campaign in
2010, it will be important to mobilize public and private stakeholder support and develop an
appropriate supporting branding for Mekong Tourism Year.

PHASE THREE shall take place in 2010 (and 2011) and shall be marked as a period of
‘celebration’. The focal point of phase three will be a landmark event, Visit Mekong Year,
which shall be organised in 2010 and will require the full commitment from public and private
stakeholders. Promotion shall include the development of a special consumer discount card
known as a Mekong travel pass, a Mekong visitors guide, etc. A special brand shall be
established which will be prominently advertised via the internet as well as through media
partnerships that shall be developed. Upon approval by the TWG and respective NTO and
Ministry-level leaders, the Visit Mekong Year will be expanded upon through the development
of a clear and concise plan. In 2011, the year immediately following Visit Mekong Year, the
MTO shall focus on refining the Mekong Brand and messaging and responding to the
inevitable expansion of public awareness of the GMS as a unified tourism destination.




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                    Implementation Schedule
The below Gantt Chart provides a timeline for the proposed short, medium and long term
marketing activities as proposed in this Plan.




                                                 June 2008




                                                                                          June 2009




                                                                                                                              June 2010




                                                                                                                                                                   June 2011
                                                                Dec 2008




                                                                                                      Dec 2009




                                                                                                                                            Dec 2010




                                                                                                                                                                               Dec 2011
                                      Jan 2008




                                                                           Jan 2009




                                                                                                                   Jan 2010




                                                                                                                                                       Jan 2011
         Activity/Timing




Phase One
Establish Country Coordinators
Expansion of mekongtourism.org
Mekong Travel Planner
Regional MTO Network Events
Inter’l Mekong Tourism Functions*
MTO Database **
Mekong Tourism Update **
Private Sector Advisory Meetings
Phase Two
Refinement of mekongtourism.org
Re-establish MTF***
Conduct Media and Trade Fams
Develop Explore Mekong TV****
Develop Visit Mekong Year Brand
Phase Three
Visit Mekong Tourism Year
Follow up to Mekong Tourism Yr
 *Overlap between Phase One and Phase Two                                             **Essential Ongoing Program
 ***To be held annually beginning in June/July 2009                                   ****Ongoing Program if proven successful in 2009/2010


                    Marketing Budget 2008-2011
Estimated required funding for programme as outlined in Marketing Plan

            Activity/Timing                           2008                            2009                       2010                     2011
          (Expressed in US$)


Phase One (actual)
Establish Country Coordinators                                4,000                     4,000                      4,000                   4,000
Expansion of mekongtourism.org **                            12,500
Mekong Travel Planner **                                      2,500
Regional MTO Network Events **                                2,500
Inter’l Mekong Tourism Functions **                           7,500
MTO Database                                                      0                     4,000                      4,000                   4,000
Mekong Tourism Update                                         4,000                     4,000                      4,000                   4,000
Private Sector Advisory Meetings                              1,000                     1,000                      1,000                   1,000
Phase Two (estimated)
Refinement of mekongtourism.org                                                         5,000                      5,000                   5,000
Re-establish MTF                                                                       20,000                     20,000                  20,000
Conduct Media and Trade Fams                                                           10,000                     10,000                  10,000
Develop Explore Mekong TV                                                              15,000                     15,000                  15,000
Develop Visit Mekong Year Brand                                                         5,000
Phase Three (estimated)
Visit Mekong Tourism Year                                                                                        500,000

ESTIMATED FUNDS REQUIRED                  34,000           68,000        563,000      63,000
      Proposed Funding Sources
NTO/Ministry Supported Funds              34,000           48,000        363,000      43,000
Private Sector Cash and/or In-Kind               0         20,000        200,000      20,000
** From Extraordinary US$ 25,000 AMTA Funds (in 2008 only); otherwise from operating budget




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Appendix One: Minutes Private Sector Advisory Group




                       1st MTO Private Sector Advisory Group Meeting

                                            31 October 2007
                                       Pacific City Club, Bangkok

                                          Meeting Summary

List of Participants

Mr. John Boley                     WCA
Mr. Charlie Kao                    TravelMole
Mr. Michael Looney                 Softech Business Solutions
Mr. Laurent Malespine              Don’t Blink
Mr. Luzi Matzig                    Asian Trails
Mr. Nick Morgan                    BlueNile Media
Mr. Don Ross                       Ross Publishing
Mr. Ken Scott                      Scott Asia Communications
Mr. Bert van Walbeek               The Winning Edge
Mr. John Watson                    Diethelm Travel
Mr. Peter Semone                   MTCO
Ms. Christine Jacquemin            MTCO
Ms. Pariyanud Trinikorn            MTCO

Apologies

Mr. Glenn de Souza                 Best Western International
Mr. Peter Wiesner                  Bangkok Airways
Dr. Jutamas Wisansing              Assumption University

I.   Introduction
         i.     Mr. Semone of MTCO gave a brief introduction of the MTCO and the objective
                of the Private Sector Advisory Group meeting.
         ii.    Participants then briefly introduced themselves and their organizations.
         iii.   Mr. Semone briefly explained about each proposed initiatives which include:
                     a. B2B Networking
                     b. Mekong Tourism “Consumer” website
                     c.   Mekong Tourism “Trade” website
                     d. Branding
                     e. Road shows
                     f.   Attend international events
                     g. Flagship Mekong Tourism event
                     h. Public Relations campaign
                     i.   Media familiarization trip
                     j.   Trade familiarization trip
                     k.   Earth TV


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II. Brainstorming session
       i.     Participants felt that US$25,000 as a marketing budget for the promotion of an
              entire sub-region was marginal and presented a massive constraint.
       ii.    The group was of the opinion that the main focus of the short term strategy
              should be on coming up with immediate solutions to regain the confidence of
              the MTCO from the six NTOs funding the operations of MTCO. In so doing,
              this would also encourage the confidence of the private sector which at this
              time is of the opinion that the MTCO has weak recognition and limited
              credibility.
       iii.   The meeting agreed that the MTCO should look into the other multi-country
              tourism marketing cooperative frameworks in other regions (e.g. Europe,
              South America, etc.) to learn about their success and challenges or to look for
              applicable models that the GMS could possibly adopt.
       iv.    There was a question raised as to whether the NTOs of the countries are truly
              supportive of sub-regional cooperation; it was suggested that the MTCO
              needed to accomplish tangible achievements in order to gain the respect of
              the member NTOs and the private sector. The MTCO needs to become the
              ‘glue’ for cooperation between government, the private sector and the whole
              sub-region.
       v.     When asked whether the private sector would be willing to assist in funding
              MTCO marketing projects, it was unanimously agreed that until such a time as
              MTCO built greater credibility the private sector would take a ‘wait and see’
              approach. It was made clear that the relative inactivity of the MTCO since its
              inception in early 2006 had seriously jeopardized the reputation and relevance
              of the organization. The task at hand for the MTCO is to re-establish its
              reputation by achieving small and tangible milestones and successes.
       vi.    The Private Sector Advisory Group sees it that the proposed initiatives could
              be broadly grouped into 3 main categories, in which the feasibility of each
              category should be considered in terms of the budget available or possibility to
              get funding, and the amount of time and effort needed for the project:


                    a.    B2B networking initiative
                          This initiative is proposed as it was believed that the tourism
                          suppliers are not yet efficient in networking and logistics within the
                          industry and that a good networking system and a well-organized
                          networking event could facilitate this problem and provide a platform
                          for the tourism suppliers to discuss on collaboration and on what they
                          can do for each other to gain synergy among them. It was, however,
                          commented that it would require much time to develop such a
                          network, and so this project might need to be hold off for the time
                          being.
                    b.    Tourism event initiatives
                          The meeting was of the opinion that there are already numerous
                          travel events held each year and that another event, if not seen as
                          having significant difference from other events, will not be much
                          success. There was a suggestion that MTCO, if to be organizing
                          such event as Mekong Tourism Forum, should try to differentiate the
                          event, for example, by setting the venue with tables for one-on-one
                          meetings between the buyers and seller instead of having display
                          booths as usual. Another possibility is to set up an event for the
                          sellers at each destination to advertise their products and to have
                          travel agents and tour operators to attend the event as buyers. It was,
                          nonetheless, agreed that MTCO should not yet try to organize this
                          type of initiatives, but could certainly consider them as future projects.
                    c.    Media-related initiatives
                          It was agreed that this should be the first priority focus of the MTCO
                          and that the website, with appropriate web layout filled with relevant

