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Welcome to the 8th edition of our Mekong Tourism Newsletter.

It's almost July, and the next Mekong Tourism Forum in Sihanoukville with the theme "Authentic experiences along the Mekong River" is almost here.  We have a great program, including a thought provoking keynote by the former Assistant Secretary General of UNWTO and founding President of WTTC, as well as top speakers from National Geographic, Yaana Ventures, Air Asia, WWF, Accor Hotels, Song Saa Island, Pandaw Cruises, just to name a few. MTF 2016 is free of charge for the first 150 travel professionals that register online. Don't miss it, and register today!

I look forward to seeing you in 2016.
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director - Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

Former UNWTO Assistant Secretary General to keynote the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum

Professor Lipman says “Climate Change is existential, repeat existential and if we don’t fix it in perhaps the most water dependent region in the world, we can stop thinking about authentic tourism and start focusing on survival.” 

Being responsible tourists involves heritage protection  
The Mekong Region offers a vast range of authentic experiences, many of which may involve children or animals, both of which are especially vulnerable to potential exploitation in the tourist industry. To shed light on these issues, award-winning travel writer and ex-Lonely Planet author of 25 years, Joe Cummings will lead an expert panel comprised of WWF and Anantara, as well as Aple Cambodia and Friends International. 

National Geographic to argue for the power of Authentic Experiences 

James Dion, Sustainable Tourism Program Manager at National Geographic – Maps Division is excited about the Greater Mekong Region embracing the theme of ‘authentic experiences’, and said: “Today when tourists visit a destination they are no longer just seeking relaxation on a beach. Today’s tourists are seeking meaningful experiences that connect them with local cultures and places. But these experiences must be authentic, genuine to be successful, and showcased online to tell the stories of the destination. This fragmented mosaic of experiences in itself creates the real brand perception of the destination. ” 

UNWTO Mekong River-based Tourism Report to be introduced at 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum 

River-based tourism along the Mekong is an emerging activity with significant potential for growth and impact on people’s livelihoods, and closely aligned with this year’s theme of “Authentic Experiences along the Mekong River”.  

GMS Development and Investment pulse check 
From infrastructure, aviation, and hotels - the GMS is thriving when it comes to development. But where are the opportunities, and where are the challenges? 
Culinary Tourism gets the limelight at Mekong Tourism Forum
Gastronomy is considered as a strong factor of the region’s identity. Fish, rice, noodles, spices, fruits and vegetable are all the ingredients common to the six Mekong countries, the way to cook and use ingredients, the traditions to prepare the dishes highlight also the differences and the great variety of Mekong cuisine. Don't miss the half-day Mekong Food Tourism Summit, featuring Cambodia's only Master Chef
MTCO has activated accounts on various social media platforms under the universal handle @TourismMekong to engage with stakeholders and disseminate content. Please follow us by clicking on the links below.
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
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