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Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam to Launch Maritime Tourism Route, Linking Trat, Sihanoukville, and Kiên Giang

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Stretching far and wide during low tide, Koh Mak’s long beaches in Trat province are a captivating sight. (File photo: Karnjana Karnjanatawe)

In an ambitious plan to boost trade, investment, and tourism, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam are looking to establish a maritime route linking the islands near Trat province with Cambodia’s Sihanoukville province and Vietnam’s Kiên Giang. This initiative is also set to enhance the meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions (MICE) industry.

Trat governor Natthapong Sanguanjit recently led discussions on this initiative at the CVTEC-Trat Business Roadshow 2024. The meeting saw participation from the deputy governors of six provinces across the three nations, Tourism Council of Thailand (TCT) president Chamnan Srisawat, and Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) senior vice president Puripan Bunnag.

Mr. Chamnan highlighted the TCT’s efforts in advocating for the Cambodia-Vietnam-Thailand Economic Corridor (CVTEC) conference, with TCEB acting as a co-organizer and the primary sponsor. According to him, this maritime route aims to create a unified market under the concept of “One Market, Three Destinations.”

“This maritime route won’t just serve as a modern economic pathway but will also captivate travelers with its scenic beauty and cultural richness,” Mr. Chamnan noted.

Governor Natthapong emphasized the significance of fostering tourism that links the eastern coastal regions of these three nations through this maritime route. He stated that both private and public sector representatives from the three countries have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly enhance trade, investment, tourism, and the MICE industry along this route.

The meeting culminated in a comprehensive plan to propel tourism and the MICE sector forward, ensuring significant progress for this initiative.

TCEB deputy director Apichai Somboonpakorn expressed confidence in Thailand’s readiness for this project and mentioned that if successful, it would allow tourists to travel seamlessly from Pattaya to Laem Chabang, and then on to Trat, Sihanoukville, and Kiên Giang, and vice versa.

Wiyada Suang, vice president of the Tourism Council of Trat province, shared the exciting news that the maritime tourism route is set to open during this year’s high season in November.


  1. Anna H. June 16, 2024

    This plan could really boost regional cooperation and tourism! Imagine traveling between three countries on a scenic maritime route.

    • Critic12 June 16, 2024

      Yeah, but do you think it’ll be sustainable long-term? These kinds of projects often look good on paper but fall apart in practice.

      • Anna H. June 16, 2024

        Good point, sustainability is key. Hopefully, they’ve considered environmental impacts and long-term viability in their planning.

  2. Jason Tran June 16, 2024

    As a frequent traveler, I think this is an excellent idea! It will make travel between these countries much easier and more enjoyable.

    • greenplanet1985 June 16, 2024

      But what about the environmental impact? Increased boat traffic could really harm marine life and coastal ecosystems.

      • EcoWarrior June 16, 2024

        Agreed. Tourism can be beneficial economically, but we need to ensure it doesn’t come at the cost of our environment.

      • Jason Tran June 16, 2024

        I understand your concerns, but if managed wisely, tourism can actually help fund conservation efforts and raise awareness about environmental issues.

  3. Samantha June 16, 2024

    What about the locals? Will they benefit from this or will they be pushed out in favor of tourists?

    • Benny L. June 16, 2024

      That’s a significant concern. Oftentimes, the local communities don’t see the benefits they are promised.

      • Samantha June 16, 2024

        Exactly, we need to ensure that this project benefits everyone, not just big corporations.

  4. Kevin Liu June 16, 2024

    I think this initiative is great for business! It could open up new markets and opportunities for local enterprises.

    • LocalJoe June 16, 2024

      Sure, but those opportunities often go to larger companies, and small local businesses get left out.

  5. Nina Wang June 16, 2024

    What safeguards are in place to ensure this project is actually implemented? Too many plans falter after the initial hype.

    • SteveM June 16, 2024

      Governments need to set up strict regulations and oversight committees to make sure this doesn’t just become another failed promise.

  6. EcoTraveler June 16, 2024

    This sounds like a fantastic idea, but I hope they’re taking marine conservation seriously. The biodiversity in these waters is incredible and must be protected.

  7. JohnDoe123 June 16, 2024

    Fantastic news! It’s about time they linked these stunning destinations. It’ll make island-hopping so much easier.

  8. Selina Kraft June 16, 2024

    The potential for cultural exchange is huge here. Visitors will get to experience a diverse array of customs and traditions.

  9. SkepticFan June 16, 2024

    But what about the political implications? How are they going to handle visas and border controls smoothly?

  10. TourismGuru June 16, 2024

    If they can pull this off, it’ll be a game-changer for regional tourism. But they need to have robust infrastructure to support it.

  11. TravelFanatic June 16, 2024

    Count me in! I would love to explore this route as soon as it’s open.

    • realist2023 June 16, 2024

      Don’t get too excited just yet. There’s a lot that could go wrong before it becomes a reality.

  12. AdventureGal June 16, 2024

    I can’t wait to kayak along this route! But will there be enough facilities for adventure tourism?

  13. Terry B. June 16, 2024

    The success of this route will depend a lot on how it’s marketed. If done right, it could become a major attraction.

  14. historybuff June 16, 2024

    I hope they also highlight the historical significance and stories of these places. There’s so much to learn from these regions.

  15. Ally June 16, 2024

    What about safety? Increased boat traffic could lead to more accidents.

    • SafetyFirst June 16, 2024

      That’s a critical issue. They need to set strict regulations and ensure all operators are properly trained.

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