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Welcome to the 16th Edition of our Mekong Tourism e-Newsletter

Last week in Ho Chi Minh City, we successfully launched the new Mekong Initiative for Startup Tourism (MIST); a partnership between Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and the Mekong Business Initiative (MBI) by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Thanks to Sieng Van Tran and Echelon Vietnam 2016 for all the support. We had a full room and great interest from the travel startup and investment community.

Pictured above, left to right, are DNES Deputy CEO Nguyen Tran, ADB MBI Head Dominic Mellor, and myself at the launch of MIST. Scroll down for a link to the joint press release issued by MIST partners.

I look forward to your feedback, suggestions, and collaboration on this and all our projects.
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

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

New Initiative to Boost Tourism Investment and Innovation in the Mekong
A new initiative to catalyse tourism sector growth in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam was launched in Ho Chi Minh City on Friday ... Read more about it.

Mekong River: Dolphins or Dam?
“My grandparents told me, ‘The dolphins are special ... If you capsize your boat, the dolphins will save you. You can trust them.’” ... Read more about it.

Hostel Supply, Rates Rising in Southeast Asia
A second generation of upmarket hostels is attracting a wider demographic in Southeast Asia and turning the heads of traditional hotels ... Read more about it.

Thai Tourism: Official Optimism Tempered by Numbers
“Life goes on” was the key message from Thailand’s Tourism Minister Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, reports Khaosod English ... Read more about it.

Thailand’s Indigenous Women Break Tourism Barrier
Deep in the jungle of Thailand, two hours from Chiang Mai, five Thai-Karen women banded together to do something their community had never heard of ... Read more about it.

Tourism Motivates Renovation of Famed Myanmar Bridge
Tourism is the primary motivation behind the renovations of U Bein Bridge, the longest wooden bridge in Myanmar ... Read more about it.

Myanmar-Thai Singkhon Border Gate Set to be Permanent
Eleven reports that Myanmar needs to allow its citizens to visit Prachuap Khiri Khan, Thailand in order for Singkhon border gate to open permanently ... Read more about it.

Thailand Tourism Forum 2017 – 'The Sharing Economy'
Thailand’s "biggest hotel event", TTF 2017, will take place in Bangkok in January. Trends such as the sharing economy will be in focus ... Read more about it. Submit your event.

Sustainable Tourism Training in Bangkok
A three-day intensive and interactive Global Sustainable Tourism Council training program will take place in Bangkok, Thailand in February ... Read more about it. Submit your event.

Meet Mekong Tourism Partner 'The Code'

The Code (short for “The Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation in Travel and Tourism”) is an industry-driven responsible tourism initiative with a mission to provide awareness, tools and support to the tourism industry in order to prevent the sexual exploitation of children.

Related content:
'Offenders on the Move: Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016'
'Regional Report Southeast Asia: Global Study on Sexual Exploitation of Children in Travel and Tourism 2016'
... and more.

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
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