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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

To our Chinese and Vietnamese friends who have been celebrating Chinese New Year and Tet Nguyen Dan we wish you a wildly successful Year of the Rooster.

Last week MTCO participated at the PATA inMotion Tourism conference as part of Vientiane Rendezvous. I presented how the new Mekong Tourism programs, such as #MekongMoments and the Mekong Responsible Tourism Guide, both scheduled to launch later this year, will help Laos when it comes to tourism marketing and development.

During my time in Vientiane last week, I was able to meet the new Director General of the Planning Department of the Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICT) of Lao PDR, Mr Aloun Bounmixay (pictured in the middle, with Mr Thavipeth Ula, Deputy Director General, on the left). We sincerely congratulate him on his appointment.

Congratulations also to the former Director General of Planning, Mr Sounh Manivong, for his new appointment as MICT's Director General of Marketing.

MTCO is actively planning the next Mekong Tourism Forum, which will take place June 6-8 in Luang Prabang. We are planning a unique format to make the most of the UNESCO World Heritage town. I had meetings with MICT about that in Vientiane last week. And next week, February 5-10, MTCO and MICT will be in Luang Prabang for meetings with industry stakeholders and prospective partners for the Forum. Please contact us if you would like to meet with us in Luang Prabang.

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 and joyful rooster-year celebrations.

Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

Job Vacancy: Mekong Tourism Seeks Administration Executive

A unique opportunity for a talented and resourceful Thai citizen to work with the Bangkok-based Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office is now open. We are looking for a passionate administrator with excellent office management and book-keeping skills; someone who is detail-oriented, process-oriented and who has a good grasp of English.
Full job description and application information.

News & Articles of the Week

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

“High Expectations” of Myanmar’s Mekong Tourism Involvement
Myanmar Tourism Marketing chair May Myat Mon Win has "high expectations" of Myanmar's participation in the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office ... Read more about it.

Mekong Clearing Plan Good for Tourism: Social Science Professor
A professor has told 'Xinhua' that it is too early for Thai scholars and media to oppose the plan to clear islets and rocky outcrops along the Mekong River ... Read more about it.

Sailing to the Source of the Mekong
Wouldn’t it be great to leave work behind; buy a wooden longboat and sail it up the Mekong, from estuary to source? Two photographers thought so ... Read more about it.

Myanmar, Thailand to Collaborate in Andaman Sea
Thailand is keen to expand maritime tourism in the Andaman Sea in cooperation with Myanmar; an effort to draw more tourists to the two countries ... Read more about it.

Is Sihanoukville’s Tourism Rise Fueled by Gaming?
Measures to make Cambodia's coastal town of Sihanoukville one of the region’s premier beach resort destinations are paying off ... Read more about it.

Hanoi Welcomed 4 Million International Visitors in 2016
As one of the first places in Vietnam to establish a local department of tourism, Hanoi welcomed 4 million international tourists for the first time in 2016 ... Read more about it.

Thailand to Introduce e-Visas by End of 2017
Thailand is seriously exploring the possibility of e-visas with an introduction phase scheduled to take place by the end of this year ... Read more about it.

WTTC Global Summit 2017 in Bangkok
The Tourism Authority of Thailand will use the World Travel & Tourism Council Global Summit, April 26-27, to promote ASEAN destinations ... Read more about it. Your event?

Thai Tourism to Thrive Despite Change, Challenge, Competition
"An ability to adapt to ever-evolving visitor needs and expectations continues to allow Thailand’s tourism markets to thrive ..." Read more about it.

Thoi Son, Vietnam Emerges as Ecotourism Hotspot
Thoi Son Island is now a must-see ecotourism destination thanks to local residents’ efforts to use the area’s natural features to develop tourism ... Read more about it.

Secrets of Laos’ Muang La Hot Spring
"I had heard that the Muang La hot spring was nicely done, but didn’t realize what it really had to offer ..." -- Mekong Travel Storyteller Paul Eshoo ... Read more about it.

Cousteau to Host Mekong River Cruises
A cruise operator has partnered with Jean-Michel Cousteau who will host a series of river cruises on the Mekong ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

Thailand Tourism Forum 2017 – STR Presentation – Thai Hotel Trends
A Thailand Tourism Forum 2017 presentation delivered by Jesper Palmqvist of STR on Thailand's accommodation sector performance plus comparisons to other ASEAN markets ... Download for free.

ITB World Travel Trends Report 2016/2017
This new report by IPK covers predictions for global tourism growth and its sources; the Mekong tourism region; the influence of terror threats on travel behavior; the development of the Chinese outbound market; and trends in the sharing economy ... Download for free.

Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 Report
The official summary report of the proceedings of Mekong Tourism Forum 2016, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Cambodia proudly presented the report to the 38th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group in Kunming, Yunnan ... Download for free.

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 © 2017 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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