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Sustainable Destination Management

Strategies in the OIC Member Countries


especially known for the Mekong River,


but there are many other major rivers that can be

developed and promoted as cruise tourism products such as the Irrawaddy, Chao Phraya, and

Red Rivers.


Based on these assets there are a diverse variety of leisure and soft adventure

activities, niche market experiences, and local handcrafts in these six GMS countries depending

on the destination’s environment, history, culture, and local’s livelihoods.

The six countries have the following tourism characteristics:


Cambodia: Millions of tourists visit Cambodia every year to experience the country’s

rich cultural and natural heritage. AngkorWat and PhnomPenh continue to be the main

tourist destinations, while the coastal areas and unique Tonle Sap Lake are growing in

popularity. In 2018, international tourist arrivals reached seven million for the first

time, twice as many as in 2010.


China (PRC), Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region: With

towering glacial mountains, unique limestone karst formations, and pristine forests

abundant in wildlife, Guangxi, and Yunnan attract especially huge numbers of domestic

tourists every year. Visitors come to enjoy the local culture, especially in Yunnan, which

is the PRC’s most ethnically diverse province. The PRC is looking to attract more

international visitors by improving destination marketing and tourism services.



Laos: Laos’ tourist attractions include World Heritage sites such as the historical town

of Luang Prabang and the ancient Vat Phou Temple complex (in Champasak Province).

The country’s many ecotourism opportunities also entice visitors from near and far. Of

the GMS countries, Laos receives the highest proportion of international visitors

relative to population size. National tourism priorities include local job creation,

infrastructure improvement, and environmental sustainability.



Myanmar: Since the government launched its economic and social reforms in 2011,

tourism has taken off in Myanmar. Among the country’s many attractions are the

spectacular pagodas of Yangon, Bagan (recently appointed as World Heritage Site), and

Mandalay; the numerous unspoiled beaches and islands in the south; and the stunning

landscapes around Inle Lake.


Thailand: Thailand has long been a major tourist destination, and these days it is one

of the most visited countries in the world. With its shopping, cuisine, and vibrant urban

setting, Bangkok is hugely popular. Many visitors also enjoy other destinations,

including the ancient capital Ayutthaya, Khao Yai, National Park, the northern city of

Chiang Mai, and the pristine beaches of islands such as Phuket and Samui.



Vietnam: With its rich culture and abundant historical and natural assets, Vietnam now

draws more than 10 million international visitors per year. Among its leading

attractions are the stunning limestone pillars of Ha Long Bay, the beach resorts of Phu



“The Mekong.river is a transboundary-river in Southeast Asia that runs through six countries; measuring 4.350 km in

length, it is the world’s 12th longest river” World Tourism Organization,

Mekong River-Based Tourism Product Development





Asian Development Bank,

Greater Mekong Subregion. Twenty-Five Years of Partnership

(Mandaluyong City: Asian

Development Bank, 2018. Retrieved from