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Impressions of caravan tours in 2023

Caravan tours titled “Colors of Quang Tri” and a conference to promote tourism in Quang Tri of Vietnam – Laos – Thailand were held in September 2023, leaving impressions among visitors.

The activities aim to introduce tourism services, tours, and routes while signing agreements between Quang Tri’s tourism sector and travel agents from Laos and Thailand’s Northeastern region, making full use of advantages in the East-West Economic Corridor.

Impressions of caravan tours in 2023

Caravan tours launched in Quang Tri to connect tourism in Quang Tri, Vietnam - Laos - Thailand. Photo: D.V

New opportunities from Laos and Thailand

The Caravan tour program marked the participation of more than 80 units, including nearly half who are leading travel agents from Laos and Thailand.

The organizing committee supported the participants in exploring typical destinations in Quang Tri like La Vang Pilgrimage Center (in Hai Lang District) – the biggest pilgrimage center for Catholic followers in Vietnam. This place is among the most favorite tourist attractions in Quang Tri.

Other tours include a night tour to Quang Tri Ancient Citadel to pay tribute to war martyrs and join flower release ceremony on Thach Han River. This tour becomes magnificent to many international visitors who experience this historical relic at night for the first time.

The series allowed visitors to go sightseeing at some other places, such as Hien Luong – Ben Hai Special National Historical Relic, Vinh Moc Tunnel Special National Historical Relic, and Gio An ancient well system.

Visitors became excited about experiences they had at Fidel Park, Dakrong Suspension Bridge, Lao Bao International Border Gate, Cua Viet Beach, Flower Gardens, and Wind Farms in Huong Hoa District.

Meanwhile, the conference held during this time marked the signing of agreements between Quang Tri and Lao and Thai partners. Accordingly, the Quang Tri Tourism Association signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on tourism promotion with the Isaan Tourism Industry Trade Association (ITITA) (provinces in the Northeast, known in Thai as Isaan), and the Savannakhet Tourism Association.

In this program, many businesses from Laos and Thailand wanted to seek cooperation in local tourism with a focus on cultural and historical relics, eco-tourism, and maritime tourism.

At the conference, representatives of the Quang Tri Tourism Association introduced the locality’s advantages and potential in tourism, and some tours including Exploring Quang Tri Sea at the weekend and the Three-day Two-night Tour to draw international tourists.

After the program, Lao and Thai travel agents suggested solutions for better development of Quang Tri’s tourism, which focuses on natural landscapes, and special cultural and historical relics coupled with better tourism services.

Impressions of caravan tours in 2023

Hien Luong Bridge in Quang Tri has become one of the favorite destinations for visitors. Photo: D.V

Further cooperation

Quang Tri has benefited from the East-West Economic Corridor which connects four countries located in the center of the Indochina peninsula namely Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. The locality has worked to take advantage of the corridor for connections in economic, cultural, and tourism activities in its strategic development.

The related localities are said to tap the potential of the regional advantages and their strengths for better development of tourism in each location and in the region.

To promote the potential of tourism, Deputy Chairman of Quang Tri People’s Committee Hoang Nam requested the local authorities to work with partners in Laos and Thailand’s Northeast provinces to bring more tourists to tourist attractions and sea in Quang Tri.

Meanwhile, local travel agents are asked to boost connections with partners in Laos and Thailand for mutual interest while improving their tourism services to meet the demand.

Vilayvanh Chanthavong, Head of the Savannakhet Tourism Association, agreed with Quang Tri’s policies on tightening cooperation among Quang Tri – Savannakhet – Thailand’s Northeastern region. “It’s convenient for tourists to travel from Savannakhet to Quang Tri. They can begin the trip on Saturday to enjoy maritime tours in Quang Tri, the place offers good seafood, beaches, and destinations, and return home on Sunday.”

She said that many small groups of tourists come to Quang Tri by private cars. She also expected that visitors in Quang Tri and Vietnam could visit Savannakhet in services held by travel agents of the two countries.

Impressions of caravan tours in 2023

Cua Viet Beach is a top choice for many visitors from Laos and Thailand. Photo: D.V

Removing obstacles in transport, immigration

Right-hand drive and immigration procedures remain the obstacles to developing tourism among countries.

According to Nguyen Duc Ha, former director of the Quang Tri Department of Transport, the demand for caravan tours from Thailand’s Mukdahan (a location far from the sea) to Quang Tri is high as visitors like tourist destinations in Quang Tri, especially sea, through tours connecting three countries.

He said that Vietnam’s Ministry of Transport has collected ideas to adjust regulations on right-hand drive in Vietnam to facilitate foreign visitors coming to Vietnam by car. Vietnam is a left-hand driving country.

“People in Thailand’s Northeastern region tend to choose maritime tourism and enjoy seafood at the weekend, so Quang Tri is a top choice thanks to its close distance, good and reasonable services. If convenient transport and immigration procedures were made, more visitors from Laos and Thailand would come to Quang Tri,” said Sajja Wongkittithon, Deputy Chairman of the Isaan Tourism Industry Trade Association (ITITA).

Once barriers in transport and immigration are removed, better tourism connections between the three countries will be made.

Promoting connections

Nguyen Duc Tan, Director of the Quang Tri’s Center for Trade and Tourism Promotion, said Caravan Tours 2023 and Conference Connecting Tourism in Quang Tri, Vietnam – Laos – Thailand have born fruits.

The program helps introduce Quang Tri’s typical tourist destinations to tourists from Laos and Thailand’s Northeast with a focus on land tours through Lao Bao International Border Gate in which travel agents cooperate to offer services to save costs.

It also helps affirm that Quang Tri is a destination for historical relics and maritime tourism on the East-West Economic Corridor. For that reason, the center will boost cooperation with partners in Laos and Thailand while improving local tourism services for better partnerships.

Tan said that after the program, travel agents in Laos and Thailand have launched tours to Quang Tri’s destinations and stay in Quang Tri and then to Hue and Danang instead of skipping Quang Tri like before.

Duc Viet – Linh Pham

Duc Viet – Linh Pham

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