BANGKOK (Xinhua) – Chinese and Thai companies have signed three documents at northern Thailand’s Chiang Saen port in a bid to develop boat trip service to boost tourism along the Lancang-Mekong river.
China’s Yunnan Provincial Tourism Investment Co., Ltd and Thailand’s New Chiang Saen Group Co., Ltd are main signers of these cooperative documents, which cover marketing a current boat service on Mekong river that take tourists to see the scenery of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar in a single day trip.
They will also launch a boat service from Chiang Saen port in northern Thailand to Jinghong in China’s Yunan Province and also to Luang Prabang of Laos and Kengtung of Myanmar.
“We are trying to connect tourist services and attractions along the Lancang-Mekong river,” Xu Lianbiao, vice general manager of Yunnan Provincial Tourism Investment, said.
We also are developing a wild elephant center in northern Lao province of Xayaburi and also developing ecological tourism there, he added.
Thailand put forward a vision called “five Chiang cities four countries,” which seeks close tourism cooperation and tourism facilitation between Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai, Jinghong (Chiang Rung in Thai language), Kengtung (Chiang Tung) and Luang Prabang (Chiang Thong),Mr Xu noted their company’s goal to boost tourism cooperation echoes with the vision of five Chiang.
“The joint patrol of China, Laos, Myanmar and Thailand make it safe to sail on the Mekong river, making it possible for tourism routes linking these Chiang cities to grow,” he mentioned.
Chiang Saen port used to be a cargo port before a new port was built there and thus the old port is planned to to be developed into a mega-tourism port, Mayor of Wiang Chiang Saen subdistrict municipality Chayagrit Nissaisook told Xinhua.
The mayor said the Tourism Authority of Thailand had made master plan to develop the port into a international airport scale with duty free shops and restaurants to welcome tourists, especially Chinese tourists.
“The investment will be at a minimum of 39 million baht (US$1.19 million) to firstly realise the plan that we may be able to attract more than 100 million baht (US$3.06 million),” he added.
Yunnan Provincial Tourism Investment launched their boat service here in Chiang Saen Port in October this year, tourists can now take a boat from here to see Myanmar and Laos along the river and also to do some shopping on Don Sao Island of Laos, a separate duty free zone.