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                          and useful contents, is seen as the most feasible initiative as it can
                          be done quickly. It was suggested that the aim of the website should
                          be to try to convince the consumers, especially the residents of the
                          Mekong countries themselves, to travel around the region, by
                          providing them with information such as suggested overland routings,
                          broader crossings and crossing formalities between the countries,
                          river cruises, air routings, or special tour packages. Questions were
                          raised on whether the website should be separated into a ‘consumer’
                          and ‘trade’ website, how the consumer will come to know of the
                          website, whether they know the ‘Mekong’, and how to get exposure
                          and traffic for the site. These are the issues that, if the website is to
                          be the main marketing tool for the MTCO, will need to be considered
                          carefully. It was stressed that for this website to be productive, fast
                          responses and updated information is the goal. Recommendations
                          were also made that web marketing will need to be more aggressive,
                          for example, increasing the frequency for sending out and
                          personalize e-Newsletters, or putting more interesting feature such
                          as video clips of the GMS on the website. The website could also act
                          as a ‘one-stop shop’ for information about the GMS, and possibly for
                          the tourism suppliers to pay for membership fee to be on or advertise
                          on the website. Other suggestions relating to marketing through the
                          media is concerned with creating awareness for the ‘Mekong’ brand,
                          including logo and publicity activities such as TV program. However,
                          these are not first priority as they require considerable efforts to
                          implement.
        vii.    Another suggestion is to look into the possibility for cooperation with the
                academics, for example, holding event such as academic conferences relating
                to tourism in the GMS, or to encourage and be involved in researches with
                reference to the sub-region.

III. Conclusion
       i.     Mr. Semone thanked the participants for their participation and for their
              valuable inputs.
       ii.    The MTCO informed the meeting that it is looking to hold another Private
              Sector Advisory Group meeting to update on the progress of the marketing
              plan and to seek for further advice from the members in January 2008. The
              exact schedule will be communicated with the members in advance.

Minutes prepared by:
Theresa Trinikorn
14 November 2007




Mekong Tourism Office Marketing Plan                                                       Page 27
                                                                          Appendix 6
                                                                         Page 1 of 34




GMS TOURISM
     Action Plan 2008-2010

                     GMS Tourism Ministerial Meeting
                                 January 21st, 2008
                              Christine Jacquemin, Project Coordinator
                                  Mekong Tourism Coordination Office




Prioritization
The strategy includes 7 core programs:
1. Marketing
2. Human resource development
3. Heritage conservation and management of negative social
  impacts
4. Pro-poor tourism development
5. Private sector participation
6. Cross-border facilitation
7. Tourism-related infrastructure in priority zones


29 projects
               16 thematic
               13 geographical

       TWG decision to prioritize (Sept 2007
  Lijiang)
                                                              Appendix 6
                                                             Page 2 of 34




Rationale for prioritization
Classification of the 28 projects into 3 categories
 Short term:        2008-2010
      Mid term: 2008-2012
             Long term: 2010-2015

according to:
  1.   Countries’ priorities
  2.   Current level of progress – Status report
  3.   Short term feasibility; potential funding resources
  4.   High contribution to the other projects




                    Program B

HUMAN RESOURCE

                 DEVELOPMENT
       HRD Plan for Public officials

       Capacity Building of Trainers in Vocational
       Institutions
                                                                 Appendix 6
                                                                Page 3 of 34




      HRD Plan for Public officials
Main activities for 2008-2010
Preparatory phase:
              Creation of a task force in each country
              Training need analysis
Activity 1:      Sub regional workshop : building up a HRD
 Plan                   within the NTOs
Activity 2:      Finalise and validate HRD plan
Activity 3:      Design training materials for each countries
                        including CD to be used internally
Activity 4:      Train the trainers’ course
Activity 5:      Create a web based knowledge centre in
 local                  languages and in English




 Capacity building of trainers in
  vocational institutions
 Main activities for 2008-2010
 Preparatory phase:
    • Creation of a task force at regional and country level
    • Gather material available
    • Evaluate potential implication of training schools and
       private sector
 Activity 1: Training need analysis
 Activity 2: Design training material in local languages
 Activity 3: Train the trainers course
                                                                Appendix 6
                                                               Page 4 of 34




                   Program C

HERITAGE CONSERVATION

    MANAGEMENT OF NEGATIVE
       Tourism Management at Cultural Heritage Sites
       Ecotourism Development along Biodiversity
    IMPACTS
       Corridors
       Mitigation of social negative impacts &
       promotion of responsible tourism practices




Tourism Management at Cultural Heritage
Sites

 Main activities for 2008-2009
 Activity 1:   National Train the trainers’ courses will be
                      conducted in Angkor Wat, Pagan, and
  Lijiang
 Activity 2:   Establish a certification scheme for training
  guides              at heritage sites
 Activity 3:   Conduct training of cultural heritage guides
                                                                   Appendix 6
                                                                  Page 5 of 34




Ecotourism Development along
 Transboundary Biodiversity Corridors

Main activities for 2008-2010
Preparatory phase: Set up a task force and an
  organisational          framework at sub-regional and
  country level
Activity 1:  Design and conduct a core regional training
                   course for trainers in tourism
  management of PAs
Activity 2:     Design and conduct site specific training
  course
Activity 3:     Identify and design infrastructures required
 for            developing ecotourism products




Mitigation of social negative impacts &
promotion of responsible tourism
practices
Main activities for 2008-2009
       Mitigation of negative impacts (CST, HIV Aids)
  Activity 1:   Think Tank meeting with organisations (COMMIT,
  ECPAT,                       UNIAP)
  Activity 2:   Sensitise private sector through MTCO website /
                workshop
  Activity 3:   Translation of prevention materials into local
  languages

       Promote responsible tourism
  Activity 1: Publication of the « Socially responsible tourism
  guide » Activity 2: Promotion of good practices & operators
  adopting                    good practices
                                                                                  Appendix 6
                                                                                 Page 6 of 34




                      Program D

PRO POOR TOURISM
  DISTRIBUTION OF
BENEFITS to Alleviate Poverty
  Tourism Initiatives




Tourism Initiatives to Alleviate Poverty
 Main activities for 2008-2010
 Preparatory phase:
       o   set up a national task force in each country
       o   select one district or provincial pilot project per country
       o   assess PPT initiatives to extract best practices and lessons learnt
 Activity 1:       Conduct a sub regional workshop
 Activity 2:       Establish a provincial task force for each pilot
   project
 Activity 3:       Write FS and start fund raising activities
 Activity 4:       Project implementation with participation of local
                     communities including women (by 2012)
                                                                           Appendix 6
                                                                          Page 7 of 34




                       Program E

PRIVATE SECTOR
PARTICIPATION
          Facilitation of SMEs / PS Investment in Tourism




Facilitation of SMEs Investment in Tourism
Related Infrastructures
Main activity for 2008/2009
Preparatory phase:
      o   Set up a sub regional and /or national task force
      o   Identify ways to improve SMEs participation & partnerships in
          planning, investment and marketing
Activity 1:       Publish information on incentives for SMEs
Activity 2:       Promote SMEs implementing good practices
                                                                    Appendix 6
                                                                   Page 8 of 34




                 Program F

FACILITATION OF TRAVEL

        Data Base
        Upgrading border check points




Creation of a data base
 Upgrading Tourism Services and
 facilities at border check points
Main activities for 2008-2009
Activity 1:   Publish (MTCO website) and update information
  on          visa delivery conditions, international border
  check               points

