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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

Registration is OPEN for Mekong Tourism Forum 2017, "Prosper with Purpose".

Last week we announced the 16 small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) that would serve as Host Venues for MTF 2017. The SMEs will provide venues for the breakthrough sessions that will take place in the afternoons of June 7 & 8 -- after the Forum’s opening ceremonies, keynote speeches, and keynote panel discussions in the mornings, and the included networking lunches.

The Forum is the Greater Mekong Subregion’s (GMS’) premier multi-stakeholder travel & tourism industry event so it is appropriate that multiple stakeholders from the host town help to plan and host the event. This approach generates enthusiasm and input from a wide range of Luang Prabang tourism stakeholders and positions the UNESCO World Heritage town as the host destination for the event. This is also a new MICE concept, which allows small towns like Luang Prabang to become more competitive in the meetings and events segment.

In addition to inviting Luang Prabang tourism stakeholders to host MTF 2017 sessions, the content itself is being developed by the industry for the industry. Each session will be facilitated and led by an expert organisation in the specific field. The breakthrough session topics will include experiential tourism, food tourism, adventure tourism, marketing, hotel investment, aviation, river cruises, heritage tourism, ecotourism and wildlife, human capital development, women-led enterprises, child protection, community-based tourism, and clean-green cities.

We also have 10 spots available for travel bloggers and social influencers to participate in the Blogger Matchup at MTF 2017 as part of our Hosted Media Program for MTF 2017. This is an opportunity to engage with travel and tourism professionals from the region, network with peers from public and private sector, learn and engage in interactive sessions, as well as get inspired by world-class keynotes. Apply here.

This year’s MTF will be highly inclusive and we hope that delegates find it engaging and memorable, with ample opportunity to experience the UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang.

On behalf of our hosts, the Ministry of Information, Culture, & Tourism, Lao PDR and the Department of Information, Culture, & Tourism, Luang Prabang, Mekong Tourism invites you to register. The capacity for each breakthrough session is limited so register early to secure a spot in the sessions you are most interested in.

In Luang Prabang on Thursday we will convene a meeting of MTF 2017 stakeholders, including the host venues, official hotels, and post-Forum tour operators, to update them all on the evolving program.

We look forward to hearing from you as always, and hope you enjoy this week's newsletter. And remember: sharing is caring.

Have a great week!
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

News & articles that caught our attention over the past week:

Sixteen SMEs to Co-Host Mekong Tourism Forum
A “highly inclusive” MTF 2017 will take place June 6-9 in Luang Prabang, Laos, with 16 SMEs serving as Host Venues for topical and interactive sessions ... Read more about it.

UNESCO Status, Tourism Damage Angkor: Paper
The global recognition (and subsequent tourism) given to site such as Angkor does as much damage as it does good, according to a new research paper ... Read more about it.

Vietnam PM to Look into Dangers Facing Mekong Delta
Vietnam will look into human and natural factors as it seeks to fight the problems threatening to sink the country’s Mekong Delta food basket ... Read more about it.

Cambodia Opens Korea-funded Aviation Training Facility
The Korea (ROK)-funded Civil Aviation Training Center, the first such facility in Cambodia, has opened in Phnom Penh ... Read more about it.

Is Thailand Tourism’s Quality Focus Paying Off?
Thailand’s strategy of focusing on quality over quantity, in terms of tourism arrivals, appears to be paying off, reports Travel Daily Asia ... Read more about it.

Yunnan Gets Tough on Tourism Scams
China’s top tourism province, Yunnan, has rolled out new regulations to tackle scams, reports Xinhua ... Read more about it.

Cambodia Tourism Issues Prakas on Fair Pricing
Cambodia’s Tourism Ministry has issued a prakas, or proclamation, to curb price rises during big festivals in a bid to promote local tourism ... Read more about it.

Tourism Thailand Launches Domestic Social Media Campaign
The Tourism Authority of Thailand will use social media influencers to grow domestic travel this year ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

ADB Releases CLMV Tourism Sector Assessment (2016-2018)
Documenting the strategic investment priorities of the Asian Development Bank and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, & Vietnam in the tourism sector, the new report highlights performance and constraints as well as past and future plans ... Download for free.

Greater Mekong Subregion: Twenty Years of Partnership
A 2012 publication by the Asian Development Bank, "presents images that illustrate the progress and challenges of 20 years of work in the Greater Mekong Subregion [by] everyone who has labored to make the GMS what it is today" ... Download for free.

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 “Mekong Tourism Experts“. In return for regular (non-exclusive) business-, trade- or policy-related content, Experts will receive a range of profile-enhancing benefits ... View and register.

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 ... View and register.


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 © 2017 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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