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Welcome to the new website and monthly e-Newsletter.

First, we would like to congratulate Myanmar to be chosen as “Destination of the Year” at the 2015 TTG Asia Awards. Please visit our article for more info.

We are very excited to have you part of our community of passionate travel and tourism friends in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Please get involved by contributing your ideas and expertise, and join the conversation on social media @TourismMekong (see links below) and tag your your images with #TourismMekong. Feel free to forward this newsletter to your friends and colleagues.

Looking forward to hearing from you, and seeing you soon.

Jens Thraenhart

Executive Director - Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)

Explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the Mekong Region
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – UNESCO – has listed more than 1000 historical and natural sites in the world. With 37 sites already listed in Southeast Asia and many more submitted for review, culture, histories and landscapes have been recognized for their unique value for mankind.
The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is a culturally rich and diverse region counting numerous sites classified by the UNESCO in the World Heritage of Humanity. With some of the world’s most famous sites like Angkor Wat in Cambodia or Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, the GMS is home to 22 wonderful sites that stand out for their natural or cultural value.
Mekong Tourism is building partnerships with International Travel Blogger
The Travel Blogger Exchange (TBEX) event is the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers, new-media content creators and social media-savvy travel professionals, and its first time in Asia was held in Bangkok mid October. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) actively participated and supported TBEX by being engaged in the speed-networking event during TBEX and its Executive Director Jens Thraenhart being a speaker on the topic of “How brands can work with bloggers”.  The week prior to TBEX Asia in Bangkok, Mekong Tourism organized a workshop for 35 travel bloggers from all over the world as part of the Travel Bloggers Retreat on KohPhangan, Thailand. The workshop focused on how MTCO and its member countries can engage with travel bloggers to create content, create awareness of the region, and change perceptions. 
Lots of ideas on how to experience the Mekong Region
Pulsing through China, Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam, the Mekong River has long served as a lifeline for Southeast Asia. And for the 60 million people who reside in the river’s floodplain, it’s not only a source of income, but also a way of life. There are endless ways to experience the unique culture, history, as well as food in the regions – if by bike, paddle boat, cruising, or trekking – take a look at some of these ideas. 
Multi-Country Journeys: This month featuring the Epic 40-day, 5-country tour in the Mekong Region
A new section on the website features experiential multi-country journeys in the Mekong Region. Tour operators are invited to submit their tours in storytelling format. Every month, we will feature one journey – this month we have an adventurous 40-day trip with a huge variety of experiences and insights in Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam, operated by Khiri Travel. 
Events in the GMS:  This month featuring the PATA Adventure Travel Conference in Chiang Rai, Thailand – February 17-19, 2016
With our new Events Calendar on, we invite organizations to feature their travel and tourism events. In this newsletter, we feature the PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2016.
The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) will hold its PATA Adventure Travel and Responsible Tourism Conference and Mart 2016 at the Dusit Island Resort in Chiang Rai, Thailand from February 17-19, 2016 under the theme “Creating Experiences, Sharing Opportunities”.
Four Reasons to study in the Mekong Region
Motivating young people to study in a specific country can be a great foundation to develop tourism and strong ambassadors for the destinations. Young people from Asia flock to Europe, North America, and Australia to study. But there are some great reasons for students from all over the world to consider universities located in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Being in a region with diverse culture, fast past growth, as well as rapid development will give students a unique foundation to build interesting careers and expand their knowledge. Take a look at some of the reasons why to consider countries such as Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos, or even Cambodia to study. 
The six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam – prioritize joint tourism marketing.
The new Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy and Action Plan 2015-2020 has been launched and deliberately aligns with GMS member countries’ shared objectives to develop thematic multi-country tour programs and promote secondary destinations to help distribute tourism benefits more widely.
The Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020 can be downloaded in the Mekong Tourism e-Library.
New website launched
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has developed a new mobile-ready digital platform in order to increase engagement with the global and regional travel and tourism industry.  Functionality include an e-library, an events calendar, a social media hub, interest-based online magazines, an interactive map, and a dedicated Mekong Tourism Forum website and mobile app. MTCO invites the travel and tourism industry to get engaged and contribute their knowledge from articles to documents to the platform for the common good to drive tourism in the GMS, in exchange for being acknowledged and driving business and traffic to their respective organizations. 
Mekong Tourism gets active on social media
In addition to developing its innovative new social media hub, MTCO has activated accounts on various social media platforms under the universal handle @TourismMekong to engage with stakeholders and disseminate content. Please follow us on the various social media platforms, help promote engagement amongst your colleagues, tourism industry partners, and friends.
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 © 2015 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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