Activity 2:   On going improvement of border check points
                     (Training, equipment, facilities, services)
                                                                     Appendix 6
                                                                    Page 9 of 34




                 Program G
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM
  DEVELOPMENT IN
               PRIORITY
ZONES Triangle
   Emerald
      Southern Economic corridor
      East- West Corridor
      North South Corridor
      Green Triangle
      Heritage Necklace




Sustainable Tourism Development in Priority
Zones
Main activities for 2008-2012
Preparatory phase: Set up a regional task force (when not already
  done)
Activity 1:   Write terms of reference (update for Emerald
  Triangle)           for technical assistance (TA)
Activity 2:   Fund raising for TA
Activity 3:   Start TA, Road survey
Activity 4:   Implementation (by 2012)
                                                    Appendix 6
                                                  Page 10 of 34




MTCO Pivotal Role


Bring expertise and technical advise
Work with the NTOs to elaborate proposals,
submit them to potential donors
Monitor and evaluate the projects




Conditions for Success
     TWG level of commitment; collaborative
                 governments,
     effort from governments, PS, Partners,
   MTCO

      Strong leadership by countries in charge;
      Multi stakeholders task force set up for
   each      project and meeting

      Financial support from partners and
      governments

      Continuous communication and
   exchange       with MTCO
                               Appendix 6
                             Page 11 of 34




THANK
 YOU
 ขอบคุณ   Cảm ơn rất nhiều
                               Appendix 6
                             Page 12 of 34




         GMS TOURISM STRATEGY
       AN ACTION PLAN 2008-2010




Documents included:
                                                                                                Appendix 6
                                                                                              Page 13 of 34



Action Plan 2008-2010 text version

Action Plan 2008-2010 Power Point presentation

Table of Classification of projects




GMS TOURISM STRATEGY
 Action Plan 2008-2009
INTRODUCTION



The GMS tourism strategy (TS) designed under technical assistance by ADB defines programs and
projects to be implemented before 2015. In 2007, the Tourism Working Group (TWG) acting as the
Board of Directors of the MTCO had decided to focus the actions of the MTCO for the next 2 years on a
selected number of projects and asked MTCO project coordinator to carry out a prioritization exercise.          2
This paper presents the selection of projects, and a 2 years action plan proposed by the MTCO which has
been presented to the TWG during its last meeting in Vientiane on December 3rd, 2007. The projects have
been divided into three categories; short term (2008-2010), midterm (2008-2012) and long term projects
(20010-2015). A table classifying all the projects is attached to this document.

It first outlines the TS background; the methodology used for the prioritization exercise, it then presents
each project, the rationale for selecting them and, finally it delineates the main actions to be initiated by
2009.

The action plan intends to keep a balance between many demands and needs. The MTCO at first
supposed to focus on 6 projects (classified in category 1) only over the next 2 years, in order to ensure a
better efficiency and feasibility, decided to extend its action on category 2 projects with an additional 5
projects.

Although it is a realistic plan, it is still a challenging one, as its success relies not only on the Tourism
Working Group efficiency, but as well on the active participation and support from the main actors of the
tourism development in the GMS; governments, private sector and development partners.

The following action plan will be evaluated on a regular basis, and readjusted according to in particular
funding resources available. In 2009 another 2 years plan will be elaborated.




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                Appendix 6
                                                                                              Page 14 of 34




I.      BACKGROUND



The challenge

The tourism sector was designated as one of the 11 flagship programs of the GMS Economic Cooperation
Program in recognition of the important contribution it could make toward socio-economic development
and the conservation of natural and natural heritage resources.

The GMS tourism strategy was elaborated under ADB technical assistance, at the request of the 6
countries to prepare within the overall 10 year GMS strategic framework, a strategy to optimize the
benefits of sub regional tourism in a more environmentally and socially responsible manner.

The objective

The tourism industry in the GMS is booming, studies show it is the fastest growing destination in the
world. Between 2004, when the GMS TS was elaborated, and 2006 the number of tourist arrivals
increased by 26%, with an impressive 61% growth for Cambodia and 55% for Yunnan and Guangxi
together (PATA source). 2007 will reach new records with for example a 37 % increase in Lao PDR
during the first 10 months of 2007 over the similar period of 2006.

The common goal of all countries and tourism operators of all kinds is to earn more from tourism and            3
over a long period of time. The main strategy to achieve this, and sometimes the only one, is to increase
the numbers of arrivals, but the best way is rather to increase the share of higher yield markets, increase
their spending by developing quality products they are willing to buy, that will incite them to stay longer
and even more importantly, to come back. This is what the strategy is willing to achieve.

The overall objective of the strategy was defined as follow:

“To develop and promote the Mekong as a single destination, offering a diversity of good quality and
high yielding sub regional products that helps to distribute the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the
tourism development efforts of each country, by fostering a sustainable tourism development approach,
by contributing to poverty reduction, gender equality and empowerment of women, while minimizing any
adverse impacts.”

The strategy

The strategy is articulated around 7 core programs; marketing, human resource development, heritage
conservation and mitigation of negative impacts, pro poor tourism, private sector participation, facilitation
of travel, tourism development in priority zones. These 7 core programs are declined into 29 projects
including 16 thematic projects and 13 geographical projects.




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                 Appendix 6
                                                                                               Page 15 of 34



II.       PRIORITIZATION OF PROJECTS

The strategy designed for 10 years is ambitious; while it is good to aim high, it is wiser, with limited
resources, to set up priorities and to proceed by steps, in order to ensure ultimate success. It was thus
decided during Lijiang TWG in September 2007 to concentrate MTCO mission of coordination in the
next 2 years on a selection of projects.

Methodology

A table classifying the projects into 3 categories (short 2008-2010, medium 2008-2012 and long term
2009-2015), is attached as an appendix.

Following extensive consultations with the 6 GMS countries, 4 main criteria approved in Lijiang TWG
served as a basis for selecting the projects:

      1. Countries’ priorities

All countries leading one or more projects1 were visited and then consulted via email. They were asked to
mention their priorities, as well as to provide detailed information on all projects that could be related to
the strategy.

      2. Current Status of each project

MTCO, based on information collected from NTOs and development partners, assessed the level of
progress of each project. The advancement of each progress depending on whether a task force is set up,         4
the activities carried out by the task force, and the other initiatives that could be related to the project
without being directly initiated by the task force. Many actions were recorded in a table listing all
information gathered by project, and submitted to the NTOs in November for additional input, this table
to be regularly improved will require constant updates to be provided by the countries.

      3. Feasibility

It then had to be determined what was the short to midterm feasibility of each project, What are the
potential human and financial resources available, who might be the potential implementing agencies, .
Discussions with development partners and identification of current initiatives allowed to make a first
evaluation.

      4. Sustainability

Another criteria that also prevailed was to choose those projects which are going to build the foundations,
which, once secured, can be replicated to other projects, and in particular those concerning corridors.
What are the core problems that require action in the shor term in order to ensure the best sustainability
for all projects. The thematic approach was consequently preferred to a geographic one.



1PRChina is the lead country on 6 projects(4 Guangxi, 2 Yunnan), Cambodia on 7 projects,
Lao PDR on 3, Viet Nam on 3, and Thailand on 4.


          GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                 Appendix 6
                                                                                               Page 16 of 34



Projects of category 1 and 2 are presented below with a brief action plan proposed for each, sometimes
the action plan presented is going beyond the next 2 years period for coherence purpose. Other times the
action plan is not detailed, as it first requires further consultations with and, between the countries, in
particular for the projects related to corridors and circuits

The programs are listed below as they appear in the strategy document, the order of appearance does not
reflect an order of importance.

A. Marketing the subregion as a single destination

A separate presentation was made.

