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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

We have more exciting news for you as we continue on our journey to develop the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) as a single tourism destination.

Last week, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) was invited by the Royal Government of Thailand, the Neighboring Countries Economic Development Agency (NEDA), and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) to attend the 21st Ministerial Meeting of the GMS.

Both HE Dr Arkhom Termpittayapaisith, Minister of Transport and GMS Minister of the Kingdom of Thailand, and Mr Stephen Geoff, Vice President of ADB, mentioned the positive progress of the MTCO in developing resources for the industry via

Furthermore, Mr Steven Schipani, Tourism Sector Specialist of the ADB, presented the potential of Mekong Tourism and our projects at a development partners meeting. This stimulated promising discussions for future cooperation and collaboration.

Our six member countries are convening this week in Kunming, Yunnan for our 38th Tourism Working Group Meeting. I wish everyone a productive week.

Please enjoy this week's newsletter. And we invite you to engage in our programs.
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

News & articles that caught our attention over the past several days:

GMS Ministers Back Investment in Transport Infrastructure
The region’s transportation network stands to get a boost after the 21st GMS Ministerial Conference decided on a new investment plan ... Read more about it.

Kunming Prepares for High-Speed Train Connection
Kunming, Yunnan is rallying its tourism industry in preparation for the opening of the Shanghai-Kunming high-speed railway later this month ... Read more about it.

Mixed Feelings about Zero-Dollar Tour Crackdown in Thailand
As Thailand cracks down on scams targeting tourists from China, not everyone in the tourism industry is pleased ... Read more about it.

Myanmar Tourism Numbers Fall Short; Bank Opening Postponed
Myanmar’s tourism industry is falling well below its goal of 5.5 million for 2016 and the Tourism Federation bank will now open in May 2017 ... Read more about it.

Cambodia to Sign Tourism MoU with Azerbaijan
Cambodia plans to sign a MoU with Azerbaijan in 2017 that will focus on tourism and setting up direct flights between the two countries ... Read more about it.

ADB-backed Community Tourism Project a Success in Vietnam
Successful community-based tourism projects, intended to help poverty-hit areas, have been backed by the ADB in Vietnam in recent years ... Read more about it.

Poor Hygiene Turns-off Tourists: Survey
Poor hygiene standards is a big turn-off for travellers according to a survey conducted by the Hanoi-based Institute of Tourism Development Research ... Read more about it.

Vietnam’s Ly Son Island Plans $9m Port to Boost Tourism
Ly Son Island is emerging as a new favorite destination in central Vietnam and Quang Ngai Province has invested USD 9 million in a port ... Read more about it.

Nyaungshwe to Open Night Market for Tourism
Nyaungshwe in Shan State, Myanmar will spend up to USD 153,000 to open a night market as a tourism attraction and to benefit regional development ... Read more about it.

Tax Break Unlikely to Benefit Thai Domestic Tourism: Agents
A tax break to boost Thai domestic tourism in December is not expected to yield much benefit due to its untimely and impractical implementation ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

EGBOK’s Spoons Special Edition Newsletter, November 2016
EGBOK (everything's gonna be OK) has opened its first hospitality training cafe, Spoons ... Download a special edition newsletter from the e-library.

Meet Mekong Travel Storyteller Paul Eshoo

Paul Eshoo has worked on community-based ecotourism projects with various agencies in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam ... Read more about Paul Eshoo.

Laos’ Gibbon Experience: Truly Sustainable
Mekong Travel Storyteller Paul Eshoo recently visited Laos' Gibbon Experience and learned a few lessons about true sustainability in tourism ... Read more about it.

Other contributions:
"Nam Kat Yola Pa, Laos: More than a Nature Resort", 08 Sep 2016
"The Golden Triangle Triathlon 2016", 02 Sep 2016
"Pù Luông Nature Reserve: Ecolodges & Trekking", 21 Aug 2016
"Diving for the Environment in Phú Quốc", 03 Aug 2016

Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST)

MIST aims to support innovative new travel & tourism-related ventures in the developing destinations and source markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. MIST will mentor new ventures, provide support and guidance, and match them with suitable investors. For more information and a form to register startups please visit Also join MIST's Facebook discussion group.

MTCO Seeks e-Library Contributions

In addition to economic reports, statistical analyses, industry studies, and much more, the Mekong Tourism e-Library hosts contributions in the following new categories:

Multi-Country Journeys & Mekong River Cruises
Tour and cruise operators offering multi-destination tours and cruises (defined as tours or cruises that visit more than one Mekong-region country) are welcome to send their eligible itineraries in PDF format. The objective is to develop a resource for those seeking Mekong experiences for their customers (or themselves).

Tourism Development Projects
Economic development agencies (bilateral or multilateral) and non-government organisations (NGOs) are encouraged to send, in PDF format, scopes of work, terms of reference, reports, and case studies pertaining to tourism-related projects in the Mekong region. The objective is to develop a resource for all Mekong tourism stakeholders.

MTCO Seeks Tourism Experts

Subject matter experts, such as consultants, executives, and industry journalists, who are active in GMS travel & tourism, are eligible to become “Official Mekong Tourism Experts“. In return for regular (non-exclusive) business-, trade- or policy-related content, Experts will receive a range of profile-enhancing benefits ... Read more about it.

MTCO Seeks Travel Storytellers

MTCO welcomes anyone with a passion for storytelling who wishes to share their unique and unusual travel experiences: multi-destination Mekong journeys and experiences linked to social, cultural, or environmental causes. In return for regular content, Storytellers will receive a range of profile-enhancing benefits ... Read more about it.


MTCO is active on various social media platforms under the universal handle @TourismMekong. Please follow and engage with us by clicking on the links below:

LinkedIn: Mekong Tourism discussion group
Mekong Tourism is a collaborative effort between Cambodia, China, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand,
and Vietnam to promote the Greater Mekong Subregion as a single tourism destination.
Tag with #TourismMekong - Follow us @TourismMekong
Copyright © 2016 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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