Phong Nha Ke Bang National Park, Viet Nam and Margaret River Tourism, Australia make a ” Sister Caves”

It’s not often two very different parts of the world are united under the same scenic attribute, but this was the case last Friday when Vietnam and Margaret River became officially linked under the world’s first Sister Caves Agreement.

The People’s Committee of Quảng Bình Province in Vietnam forged the innovative geotourism partnership with The Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association to develop and improve international tourism relations.

“The aim of this relationship is to increase destination awareness of both regions on an international level, and to improve the understanding of geotourism,” AMRTA chief executive officer Pip Close said.

In a ceremony overlooking Lake Cave, Warren-Black MP and regional development minister Terry Redman signed the agreement with the Consulate General of S.R. of Vietnam to Western Australia, Mr Le Viet Duyen.

Both were eager to begin a long relationship that would combine similar tourism and agricultural ideas.

Mr Redman said Australians had always had a close affinity with Vietnam and the South West area could only benefit from the relationship, with the population of Vietnam resting at nearly 90 million in contrast to Australia’s 23 million, the tourism possibilities were immense.

Mr Duyen addressed those in attendance, saying he was pleased with the new relationships between Vietnam and Margaret River, as well as the South West of Western Australia.

“The agreement that we are signing marks an historic moment between Margaret River and Vietnam, and we look forward to future opportunities between us,” he said.

“I am very happy to witness a closer, stronger and more beneficial relationship.”

Mr Redman cheekily said when Mr Duyen was asked where Perth was in the future, he should say three hours north of Margaret River.

The caves agreement also included elements of cross promotion according to Mr Redman, with plans to research share and other collaborations already in motion.

Mr Redman said approval had been given to a Vietnamese film crew to document the Margaret River caves which would be broadcast to roughly 80 million people in their country.

“It’s fantastic for the Margaret River region to enter into the world’s first Sister Cave Agreement,” South West MP Barry House said.

“It’s another example of the Margaret River region putting its name on the world map.”

South West Development Commission chief executive officer Don Punch said the agreement was one example of how their Tourism Futures South West strategy was being put into action to promote international tourism.

“It is also one of a raft of initiatives being progressed by the South West Development Commission with the aim of strengthening ties between the South West and Vietnam,” Mr Punch said.

“We think this is an important relationship to develop as a foundation for future economic and cultural opportunities which have the potential to enhance our economy and create jobs.”


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