B. Human Resource Development



        B.1. Main objectives

To upgrade the skills of tourism managers and tourism trainers to ensure that the strategy can be
implemented, and that the tourism institutions deliver quality training so that qualified staff is in place to
face and manage tourism growing demand from high yield markets. A special emphasis will be placed in
all activities on gender’s issue to promote women’ empowerment.

        B.2. Rationale
                                                                                                                 5
Tourism is a chain of many different services and products. A tourist during its trip will be catered by, or
in contact with a wide range of people; immigration officers, policemen, drivers, guides (general, cultural,
natural guides), housekeepers, cooks, waiters, travel agents, heritage sites, ethnic communities, boat
riders, handicrafts sellers, provincial tourism officer, etc. These people are at the core of the tourism
experience, each in its own way and specialty, is conveying the image of their country and contributing or
not to the overall quality of the experience tourists will remember and then promote when back home.

But the purpose of training people is not only to serve tourists, but to take tourism as a chance to provide
career opportunities to a wide range of people. In particular to the poor and women, for the advancement
of people of the sub region, so that they can be empowered and improve their lives, increase their
capacities to proudly contribute to the development of their societies.

The key to poverty reduction is definitely human development through education and capacity building.

Human resource development is recurrent in the overall strategy and is the base of many other programs
as we will see, but this program focuses on 2 aspects, HRD within the administration and vocational
training.

        B.3. Projects description



        Human Resource Development Plan for Public Officials (Category 1 project)


        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                Appendix 6
                                                                                              Page 17 of 34



The administrations at central and at provincial level are to implement tourism policies in a constantly
evolving environment, but few public officials are skilled to face the challenge of a sustainable tourism
development. There have been many education and training programs in the GMS, but their impact within
the NTOs is limited as they are not part of a wider organized HRD plan. The necessity to develop a HRD
culture and, to incorporate a HRD scheme in national policies has become crucial to ensure the successful
design and implementation of national tourism policies, as well as to better regulate and liaise with the
private sector.

        Main activities planned for 2008-2010

        •   Preparatory phase:

            o   Creation of a task force in each country

            o   Training need analysis

            o   Fund raising

        •   Activity 1: Sub regional workshop : how to build up a HRD Plan within the NTOs

        •   Activity 2: Finalise and validate HRD plan

        •   Activity 3: Design training materials for each countries including CD to be used internally

        •   Activity 4: Train the trainers course                                                               6

        •   Activity 5: Create a web based knowledge centre in local languages and in English



        Capacity Building of Hospitality Skills Trainers in Vocational Institutions (Category 2
        project)

With a prediction of over 3 mln new jobs required by 2015 in the tourism hospitality services only, there
is no need to explain why vocational training is a priority. As the GMS wishes to optimize its revenue
from tourism by positioning itself as a quality destination attracting high yield tourists, the staff need to
upgrade their skills in order to address the demanding international tourists;

If Thailand, strong of 25 years of successful tourism history and an innate sense of hospitality, stands out
with highly qualified staff, most other GMS countries have extensive needs of training in hospitality
management and travel operation services. Vietnam is currently benefiting from a very comprehensive
training program funded by the EC. Similar programs should be implemented within each country.

        Main activities planned for 2008-2010

        •   Preparatory phase:

            o   Creation of a task force at regional and country level



        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                 Appendix 6
                                                                                               Page 18 of 34



            o   Gather material available

            o   Evaluate potential implication of training schools and private sector

        •   Activity 1: Training need analysis,

        •   Activity 2: Design training material in local languages

        •   Activity 3: Train the trainers course




C.      Heritage Conservation and Mitigation of Negative Socio-Cultural Impacts



        C.1. Main objectives

        To promote higher standards in the management of natural and cultural resources to maintain the
        value of what are the primary assets of the GMS,

        To strengthen socially responsible practices to limit the negative impacts which uncontrolled
        tourism growth generates.
                                                                                                                 7
        C.2. Rationale

The core assets attracting high yield tourists in the GMS are first its cultural diversity, with on one hand
its monumental heritage, in particular religious and colonial heritage and, on the other hand, its authentic
living customs and traditions embodied by multiple ethnic groups, who, often called minorities, are one of
the main richness and unique characteristics of the sub region.

The second main asset, is its natural heritage, from snowed mountains through river valleys to tropical
forests and coral reefs. The specific geological characteristics; landscapes and natural wonders, fauna and
flora, are attracting millions who come for mere contemplation, or to experience its dramatic features
through physical activities trekking, rafting, biking, diving, etc. “Protecting the environment is pricey, not
doing it will cost much more” Kofi Annan

It shall always be remembered that this heritage is the main reason for the success of the GMS
destination, the good management and protection of this heritage is key to the sustainability of tourism.

Within this program comprising 6 projects, 3 were retained in category 1 for short to midterm
implementation.

        C.3. Projects description




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                Appendix 6
                                                                                              Page 19 of 34



        Enhancing tourism management at cultural heritage sites (Category 1)

Training of cultural heritage managers and the guides certification program

        Main activities planned for 2008-2009

        This program implemented by UNESCO and UNESCAP and supported by the French
        government is well advanced already.

        •   National ‘Train the trainers’ courses will be conducted in Angkor Wat, Pagan, and Lijiang in
            2008.

        •   Establish a certification scheme for training guides at heritage sites

        •   Conduct training of guides and cultural heritage site managers and staff.



        Ecotourism development along transboundary biodiversity corridors (Category 1)

Training of protected areas managers and local nature guides, develop ecotourism principles and activities
within the PAs.

        Main activities planned for 2008-2010

        •   Preparatory phase: Set up a task force and an organisational framework at sub-regional and          8
            country level

        •   Activity 1: Design and conduct a core regional training course for trainers in tourism
            management of natural heritage sites (one for managers, one for local nature guides)

        •   Activity 2: Design and conduct site specific training course

        •   Activity 3: Identify and design infrastructures required for developing ecotourism products

        •   Activity 4: Promote to private sector through fam trips



        Mitigation of social negative impacts & promotion of responsible tourism practices
        (Category 1)

It is often said that “tourism is like the fire it can cook the meal or burn the house”. Would social adverse
impacts of tourism be as spectacular and immediate as casualties caused by fire, there would be no
hesitation in tackling them. But social negative impacts of tourism are more discreet and insidious; they
can easily remain unknown and hidden as they often affect the poorest, until a breaking point is reached
affecting the entire society.




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                              Appendix 6
                                                                                            Page 20 of 34



These adverse impacts include human trafficking for tourism purposes, and sex tourism which
unfortunately brings along its two tragic 2 sub components, the spread of HIV AIDS and child sex
tourism (CST).

The GMS countries have taken a firm stand against CST as demonstrated again this year through the
COMMIT regional seminar which took place last November. MTCO will support this program by
offering its website as a platform to disseminate information.

Initially exclusively focussed on major adverse impacts, the MTCO has proposed to address as well, the
overall issue of responsible tourism, with the aim of spreading best practices (social cultural and
environmental) among tourism providers, by promoting those operators applying good practices and,
among travellers including Asian as most of the time good practices manuals dos and don’ts are only
published in English.

       Main activities planned for 2008 - 2009

       •   Mitigate negative social impacts

           o   Organise a think tank meeting with international organisations to identify how the MTCO
               could support and complement their actions.

           o   Sensitise private sector through MTCO website, workshops;

           o   Support fund raising activities, for translation of prevention materials into sub regional
               languages and, distribution                                                                  9

       •   Promote responsible tourism

           o   Publication of the “socially responsible tourism guide” which is about to be completed
               under the ADB / MTDP loan and shall be published on the occasion of the GMS summit
               in Vientiane next March.

       •   Promotion of good practices & operators adopting good practices through MTCO website,
           seminars, workshops, participation to training courses of various institutions.



D.     Pro-poor tourism program for Equitable Distribution of Benefits



           D.1. Main objectives

To promote patterns of tourism development that help reduce the incidence of poverty and increase
economic opportunities and incomes for the poorest through their empowerment.

