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Dear Mekong Tourism Stakeholder,

INTRODUCING THE MTF 2018 PLASTIC-FREE KIT (picture above)

We have some news for you: Courtesy of the Thailand Ministry of Tourism and Sports, the fee of THB 1,200 has been waived, and now the conference is completely free. Yes, and you will still get a free limited edition MTF 2018 Village Shirt. Only condition, you have to register, and provide your village session of choice and your shirt size. 

We are about 25 days away from the 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum - hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand in Nakhon Phanom from June 26-29 - under the theme "Transforming Travel - Transforming Lives". Make sure you register at MekongTourismForum.org.

The last day (Thursday)  will feature Transforming Travel mini keynotes from executives from AirBnB, Ctrip.com, Air Asia, and Inle Heritage Myanmar, followed by a discussion on the reduction of single-use plastic.  Join this important discussion and commit to the GMS Plastic Free Action Plan. As part of our "MTF 2018 Plastic-free Kit", every delegate will receive a free refillable water bottle provided by Refill Asia, a free reusable straw provided by Bamboo Lao, and a free delegate bag made in the villages. The delegate badges will also don'tt have any plastic. 

Then, for the first time ever, we will host 8 Thematic Strategy Workshops in 8 Community Villages around Nakhon Phanom. There is a max of 40 people per session, so make sure that you reserve as quickly as possible. 

That's it for our weekly update. We look forward to hearing from you as always. If you ever missed one of our newsletter - no worries, they are all archived on MekongTourism.org


Have a great week!
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

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

MTF ADOPTS LOFTY CONFERENCE THEME

‘Transforming travel, transforming lives’ slips off the tongue easily enough, but it’s a theme that could prove to be a tall order for the Mekong Tourism Forum, due to meet 26 to 29 June in Nakhon Phanom, a town bordering Laos on the banks of the Mekong River. ... Read more about it.

CHINA-CAMBODIA VENTURE TO BUILD NEW KAMPOT PORT

Try Pheap, a high-profile luxury timber exporter and owner of Try Pheap Group, signed a cooperation agreement with China’s Guangxi Beibu Gulf International Port Group to conduct a feasibility study on the construction a deep-sea port in Kampot province. ... Read more about it.

VIETNAM CONTINUES VISA EXEMPTIONS FOR EUROPEANS

Vietnam will renew visa exemptions for a three-year period for the citizens of five Western European countries, including the UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy. Accordingly, citizens from the five aforementioned countries will continue to enjoy visa exemptions to enter Vietnam up to 2020 after the expiration of the visa-free policy in June this year. ... Read more about it.

LAOS SET TO LURE MORE CHINESE TOURISTS

The Lao government is set to enhance the quality of tourism services to attract more foreign tourists, especially from China, local daily Vientiane Times reported. Tourist arrivals in Laos reached 3.86 million in 2017, decreasing from 4.23 million in 2016. This year, the figure is expected to increase to about 5 million. ... Read more about it.

FIFTH FOOD AND HOSPITALITY TRADE EXHIBITION TO BE HELD NEXT MONTH

The Fifth International Exhibition for Food and Drink, Hotel, Restaurant, Bakery and Food Service Equipment, Supplies and Services will be held in Yangon on June 6-8 at Myanmar Event Park in Mindama, Yangon. ... Read more about it.

CHINA POURS $1.7M INTO DEVELOPMENT FOR GMS

China is offering $1.7 million to a six-country group along the Mekong River to boost regional trade and ease concerns about Beijing’s massive hydroelectric dam projects along the waterway. China signed a memorandum of understanding for the money with Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. ... Read more about it.

THAILAND BECOMES HOTTEST DESTINATION FOR CHINESE TOURISTS

Data provided by a travel service platform indicates that air tickets to Bangkok saw the largest number of bookings when compared to other overseas destinations during the three-day May Day holiday. For two consecutive years, Bangkok has replaced London and Paris to become the most frequented tourist destination in the world. ... Read more about it.

NEW AIRLINES DRIVE PASSENGER GROWTH FOR CAMBODIA

Cambodia’s three main international airports welcomed about 3 million passengers in the first quarter of the year, a rise of 26.1% thanks to the increased number of new airlines from China and the opening of new routes. ... Read more about it.

NOMINATE RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL BUSINESSES FOR THE EXPERIENCE MEKONG COLLECTION

The Experience Mekong Collection seeks to showcase the most innovative responsible and sustainable travel businesses in the Greater Mekong Subregion, as part of our Mekong Responsible Travel commitment. Please nominate your favourite businesses. ... Read more about it.

FEATURED MEMBER OF THE EXPERIENCE MEKONG COLLECTION: JAYA HOUSE – SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

The property has the DNA of a luxurious hideaway while honouring its responsibilities towards the Siem Reap community, the Khmer Arts & Music World, its people and our environment. Jaya House RiverPark has been partnering with Coola-Products & together took a lead on dealing with plastic waste in Cambodia. ... Read more about it.
 

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

FRESH FROM THE FIELD

The Fresh From The Field Manual presents our team's first-hand experiences, tools and lessons learned between 2014 and 2017, implementing the NTF III Myanmar: Inclusive Tourism Project focusing on Kayah State. ... Download for free.

GMS TOURISM SECTOR STRATEGY 2016-2025
In 2004-2005, at the request of the GMS TWG and with the support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the first GMS Tourism Sector Strategy (GMS TSS) was formulated. In 2016, the GMS TWG updated the document to guide subregional tourism cooperation through 2025. ... 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.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA

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:

Twitter: twitter.com/tourismmekong
Facebook: facebook.com/tourismmekong
Instagram: instagram.com/tourismmekong
Pinterest: pinterest.com/tourismmekong
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 © 2018 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.


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