Mekong Regional Cooperation: Prospects for an Emergence of a New Regional Sectoral Mechanism

Le Lena


The Mekong region consists of six countries linked by the Mekong River, namely Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Since the early 1990s, regional cooperation in the Mekong region has gained new momentum and become more dynamic. Significant transformations in the trend of regionalism occurred with an increase in the number of multilateral mechanisms. Given the myriad of existing mechanisms, there is a question of whether there is any chance for a new sectoral cooperation mechanism. The following research seeks to answer that question by taking tourism cooperation as a case study. The research will explore current existing tourism cooperation frameworks and factors that influence regional tourism collaboration. It argues that there is room for a new tourism cooperation mechanism. However, there are also push and pull factors which must be taken into consideration as the potential institution is being built.

Received 18th February 2020; Revised 12th September 2020; Accepted 20th September 2020



Regional Institution; Mekong Regional Cooperation; Regional Cooperation; Regional Integration; Tourism Cooperation.

Full Text:

 Subscribers Only



Bao chinh phu. 2018. "Tong quan ve GMS va su tham gia cua Vietnam [Overview of GMS and the participation of Vietnam]." Retrieved January 30 2020 (

Tổng cục Du lịch. 2019. "Báo cáo thường niên Du lịch Việt Nam 2018"[Annual Report of Vietnam Tourism 2018]. Hà Nội: Nhà xuất bản Lao Động.


ACMECS tourism ministers promote “Five Countries, One Destination." 2019. Vientiantimes, June 2014. Retrieved Octorber 12, 2019. (, accessed on 12 Octorber 2019).

Asian Development Bank. 2011. "Great Mekong Sub-region: Tourism Sector Assessment, Strategy, and Road Map G". Retrieved November 20 2019 (

Chheang, Vannarith. 2013. "Tourism and Regional Integration in Southeast Asia. Institute of developing economic. "No 481, Japan external trade organization report series.

Chon, Kaye Sung. 2013. Tourism in Southeast Asia: A new direction. Routledge.

Greif, Avner, Paul Milgrom, and Barry R. Weingast. 1994. "Coordination, commitment, and enforcement: The case of the merchant guild." Journal of political economy 102.4: 745-776.

Hoang Ngoc Minh Chau. 2014. "Stakeholder networks supplying rural tourism in Vietnam: with reference to a Japanese case." PhD dissertation, Graduate School of Environment Science, Okayama University, Okayama.

Hussey, Antonia. 1991. "Regional development and cooperation through ASEAN." Geographical Review: 87-98.

Keohane, Robert O. 2005. After hegemony, Princeton: Princeton University Press.

McDowall, Siriporn and Youcheng Wang. 2009. "An analysis of international tourism development in Thailand: 1994–2007." Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research 14.4: 351-370.

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar. 2017. "International Tourism - Bilateral Agreements." Retrieved January 18, 2020 (

Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism of Laos, Tourism Development Department. 2018. "Statistical Report on Tourism in Laos". Retrieved December 22, 2019 (

Ministry of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar. 2018. "Myanmar Tourism Statistics". Retrieved October 10, 2019 (

Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia. 2018. "Cambodia Tourism Statistic Report 2018." Retrieved September 01 2019 (

Morris, Hugh. 2017. "Bangkok bombing hits Thailand Tourism". Retrieved September 1, 2019 (

Nakao, Takehiko. 2018. "Ensuring Greater Mekong’s success." Myanmar Times, March 29, Retrieved Ferbuary 01 2020 (

"Neighbouring tourism ministers promote regional travel." 2017. Vietnam News, September 08, 2017. Retrieved September 03, 2019 (

Nguyen Quy. 2019. "Vietnam becomes China’s second largest tourism." International Vnexpress, April 2, Retrieved September 20, 2019 (

Nguyen Thi Quynh Anh, Dong Xuan Dam, and Hoang Thi Thu Huong Trang. 2015. The role of tourism destination’s stakeholders in reducing negative impacts of tourism development on environment, 2nd International Conference on Social-Economic Issues in Development.

"Over 3 million tourists visit Cambodia in H1". 2009. Bangkok Post, August 08, Retrieved September 01, 2019 (

Phanumat, W. et al. 2015. "A multi-stakeholder participatory approach in community-based tourism development: a case study from Thailand." WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment 193:915-928.

Pleumarom, Anita. 2002. "Destruction in disguise: international tourism projects in the Mekong River Basin are a model unsustainable development." Alternatives Journal 28(4): 32-37.

Pleumarom, Anita. 2012, "How sustainable is Mekong tourism." Sustainable Tourism, Routledge:140-166.

Ravinder, Ravi. 2007. "Cross-national tourism collaboration in Asia." Asian tourism: Growth and change. Routledge: 33-46..

Royal Thai Embassy in Washington, D.C. 2019. Tourism remains robust with arrivals up 7.5 percent. Retrieved 02 February, 2019 (

Srisantisuk, Somparat. 2015. Pro-poor tourism policy in Thailand, Doctoral dissertation, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), London.

Siegel, Laura and Vater, Tom. 2018. "Laos sees marked shift in tourist appeal." Nikkei Asian Review, February 18, Retrieved September 20, 2019 (

Sokhorng, Cheng. 2018. "Ecotourism policy draft approved." Phnom Penh Post, 20 November 2018. Retrieved December 18, 2018 (

Suntikul, Wantanee, Richard Butler, and David Airey. 2008., "A periodization of the development of Vietnam's tourism accommodation since the open door policy." Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research 13 (1):67-80.

Thomas, Jason. 2019. Can Myanmar attract more tourists. Retrieved September 05, 2019 (

"Three countries - one destination: discovering Indochina heritage." 2019, Hue’s news, May 12, 2019, Retrieved June 17, 2019 (

Timothy, Dallen. J. 2000. "Tourism planning in Southeast Asia: Bringing down borders through cooperation." Tourism in Southeast Asia: A new direction: 21-35.

Vannak, Chea. 2019. "Region’s tourism ministers vow to boost cooperation." Khmer times, June 19, 2019 (

"Vietnam-Cambodia border route opens to traffic". Nhan Dan online newspaper. 2019. Retrieved July 06 2019 (–-cambodia-border-route-opens-to-traffic.html).

Wong, Emma P., Nina Mistilis, and Larry Dwyer. 2011. "A framework for analyzing intergovernmental collaboration–The case of ASEAN tourism." Tourism Management 32 (2): 367-376.

Wong, Emma P., Nina Mistilis, and Larry Dwyer. 2011. "A model of ASEAN collaboration in tourism." Annals of Tourism Research 38 (3): 882-899.

World Health Organization (2020), Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic,

World Travel Tourism Council. 2019. "Travel and Tourism Economic Impact 2019." Retrieved January 2020 (World,

World Tourism Organization. 2018. UNWTO Tourism Highlights, Madrid: UNWTO.


  • There are currently no refbacks.



Trường Đại học Khoa học Xã hội và Nhân văn

Đại học Quốc gia Hà Nội

ISSN 2354-1172