           D.2. Rationale



       GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                               Appendix 6
                                                                                             Page 21 of 34



The overall GMS tourism strategy objective is to contribute to the MDG through tourism as such this
project is a priority. Pro poor tourism is often confounded with CBT, which is only one pro poor strategy
among others. Many initiatives are taking place in the GMS funded by various donors and supported by
local governments, most concentrate on CBT or ecotourism projects.

            D.3. Project description



            Tourism initiatives to alleviate poverty (category 1)

If tourism is to become more pro poor – one which provides significant economic opportunities to the
poorest and less favored people (women) by empowering them, employing them and facilitate their
economic initiatives (creation of SMEs) through tax incentives, micro credit, ect.- countries must look at
how mass tourism can become more pro poor. This approach is now being adopted with the development
of value chain analysis.

        Main activities planned for 2008-2010

        •   Preparatory phase:

                o   set up a national task force in each country,

                o   select one pilot project per country for implementation
                                                                                                             10
                o   assess PPT initiatives to extract best practices and lessons learnt,

        •   Activity 1: Establish a provincial task force

        •   Activity 2: Conduct a sub regional workshop on a subject to be determined with PPT actors

        •   Activity 3: Write proposal and fund raising

        •   Activity 4: Project implementation with optimum participation of local communities
            including women



E.      Private sector participation



            E.1. Main objectives

To facilitate private sector small and medium enterprises participation and partnerships in planning,
investment and marketing.

            E.2. Rationale


        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                               Appendix 6
                                                                                             Page 22 of 34



The development of SME’s is the backbone of a wide spread development in the region, as small local
investors are not enough represented in quality operations. If tourism is to be profitable to the countries
there is a necessity to facilitate the national private investments in small businesses, indeed the stronger
and more numerous are the SMEs, the better and sounder is the economy of a country. SMEs belonging
to numerous small entrepreneurs will better spread benefits than major companies regulating the market
and concentrating the benefits in the hands of a few individuals or families.


             E.3. Project description

            Facilitation of SME’s investments in Tourism related infrastructures (Category 2)

The purpose of the overall project is to encourage and develop facilitation programs, such as regulatory
reforms, tax incentives, to foster the creation of SMEs, introduce measures that would improve the small
enterprise investment and business environment throughout the region.

MTCO will attempt to build up on existing and past initiatives (GMS BF, 2007 SME forum).

        Main activities planned for 2008-2010

        •   Preparatory phase:

                o   Set up a sub regional (and/or national) SME committee /task force

                o   Liaise with existing partners (IFC, GMS BF, etc.) to identify ways to improve SMEs         11
                    participation in planning, investment and marketing.

        •   Activity 1: Publish information on existing incentives, mechanisms for SMEs

        •   Activity 2: Promote SMEs enforcing good practices



F.      Cross-border facilitation



            F.1. Main objectives

To address impediments to travel to and within the GMS, improve facilities and services in particular
information at borders

To facilitate visa requirements and delivery, with the ultimate aim of a common GMS visa.

            F.2. Rationale

Three projects were declined under this program;




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                Appendix 6
                                                                                              Page 23 of 34



“GMS wide visa scheme” – “Upgrading of keyborder check points” and - “Information databank and
monitoring of progress on travel facilitation initiatives”.

Most issues related to borders and border crossing depend on the immigration services, Ministries of
Interior or / and Foreign Affairs, and in some areas border limits are not yet clearly drawn, the MTCO
cannot play a major role on these issues as a result, project related to GMS single visa was dropped out.

Ministries of tourism can play a role by advocating in favor of easier visa delivery or even visa exemption
for high yield markets (for example), as it has been proven all over the world that visa free destination
optimize their tourists’ arrivals; the example of Thailand speaks by itself.

The MTCO will publish regularly updated information on visa requirements through its web site and is
available to provide technical assistance. It will also help to develop proposals for fund raising, in
particular for the improvement of information services at border check points at countries request.

        F.3. Projects description

        Main activities planned for 2008-2009

        •   Creation of a data base (category 2)

                o    Currently being created it will be posted on MTCO website as soon as it is
                    completed.

        •   Upgrading of key border check points (category 2)                                                   12

                o   MTCO will follow up projects’ advancement in each country and in particular the
                    activities included in the ADB MTDP in VietNam, Cambodia and Lao PDR.



G.      Tourism-related infrastructure for Sustainable tourism development along
        corridors and circuits



        1. Main objectives

13 multi countries corridors and circuits were identified and included in the strategy; these tourism related
infrastructure development projects are meant to better spread tourism benefits between the countries,
within each country and within the population.



        2. Rationale

Corridors are at the core of the GMS economic cooperation program, they considerably changed the face
of the sub region by improving the connectivity between the different countries. To these corridors were



        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                              Appendix 6
                                                                                            Page 24 of 34



added tourism circuits of major importance such as the Emerald Triangle or the Heritage Necklace which
have been developed by Thailand previous to the elaboration of the TS.

As MTCO had to limit its focus, 6 projects were selected among the 13 proposed in the TS.

           Emerald Triangle (category 1)

           Southern Economic Corridor (category 2)

            Green Triangle (category 2)

            North South corridor (category 2)

            East West Economic Corridor (category 2)

            Heritage necklace (category 2)

The Southern Economic Corridor, the Green Triangle are in the category 2 projects for midterm
implementation but they are to be supported as soon as 2008, appreciating the significant progress in
particular by the creation of trilateral task forces by the respective lead countries, Cambodia and Viet
Nam. The North South corridor led by Yunnan and the East West Economic Corridor led by Lao PDR are
also included in category 2 projects but no task force has been created yet. Some proposals have been
prepared on the Heritage Necklace

       3. Projects description                                                                              13
Plan and develop tourism infrastructures by adopting an integrated tourism development plan combining
management, capacity building, socio economic and cultural needs, infrastructure (linking tourism zones
to the main sub regional transportation network by secondary and feeder roads to towns and villages with
a tourism potential access) and superstructures (building small scale environmental and social support
infrastructures within towns and villages identified, as well as natural and cultural site heritage
conservation management infrastructures at the key sites.) and attracting private investors.

               Main activities planned for 2008/2009

               For all corridors the approach will be similar, depending on the progress already made for
               each project. More detailed action plan will be discussed with the task forces.

              •   Preparatory phase: Set up a regional task force (preferred to working group in order
                  not to confuse with the GMS tourism working group)

              •   Activity 1: Write terms of reference for technical assistance (TA) to conduct a survey
                  of the routes to identify potential tourism sites and requirements to develop them
                  (infrastructures, superstructure, services, training needs, etc.)

              •   Activity 2: Fund raising for TA

              •   Activity 3: Start TA



       GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                               Appendix 6
                                                                                             Page 25 of 34



For the Emerald Triangle as many activities have been conducted already under the leadership of
Thailand, mainly on soft actions (capacity building, marketing), the first task will be to decide what are
the priorities during the next task force meeting planned in April 2008 between the Ministry of Tourism
of Thailand, partner countries and the MTCO.




CONCLUSION

Ensuring sustainability and developing high yield quality tourism will be the key challenge of the GMS in
the next 10 years. This action plan is looking at securing the first foundations of the GMS TS that will
allow the GMS countries to optimize the benefits from tourism for its human and economic development
while preserving the cultural and natural assets which are its main capital for the long term.

This action plan will be enforced only with

        Strong leadership from lead countries on each projects

        Strong commitment and collaborative effort from GMS countries in liaison with the MTCO

        Financial and technical support from the countries themselves and from development partners.
                                                                                                             14


The MTCO is here to answer your requests and provide the technical expertise you may need.




