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Hanoi, Vietnam to host the 8th Mekong Tourism Forum

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will hold the 8th Mekong Tourism Forum, March 28-30, 2003 at the…

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA<.>) will hold the 8th Mekong Tourism Forum, March 28-30, 2003 at the Hanoi Daewoo Hotel, Hanoi, Vietnam.

National tourism offices, government officials, airline leaders, hoteliers, tour operators, travel agents and media from Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and Yunnan, China (PRC) will meet to discuss key issues of selling the Mekong and mutual cooperation within the Greater Mekong Sub-region.

The theme for the Forum is Innovation: Selling the Mekong in a Dynamic Marketplace. Panellists will debate issues such as customer and market needs, Mekong destination cohesion in tourism development and the role of local tourism associations. Breakout sessions will focus on market intelligence, customer relationship management and niche markets.

The 8th Mekong Tourism Forum will offer an opportunity for buyers and sellers to familiarise themselves with new products during the Mekong Table-Top session, a cost-effective business exchange to encourage product familiarisation, personal interaction and the exploring of new business opportunities.

During the Forum, the 2003 Mekong Innovative Tourism Product Award will be presented to a company which presents Mekong culture and heritage to the global tourism industry.

Despite global tourism passing through a challenging period, the Mekong region has shown great resilience. According to the PATA 2002 Half-Year Report, Myanmar and Vietnam received visitor arrivals increases of 12 percent and 10.1 percent respectively for January-June 2002, compared to same period 2001. Cambodia increased 7.8 percent, Thailand 6.4 percent (January-July) and Lao (PDR) 34.6 percent (January-March).

The region is really starting to raise its tourism profile, said PATA Vice President-Development, Mr. Peter Semone. As a venue, Hanoi offers an intriguing mix of old and new, with many well-preserved old buildings. We expect a strong turnout.

The 8th Mekong Tourism Forum is organised by PATA in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP). The Forum is being hosted by the Vietnam National Administration of Tourism.

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