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Dear Mekong Tourism Stakeholder,

This week, we spoke to students at Mahidol University as start of an exciting partnership to create responsible tourism case studies to showcase the most innovative responsible operators in the Experience Mekong Collection (www.ExperienceMekong.org). The first six Experience Mekong Showcases (one of each of the GMS countries) will be presented at Mekong Tourism Forum in Nakhon Phanom in June 26-29 at the Gala Dinner. The Experience Mekong Showcase will be an annual selection of innovative responsible businesses in the GMS, written up as case studies to build capacity and inspire other businesses to learn and become more responsible and sustainable. Please nominate your favorite responsible travel experiences at www.MekongResponsibleTravel.org.


Any startups interested in being part of the 2018 edition of the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) Program, the MIST Startup Accelerator is welcoming applications from tourism, hospitality, and travel tech startups headquartered in Thailand as well as from Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam, and applications close on March 10, 2018.



For anybody attending ITB Berlin in March, we are happy to announce that we were just confirmed that we will have our 2nd Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin on March 8th at 11am. After our successful 1st MEKONG@ITB session last year with the theme "Human Capital Development", this year the theme will be "Innovations in Tourism Marketing Collaboration - leveraging the power of Social Commerce".  Please RSVP at https://mekongtourism.splashthat.com.



At the recent ASEAN Tourism Forum, we officially launched the first regional tourism marketing campaign in the GMS - the Mekong Mini Movie Festival.  We hope many of you share their experiences in mini movie format, and encourage your guests and staff to do the same. Prizes for country categories will be given out at the Mekong Tourism Forum in Nakhon Phanom during our Mekong Minis Movie Festival on June 26th when we screen the finalists.  As part of the campaign, we also look to raise awareness of the endangered Irrawaddy Dolphins. Don't miss to be part of our tourism marketing movement in the GMS, and please spread the word.  Watch the mini movie introducing the Mekong Minis.

We look forward to hearing from you as always, and hope you enjoy this third newsletter in 2018. 

Have a great week!
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

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

GOVERNMENTS TO WORK OUT WAYS TO REINFORCE VIETNAM-LAOS TIES

Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc will lead a high-ranking delegation of the Vietnamese Government to the event at the invitation of his Lao counterpart Thongloun Sisoulith.Vietnam and Laos set up diplomatic ties. ... Read more about it.

REPLICATE YUNNAN, MEKONG MODELS TO MAKE NORTHEAST ASEAN-INDIA HUB

Kenichi Yokoyama said Assam was at a very advantageous position being geographically located at the centre of the regional cooperation framework in Asia. Assam could emerge as the hub of trade and commerce between India and the ASEAN by replicating infrastructure development models adopted by Yunnan and the Greater Mekong sub-region. ... Read more about it.

KAMPOT’S SEAPORT TO BREAK GROUND IN MARCH

With the bidding process for the project coming to an end, the construction of a new seaport for tourist vessels in Kampot will begin in March, a representative of Kampot’s tourism department told Khmer Times. ... Read more about it.

LAOS SEES MARKED SHIFT IN TOURIST APPEAL

With the slogan “Simply Beautiful,” Laos officially kicked off its tourism campaign, Visit Laos 2018, in November. The landlocked nation is aiming for 5 million international travelers this year. ... Read more about it.

PRINCESS CRUISES TO GROW PASSENGERS TO VIETNAM BY 40%

Princess Cruises will boost the number of passengers it carries to Vietnam by over 40% in 2018 compared to 2017, as the demand for Asia cruising continues to grow. In 2017, Princess Cruises carried over 58,000 guests on 22 sailings to Vietnamese ports such as Phu My, Nha Trang, Da Nang and Cai Lan. ... Read more about it.

MEKONG DELTA KIEN GIANG NAMES THREE TOURIST ZONES

The People’s Committee in the Mekong Delta province of Kien Giang has recognised the Nam Du Archipelago and Lai Son Island in Kien Hai District and Hai Tac Archipelago in Ha Tien Town as local tourist zones. ... Read more about it.

BANGKOK VOTED BEST CITY DESTINATION THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

Bangkok has been voted as the “Best City Destination in the Asia Pacific” for the third consecutive year by readers of DestinAsian magazine, a leading travel and lifestyle magazine. The cosmopolitan capital of Thailand was recognised “for its vibrant mixture of historic sites, contemporary style, cuisine and nightlife”. ... Read more about it.

MYANMAR TAKES STEPS TOWARDS PROVIDING GREATER LIQUIDITY FOR SMES

A rising number of start-ups as well as small and medium enterprises (SMEs) are emerging in Myanmar as business opportunities rise. However, many companies fail to achieve their full potential and contribute substantially to the economy because capital assistance is lacking in the country. ... 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: ANURAK LODGE – KHAO SOK, THAILAND

Anurak Community Lodge understands that its business activities impact the earth, our resources and people’s lives. Our sustainability aim is to conserve resources, champion and preserve natural habitats, support communities and prevent pollution. ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

REGIONAL ROADMAP FOR IMPLEMENTING THE 2030 AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

At the global level in 2015 countries set in motion the most far reaching and ambitious development agenda of our time, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. ... 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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