        GMS Tourism Strategy action plan 2008-2009 prepared by C. Jacquemin, Project Coordinator, MTCO
                                                                                                                                             Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                           Page 26 of 34


                                           CATEGORY 1: SHORT TO MID TERM PROJECTS: 2008-2010

                                                         LEAD
                                                       COUNTRY
    Project Name            Main objectives                                        Rationale                        Activities planned for 2008-2010
                                                      Participating
                                                       countries
                                                                  Program B
                                                     HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

                         To build up a 5-10                           •   Ranked as Priority 1 by               • Preparatory phase:
Human Resource           years country wide                               Cambodia                               o Creation of a task force in each
development Program      HRD plan within the          CAMBODIA        •   Facing the key challenge of the           country
for public officials     NTOs to develop a                                rapid and important tourism            o Training need analysis
middle and senior        corps of public officials    All countries       growth in the region, there is a       o Fund raising
level                    to    become       GMS                           urgent need to adopt a                • Activity 1: Sub regional workshop : how
                         sustainable     tourism                          nationwide training plan for            to build up a HRD Plan within the NTOs
                         specialists at national                          public officials involved in          • Activity 2: Finalise and validate HRD
                         and provincial levels                            tourism especially at provincial        plan
                         and, enable cascading                            level so they can better control      • Activity 3: Design training materials for
                         effects and, actively                            and        upgrade         tourism      each countries including CD to be used
                         promote          gender                          development.                            internally
                         equality                                     •   There is potential for fund raising   • Activity 4: Train the trainers course
                                                                          as many donors focus on               • Activity 5: Create a web based
                                                                          capacity building programs              knowledge centre in local languages
                                                                                                                  and in English
                         To train a corps of                          •   Project ranked as Priority 1 by       • Preparatory phase:
Capacity Building of     master hospitality skills                        Cambodia but Cambodia is the          o        Creation of a task force at regional
Hospitality Skills       trainers in each GMS         CAMBODIA            lead on 7 projects                         and country level
Trainers in Vocational   country and ensure a                         •   GMS wishes to position itself as      o        Gather material available
Institutions             cascading effect to          All countries       a quality destination, to answer      o        Evaluate potential implication of
                         raise the standards of                           the growing demand and be                  training schools and private sector
                         service to international                         competitive on the international      • Activity 1: Training need analysis,
                         levels.                                          market,      quality    vocational    • Activity 2: Design training material in
                                                                          training of the millions of current       local languages
                                                                          and future staff is key to            • Activity 3: Train the trainers course
                                                                          success.
                                                                      •   Many initiatives recorded




                                                                                                                                                                1
                                                                                                                                              Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                            Page 27 of 34

                                                                Program C
                                           HERITAGE CONSERVATION AND SOCIAL IMPACT MANAGEMENT

                          To strengthen the                            •   Classified as priority 1 by Lao •         National Train the trainers’ courses will
Upgrade tourism           capacity of heritage                             PDR                                       be conducted in Angkor Wat, Pagan,
management at             managers to manage           LAO PDR         •   The most advanced project                 and Lijiang in 2008.
cultural heritage sites   tourism so that it                               involving all 6 countries       •         Establish a certification scheme for
                          becomes a real tool for                      •   Funding is already secured by             training guides at heritage sites
                          protection, set up a         All countries       France and UNESCO for the •               Conduct training of guides and cultural
                          framework and course                             train the trainers program                heritage site managers and staff.
                          for training Guides
                          specialized in cultural
                          heritage,
                          institutionalize heritage
                          management training
                          at subregional and
                          national level.
                          To address social                            •   Cambodia has taken a very pro         Mitigate negative social impacts
                          negative           impacts                       active role in fighting child sex     • Organise a think tank meeting
Mitigation of social      (HIV/AIDS,             sex   CAMBODIA            tourism.                              • Post relevant data and information on
negative impacts &        exploitation)        which                   •   Several     international     and         the MTCO website
promotion of              growth       tends      to   All countries       national organizations are very       • Contribute to fund raising and
responsible tourism       generate        if     not                       active.                                   activities for translation of prevention
practices                 carefully controlled.                        •   Funding should be easy to                 materials into sub regional languages
                          To promote socially                              secure     as      donors     are
                          responsible tourism                              increasingly sensitive to these       Promote socially responsible tourism
                                                                           issues.                               • Fund raising to translate good
                                                                       •   Need to extend the promotion of          practices manuals into local languages
                                                                           responsible tourism to all            • Through website, seminars, courses,
                                                                           markets                                  promotion on website of SMEs utilizing
                                                                                                                    good practices.
                          To guarantee the best                        •   The “training of natural heritage     • Preparatory phase: Set up a task force
Ecotourism                possible management          LAO PDR             managers” becoming the first             and an organisational framework at
development along         and      protection     of                       part of this project have good           sub-regional and country level
transboundary             natural heritage thanks                          funding potential for short term      • Activity 1: Design and conduct a core
biodiversity corridors    to tourism, To create                            implementation.                          regional training course for trainers in
                          tourism           related    All countries   •   With its cultural ethnic diversity,      tourism management of natural
                          livelihood activities for                        the GMS main assets are its              heritage sites (one for managers, one
                          local communities to                             landscapes and environmental             for local nature guides)
                          incite them to protect                           beauties, with a strong increase      • Activity 2: Design and conduct site




                                                                                                                                                                 2
                                                                                                                                          Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                        Page 28 of 34

                          natural resources.                             of tourism flows to these areas,         specific training course
                                                                         there is an urgent need to •             Activity 3: Identify and design
                                                                         preserve Protected areas (PA) of         infrastructures required for developing
                                                                         the GMS and train the persons            ecotourism products
                                                                         in charge of its protection and, of •    Activity 4: Promote to private sector
                                                                         tourism operations within PA,            through fam trips
                                                                         and of providing jobs from
                                                                         tourism to the local populations
                                                                         so they become the guardians of
                                                                         their environment in the long
                                                                         term.

                                                                    Program D
                                                     PRO POOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

GMS Tourism               To use tourism as a        No lead         •   The primary goal of the overall      •   Preparatory phase:
Initiative to Alleviate   tool to assist in          country             strategy is to contribute to MDG     o   set up a national task force in each
Poverty Through           reducing poverty in the                        and alleviate poverty through            country,
Tourism                   areas of greatest need     All countries       tourism                              o   select one project per country for
                          by                                         •   Many initiatives are currently           implementation
                          1. Broadening       the                        being developed by donors and        o   assess PPT initiatives to extract best
                             current approach                            international agencies                   practices and lessons learnt,
                          2. Mainstreaming      a                    •   Several        countries      have   •   Activity 1: Establish a provincial task
                             wider approach into                         association representing CBT             force
                             all   aspects      of                   •   It is time to focus more on other    •   Activity 2: Conduct a sub regional
                             tourism     poverty,                        forms of PPT than CBT                    workshop to develop a methodology
                             planning,                               •   Funding possibilities are likely         and approach to broaden PPT impacts
                             marketing,                                                                           and develop value chain at district
                             education, impact                                                                    level
                             management,                                                                      •   Activity 3: Write proposal and fund
                             country     poverty                                                                  raising
                             programmes                                                                       •   Activity 4: Project implementation with
                                                                                                                  optimum participation of local
                                                                                                                  communities including women




                                                                                                                                                            3
                                                                                                                                 Appendix 6
                                                                                                                               Page 29 of 34

                                                     Program G
                            SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ALONG CORRIDORS & CIRCUITS

Emerald Triangle   To      develop       an   THAILAND    •   It was classified as priority 1 by   •   Activity 1: Review and update UNWTO
                   integrated      tourism                    Thailand                                 proposal.
                   development         plan   Cambodge,   •   It is the most advanced corridor     •   Write terms of reference for technical
                   combining                  Laos            project and moreover the one             assistance (TA) to conduct a survey of the
                   management, capacity                       which is already a tourism               routes to identify potential tourism sites
                   building, infrastructure                   circuit, and bearing a strong            and requirements to develop them
                   and      superstructure,                   potential for further development        (infrastructures, superstructure, services,
                   socio economic and                     •   The first program where the lead         training needs, etc.)
                   cultural needs. The                        country plays it s role of leader    •   Activity 2: Fund raising for TA
                   specific objectives are                •   Funding remains to be found          •   Activity 3: Start TA
                   to alleviate poverty,
                   generate employment,
                   provide infrastructure
                   and     catalyse     the
                   provision of facilities
                   by the private sector.




