Vietnamese Health Minister Nguyen Thi Kim Tien had a working session with French Minister of Social Affairs and Health Marisol Touraine during her visit to France from 16-18 May.
|Vo Anh Tai (R ), director of Saigontourist Travel Service Co., talks with foreign partners at the International Travel Expo in HCMC’s District 7 - Photo: Dao Loan|
The four tourism ministers agreed on the cooperation on Wednesday in a meeting as part of the sixth International Travel Expo in HCMC, which kicked off in HCMC on Thursday.
Tran Chien Thang, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said that the four sides would join hands in marketing activities, in organizing tourism investment forums, and developing human resources.
The four ministers also agreed on concerted efforts to make transport easier for citizens and international tourists to travel to and from the countries, and would seek ways to links tours between the four destinations. Efforts would also be made to open air routes linking the region’s world heritage sites.
The four ministers also agreed to organize the ministerial meeting in every two years to further discussions about the cooperation.
“We want to use the tourism industry as a lever to reduce poverty,” said Somphong Mongkhonvilay, tourism minister of Laos.
Tourism cooperation among the three countries of Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam was formally initiated in 2007, when the three tourism ministers signed an agreement to this effect. The cooperation is now further widened with the participation of Myanmar this year.
The Laos minister said that the three countries were doing well in joint promotion activities, in organizing caravan tours, and making transport easier for citizens and international tourists.
“The number of flights between the three destinations is increasing. Overland transportation is easier. We are talking with the Governments to open more border gates for tourists to travel through,” he said.
Tourism officials said transportation is very important to help develop the tourism industry.
“Making transport easier is very important especially for visitors from outside the region. We should help them get visas in international border gates. We are talking with Governments to build more highways for better transportation,” said Thong Khon, Cambodia’s tourism minister.
The tourism ministers of Laos and Cambodia said that international tourists to the two countries can make visa procedures at international gates. Meanwhile, for Vietnam, tourists can get visa at the embassy or at international gates, but in the second way local travel firms must be there to assist such visitors.
The travel expo kicked off on Thursday at the Saigon Convention and Exhibition Center in District 7. Along with the exhibition, buyers and sellers are continuing business meetings there.