The Asian Development Bank (ADB)
recently approved funding of over US$ 20 million for the tourism authorities of Laos and Vietnam to
develop a system of roads that link their tourism industry with Thailand. Each country will receive US$ 10 million..
The link will be established via
Route No. 9 and Route No. 12 in Laos’ Savannakhet and Khammouane provinces. The
ADB hopes that the development of this sector will help narrow the gap in
tourism administration and management between Laos, Vietnam and Thailand as
soon as possible. ADB officials estimate that the link will increase the number
of tourists from these three countries and abroad by 15% annually, and will
attract over 2 million tourists passing through Route No. 9 and Route No. 12 of
Laos in the next five years.
Lao officials have stressed that the
development of this tourism link has always been a top priority of their
government, emphasizing that it would bring tremendous benefits to the three
“The link will integrate the markets
of the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries, allowing them to become one huge
market that increasingly attracts domestic and foreign businesses to invest
more and develop the tourism sector,” said Mr. Bouasone Bouphavanh, Laos’ Prime
Minister . “It will increase the
production and earning income opportunities for people in these countries so
that they can improve their living standards.”
“Overall, the integration of
regional economies resulting from this link is consistent with the trend
towards the interconnection of the world economy. And it will stimulate the
cultural exchange and learning among the peoples of these countries," Mr.
Currently, five transnational roads
have been constructed, linking the countries in the Greater Mekong Sub-region.
These include Route No. 3, stretching from southern China to northern Thailand
via Luang Namtha and Bokeo provinces of Laos, Route No. 7 connecting Xiengkuang
province to Vietnam, as well as Route No. 8 connecting Bolikhamxay, in central
Laos, to Vietnam. Route No. 9 links Savannakhet province of Laos to
central Vietnam and northeastern Thailand, and Route
No. 12 runs from Khammouane province to central Vietnam.
In addition, six more roads are
either under construction or being improved and will be completed in five
years. They are: Routes 1, 4, 6, 11, 16, 18 and Route 13 South. Upon
completion, these roads will be linked to Route No. 7 in Xiengteng town in
northern Cambodia and, together with the construction of two more bridges
spanning Thailand and Laos, will make the link between China, Myanmar,
Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos possible.
Listen to Songrit’s report for more
details in Lao.