                                                                                                                                                     4
                                                                                                                                           Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                         Page 30 of 34




                                        CATEGORY 2 PROJECTS MID TO LONG TERM PROJECTS: 2008-2012

                                                                Program B
                                                   HUMAN RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Capacity Building of          To raise the academic standards of                     •   Classified as Priority 1 by Guangxi.
Hospitality Skills Trainers   universities and colleges offering     GUANGXI         •   Projects 3 & 5 of the TS have been combined into one, as they are
in Vocational Institutions    tourism       and        hospitality                       complementary.
and academic institutions     management courses and update          All countries   •   Guilin tourism institute (GTI) wishes to become 1st tourism
                              the curriculum with the new                                university in the world, and to play a regional role as the GMS base
                              concepts of STD; (sustainable                              for training hospitality staff. But the conditions are not reunited (no
                              tourism development)                                       working group created, no activity recorded apart from GTI)
                                                                                     •   There are some possibilities for sending professors to leading
                                                                                         tourism universities and courses in different countries. But no
                                                                                         funding identified at this stage.
                                                                      Program E
                                                            PRIVATE SECTOR PARTICIPATION

Promotion of SME/Private      Introduction of PS/SME support         CAMBODIA        •   To limit high leakages preventing the countries to optimize their
Sector Development and        and       facilitation    programs;                        economic revenue from tourism, it is crucial to facilitate the
Investment in Tourism-        encourage-ment of SME business         All countries       development of SME owned by locals, rather than letting the
Related Facilities and        regulatory reforms; and introduction                       tourism operations concentrated in the hands of big players, with a
Infrastructure                of measures that would improve the                         poor distribution of revenue within the country.
                              small enterprise investment and                        •   There are many initiatives in that sense and support for trade is
                              business environment throughout                            increasing (EU, UN, ADB)
                              the GMS sub-region                           •             GMS BF supported by ADB can be a relevant actor of this program
                                                                 Program F
                                              FACILITATE THE MOVEMENT OF TOURISTS IN THE GMS

                              To improve and upgrade border          MTCO            •   MTCO did not get information on projects concerning border check
Upgrading Key Border          check points facilities and services                       points improvements
Checkpoints                   for tourists                           All countries   •   A new hospitality culture shall be developed at border points as well
                                                                                         as information services and facilities (toilets, cafés, etc.)
                                                                                     •   MTCO is currently gathering data on visa requirements, new border
                                                                                         check points opening, to be posted on the website




                                                                                                                                                                   5
                                                                                                                                       Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                     Page 31 of 34

                                                         Program G
                                     SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ALONG CORRIDORS

Southern Economic      IDEM                                     CAMBODIA         •   As beach tourism is a mass tourism product and considering the
corridor                                                                             high potential still to be developed on the Cambodian and
                                                                Thailand, Viet       Vietnamese coastline, SEC is probably the area of the sub region
                                                                Nam                  which will know the most important tourism growth in the next 10
                                                                                     years.
                                                                                 •   It is important to ensure this development is controlled and limits
                                                                                     land speculation and the development of sex tourism often linked
                                                                                     with sea tourism.
                                                                                 •   A survey was conducted in Cambodia identifying ways to transform
                                                                                     the corridor into a scenic road.
North South corridor   To develop an integrated tourism         YUNNAN           •   It is a priority project 1 for Yunnan PRC, also a priority for Thailand
                       development         plan    combining                         and Lao but no taskforce created yet, no advancement of the
                       management, capacity building,                                project recorded.
                       infrastructure and superstructure,       Laos,            •   Major linking China to the southern continent it will be the most
                       socio economic and cultural needs.       Myanmar,             important trade axe of the GMS in the future.
                       The specific objectives are to           Thailand         •   ADB Phase 2 funding will fund part of the project (Lao PDR) due to
                       alleviate       poverty,      generate                        start in 2009
                       employment, provide infrastructure                        •   The rationale is that this area is developing rapidly for tourism but
                       and catalyse the provision of                                 needs management/development and destination planning and
                       facilities by the private sector.                             marketing.
East West corridor     IDEM                                     LAO PDR          •   One of the most advanced and most important economic corridor
                                                                                     within overall GMS strategy as it links Vietnam to Myanmar and will
                                                                                     become one of the major axe of communication in the GMS but
                                                                Thailand, Viet       tourism task force not created yet
                                                                Nam,             •   Some studies conducted along the road N° 9 by SNV “Value chain
                                                                Cambodia             Analysis”, and JICA about to elaborate a master plan for tourism
                                                                                     development along the road.
                                                                                 •   ADB 2nd tourism loan is planned for Vietnam
Green or development   IDEM                                     VIET NAM         •   Classified as priority 1 project by Viet Nam with a first meeting of
Triangle                                                                             the task force.
                                                                Cambodia,        •   Project focusing on promotion requires refining the approach to
                                                                Lao PDR              type of products to be developed, PPT an d environmental
                                                                                     concerns
                                                                                 •   No funding possibilities identified at this date
Heritage Necklace      IDEM with a focus on developing          THAILAND         •   Classified as priority 2 by Thailand
                       tourism around world heritage sites                       •   Several proposals made by UNWTO and France
                       in order to better spread benefits       All countries    •   Funding remains to be found for implementation



                                                                                                                                                               6
                                                                                                                                             Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                           Page 32 of 34


                                         CATEGORY 3 PROJECTS LONG TERM PROJECTS: 2009-2015

                                                              Program C
                                         HERITAGE CONSERVATION AND SOCIAL IMPACT MANAGEMENT

Preserving the Soul of the    To raise levels of knowledge and                         •   The richness, diversity and cultural interest of ethnic
Ancestors: Protection of      awareness of, as well as to              GUANGXI             communities in the GMS is one of the pillar attractions for
Traditional Living Cultures   preserve and document, quickly                               international tourism in the GMS, an asset found nowhere else
                              fading cultural traditions, to create    All countries       on earth, who need to be integrated fully in the tourism
                              and implement frameworks for                                 development.
                              involving the ethnic communities                         •   Funding is scarce but ADB may fund a RETA to prepare this
                              in the planning, development, and                            project.
                              organisation of ethnic tourism in
                              their communities.
In the steps of Shiva and     To develop tourism thematic              CAMBODIA        •   No retained by any country as a apriority
the Lord Buddha; linking      circuit    linking  heritage    sites,                   •   To diversify the tourism offer of the GMS allowing a better
the religious heritage of     Increase knowledge about these           Lao PDR,            spread of tourism flows and benefits, by focusing as well on
the GMS                       civilizations, share the knowledge       Myanmar,            secondary heritage sites and to prevent the negative impacts
                              and experience between heritage          Thailand,           before they occur, but the resources are not sufficient at his
                              site managers, and institutions.         Viet Nam            stage to address this project properly.
                                                                                       •   The creation of a circuit linking monuments on a common
                                                                                           thematic shall be of interest for the private sector;
                                                                                       •   It is suggested that the training program on cultural heritage
                                                                                           management shall be declined to these sites;
                                                                                       •   Issues related to sharing cultural knowledge is more the role
                                                                                           of the MoC rather than tourism
                                                               Program F
                                            FACILITATE THE MOVEMENT OF TOURISTS IN THE GMS

Single GMS Visa Pilot         To find multi lateral agreements for     MTCO            •   ACMECS currently working on common visa possibilities
Project                       common visas within the GMS                              •   Thailand and Cambodia about to set up a common visa
                                                                       All countries   •   MTCO does not have the power and resources to address this
                                                                                           very political issue and will only gather information to be
                                                                                           disseminated.
Development and               To refine data collection in order                       •   Data already available at PATA
Maintenance of a GMS          to demonstrate what are the real                         •   MTCO currently does not have the human resource to
Tourism Sector                impacts of tourism on key                                    start this project. Consultation will be made with relevant
Development Data and          destinations, to facilitate better
                                                                                           organizations (PATA, NTA’s, Immigration offices) and
Information System Facility   planning, choose most profitable
                                                                                           Funding agencies or universities students to decide how



