Southeast Asian rivers set to become tourism products

Thanh Nien News

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A traditional Khmer boat race on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Photo credit: Vietnamplus A traditional Khmer boat race on the Mekong River in Vietnam. Photo credit: Vietnamplus

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Southeast Asian tourism officials agreed further utilize the region's web of rivers during a meeting in Ho Chi Minh City on Monday.
Officials at the conference, which included experts from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), pointed to the connective power of 33 big rivers in the region, including the Mekong which runs through Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam, Thoi Bao Kinh Te Saigon reported.
The officials said they will establish river-based tours by turning the Mekong and its basins into a tourism product.
Hans Jacobsen from UNWTO said the ASEAN river network can create a collection of dynamic destinations that one cannot find anywhere else.
Ha Van Sieu, deputy head of Vietnam National Administration of Tourism, said officials in each country will come up with their own development plans and cooperation proposals with other bloc members -- all of which will be discussed at the next ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting, which will be held in January 2015.
“We are just in the first stage of developing river tourism among the ASEAN members but we have found a common voice,” Sieu said.

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