HCM CITY (VNS)— The mayors of HCM City, Phnom Penh and Vientiane yesterday agreed they would work together towards making the Mekong Sub-region a single attractive tourism destination.
At the same time, they would further strengthen the relationship between the Mekong region countries and increase exchanges with cities outside the region, they said in a joint statement after convening for the first Mekong Sub-region Tourism Cities Mayors Summit in HCM City.
The summit aims to implement "the strategy of sustainable tourism development and to enhance tourism and culture co-operation and development among the cities in the Mekong sub-region," the statement said.
It said the one tourism destination initiative would strengthen "the spirit of friendship, cooperation, and community development for ASEAN solidarity, peace, dynamism, innovation and sustainability."
Residents of HCM City, Phnom Penh and Vientiane would be encouraged to travel among the cities, and authorities would work together in developing tourism products.
The mayors committed themselves to enhancing tourism departments of their cities to "exchange information and experiences in planning, developing and promoting tourism."
The choice of the International Travel Expo- HCM City as a platform to promote common tourism strengths of the Mekong sub-region cities reflected this commitment, they said.
The cities would "encourage and facilitate one another to attend international tourism events held in each city" and also co-operate in training and developing human resources through hospitality student exchange programmes, the mayors agreed.
They would also encourage linking tourism products on the Mekong River with the aim of promoting cultural and tourism exchanges.
All these activities would set the foundation and keep up the momentum for sustainable tourism development in the region, the mayors said.
The opening ceremony of the eighth edition of the International Travel Expo HCM City – ITE HCMC 2012 was held Wednesday evening at the White Palace in HCM City.
In attendance were leaders of the HCM City People's Committee and the tourism sectors of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Viet Nam (CLMV).
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Hoang Tuan Anh, affirmed that tourism development has become one of the country's key economic activities.
The Vietnamese Government has always worked to create favourable conditions for both domestic and international travel companies to invest in tourism, the minister said.
HCM City deputy chairwoman, Nguyen Thi Hong, as the representative for the host country, said the city has spared no effort to make the ITE HCMC 2012, themed Four Countries, One Destination, a large scale and professional international event. The event is an ideal one for companies from all countries to establish long-term cooperation relationships, leading to the stable development of tourism in the region, Hong said. — VNS