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

On Friday I delivered a presentation at the 2016 World Travel Monitor Forum in Pisa, Italy. I talked about tourism trends in Southeast Asia and how Mekong Tourism collaborates with partner organisations, individual experts, media, and storytellers.

Storytelling is very important in this age of information overload and competing claims. Very often an engaging story is the best way to deliver your version of the facts. Stories present information in a relatable, human context.

If you believe in the sustainable growth of responsible travel & tourism in the Mekong region, help us help you tell your story!

We will announce two new initiatives very soon: Mekong Tourism Networks and the Mekong Tourism Startup Initiative. Stay tuned!

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

News & Articles of the Week

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

Aviation to Boost Thai Tourism: Minister
Bangkok Post reports that Thailand’s Tourism & Sports Ministry will highlight aviation in a bid to draw more visitors and revenue ... Read more about it.

The Russians are Coming to Vietnam
Russia represents an increasingly important source market for Vietnam tourism, reports ... Read more about it.

Vietnam Launches New Tourism Website
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) on Friday launched its new tourism website to "charm the senses" ... Read more about it.

Cambodia Launches Clean City Contest
Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism has announced a clean city contest to prepare for a similar ASEAN initiative, reports the Khmer Times ... Read more about it.

Cambodia’s Poipet Prepares for Thai Rail Link
Khmer Times reports that a new customs & immigration terminal is planned in Cambodia's Poipet to cater to arrivals from a new rail link with Thailand ... Read more about it.

Thai Hotel Management Companies on the Rise
Mekong Tourism Expert Bill Barnett reports on the rise of Thailand's hotel management companies and says consolidation is inevitable ... Read more about it.

Lancang-Mekong Cities Sign “Sanya Vision” for Tourism
Tourism officials from 16 cities signed the "Sanya Vision" on October 27 to promote the shared development of tourism in the region ... Read more about it.

Is Myanmar’s Hotel Policy Broken?
Vicky Bowman at Frontier asks some tricky questions about Myanmar's hotel sector, such as: What’s the difference between a hotel and a bed & breakfast? ... Read more about it.

Backstreet Academy Elicits the “Lost Lustre” of Travel
Singapore-based Backstreet Academy claims to “bring back the lost lustre of travel in the age of mass tourism” ... Read more about it.

Meet Mekong Tourism Partner Swisscontact

Swisscontact is an international development agency founded by the Swiss private sector in 1959. Ever since its foundation, Swisscontact has been an independent organisation, exclusively engaged in international development ... Read more about Swisscontact.

Recent contributions & news from Swisscontact:
"Swisscontact’s Hotel Training Initiative in Myanmar", 2016 (e-Library contribution)
"Southern Laos Wins PATA CEO Challenge Top Destination 2016", October 30, 2016
"Southern Laos Launches Charming New Video", September 30, 2016
"Southern Laos Launches New Destination Brand", December 23, 2016

MTCO Seeks Tourism Experts

Subject matter experts, such as consultants, company executives, journalists and industry bloggers, who are active in GMS travel & tourism, are eligible to become “Official Mekong Tourism Experts“.

In return for providing 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—writing, photography, videography—who wishes to share their unique and unusual travel experiences; especially multi-destination Mekong journeys and experiences in the GMS that are linked to social, cultural, or environmental causes.

In return for providing regular (non-exclusive) content, Storytellers will receive a range of profile-enhancing benefits ... Read more about it.

MTCO Seeks Contributions to its e-Library

In addition to contributions of economic reports, statistical analyses, industry studies, and much more, for the Mekong Tourism e-Library, the MTCO invites contributions from stakeholders in the following new content 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 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 © 2016 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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