                                                                                                                                                            7
                                                                                                                                            Appendix 6
                                                                                                                                          Page 33 of 34

                           target markets, allowing more                                   this data bank will position itself and could be run.
                           equitable distribution of benefits ie                   •       Strong support from GMS countries is required
                           to     women         and     ethnic
                           communities, poverty reduction,
                           mitigation of negative social
                           impacts,
                                                         Program G
                                     SUSTAINABLE TOURISM DEVELOPMENT ALONG CORRIDORS

The Mekong World           To develop an integrated                THAILAND            •          Although the Mekong River is the major link
Tourism River Corridor -   tourism     development    plan                                   between the GMS, symbol and its common value, this
An Endless Stream of       combining         management,           All countries             project due to its wide geographical scope is hardly
Tourism Cooperation        capacity               building,                                  feasible as one project.
                           infrastructure              and                         •       Its implementation may only occur by portion of rivers at
                           superstructure, socio economic                                  border crossings area
                           and      cultural  needs.   The
                           specific objectives are to
                           alleviate poverty, generate
                           employment,             provide
                           infrastructure and catalyse the
                           provision of facilities by the
                           private sector.
Laos-Vietnam Cross-        IDEM with a special focus on            VIET NAM            •         This zone is not considered as a priority tourism zone
Border Community-Based     CBT                                                              in the mid term and many conditions (access, cross
Tourism Zone                                                       Lao PDR                  border facilitation) need to be reunited before it
                                                                                            becomes one;
                                                                                       •         SNV very active in this area
Andaman Coast and          IDEM                                    THAILAND            •         Conditions are currently not reunited yet to start
Islands Tourism                                                                             this project
Development Plan                                                   Myanmar
The Red River Valley       IDEM                                    VIET NAM            •         No information collected on this project
Tourism Zone                                                                           •         VN mentioned a master plan but was not
                                                                   Yunnan PRC               communicated to MTCO
Shangrila-Tengchong-       IDEM                                    YUNNAN              •         No information collected on this project
Myitkyna Tourism                                                   PRC                 •         Conditions are currently not reunited yet to start
Development Zone                                                   Myanmar                  this project
Guangxi PRC - Northeast    IDEM                                    GUANGXI             •         No information collected on this project
Vietnam Borderlands                                                PRC
Tourism Zone                                                       Viet Nam



                                                                                                                                                          8
                                                                                               Appendix 6
                                                                                             Page 34 of 34

GMS Coastal and River   IDEM   GUANGXI         •       Asean websites features main cruise roads in the
Cruise Lines                   All countries       region
                                               •       No other information collected on this project




                                                                                                             9
                                                                                  Appendix 7



                    Greater Mekong Subregion Economic Cooperation Program


                        GMS TOURISM MINISTERS’ MEETING
                        Bangkok, Thailand, 21 January, 2008

                          JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT


Preamble


1.     We, the Tourism Ministers from the six GMS countries, namely, the Kingdom of
Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Lao People’s Democratic Republic,
Union of Myanmar, Kingdom of Thailand, and Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, met in
Bangkok, Thailand, on 21 January 2008. We are pleased to be joined in our discussions
by the Director General of the Southeast Asia Department of the Asian Development
Bank (ADB), and representatives from other development partners, international
organizations as well as the diplomatic corps.

2.      The tourism sector is one of the priority sectors under the GMS Economic
Cooperation Program and continues to offer significant opportunities for socio-economic
development. (We note the statement by the Second GMS Summit that the continued
growth and development of the tourism sector is essential to poverty reduction). Now
that physical infrastructure linking the GMS member countries are largely developed,
tourism has become one of the indispensable instruments for achieving our collective
aspiration for poverty eradication, sustainable development and well being of our
peoples.

Achievements

3.      We are pleased with the continuing positive outlook for the tourism sector in the
Subregion. We have noted that annual tourist arrivals in the GMS have more than
doubled from about 10 million in 1995 to about 24 million in 2007, with corresponding
increase in tourism revenues. Clearly, we need to manage these large increases in
tourism arrivals and revenues so that the pattern of growth is more equitable,
environmentally sustainable and sensitive to disadvantaged and vulnerable groups,
particularly women and ethnic communities, and contributes substantially to poverty
reduction and the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals.

4.      We commend the efforts of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG) for putting
in place a GMS Tourism Sector Strategy that provides a solid framework for sub-regional
cooperation in this important sector over the next decade. We support the goal of the
Strategy “to develop and promote the sub-region as a single destination, offering a
diversity of good quality and high-yielding sub-regional products that help to distribute
the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the tourism development efforts of each GMS
country; and contribute primarily to poverty reduction, gender equality and empowerment
of women, and sustainable development, while minimizing any adverse impacts.” We
are eager to receive regular status reports from the TWG on the implementation of the
Strategy.


                                                                                       1
                                                                                   Appendix 7




5.       We sincerely appreciate the financial and technical support provided by ADB
towards the preparation of the Strategy as well as the implementation of some of its key
priority programs and projects in collaboration with other development partners such as
PATA, UNESCAP, UNESCO, UNWTO, SNV, NZAid, GTZ, etc.

6.      The tourism sector in the GMS has indeed matured to a level that we can be
proud of. We have established and continue to support with our own budgetary
resources a Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) based in Bangkok to actively
position and promote the sub-region as a single tourist destination and to coordinate the
implementation of the key priority programs under the Tourism Sector Strategy. We
sincerely appreciate the assistance of the French Government towards strengthening
the staff of the MTCO by seconding a tourism specialist through ADB, to assist in
coordinating and implementing the priority programs and projects.

Emerging Issues and Challenges

7.       We can see excellent opportunities for the future of the GMS tourism sector with
a growing level of physical connectivity to and within the sub-region, increased number
of flights, and an increasingly vibrant tourism industry.

8.      While substantial achievements have been made, there remain much more to be
done in the face of many new challenges. We need to face up to increasing competition
from other regional destinations due to increased globalization, issues of standards and
pricing, imbalance in the distribution of benefits of tourism between and within the GMS
countries, escalating energy costs, and the threat of transboundary diseases such as
HIV/AIDS and avian flu, and impact of global climate change.

9.        We need to look at innovative approaches to sustain and streamline the
operations of the MTCO over the longer term to transform it into a self-sustaining
institution that promotes the sub-region as a single destination, with the active
participation and support of the private sector, and coordinates the implementation of the
Tourism Strategy.

Our Commitment to Strengthen Sub-regional Cooperation in Tourism

10.     In line with the GMS Leaders’ pledge at the Second GMS Summit to support a
more holistic and coordinated approach to tourism development, and in anticipation of
the Third GMS Summit in March 2008, today we have formally endorsed the (i) the GMS
Tourism Marketing Plan; and (ii) the GMS Tourism Development Plan. We commend
the efforts of the MTCO in developing these guideposts for implementing the GMS
Tourism Sector Strategy through realistic and feasible priority projects. We look forward
to seeing the concrete and positive results of these initiatives for the benefit of the
people of the sub-region.

11.     We call on the TWG and the MTCO to mobilize the required financial, intellectual,
and human resources and to further expand mutually beneficial partnerships with
development partners, including bilateral and multilateral donor agencies, the private
sector, and civil society to carry out these priority initiatives.


                                                                                        2
                                                                                    Appendix 7




12.    We look forward to further strengthening our partnerships with all relevant entities
to ensure the continued development of the tourism sector in the GMS.

13.    We express our sincere appreciation to the Government of the Kingdom of
Thailand for hosting this First Meeting of the GMS Tourism Ministers, and the Asian
Development Bank for the efficient organization of our meeting today.




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