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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,


I wanted to give you some of the highlights and success stories of last week in executing and implanting our programs to promote the Mekong region and build capacity and experiences:

> MTCO was featured on the cover page of the ITB Asia Magazine by Travel Weekly for announcing the 1st Mekong Mini Movie Festival (Mekong Minis - www.MekongMinis.com). The innovative campaign, powered by MekongMoments.com will officially be launched at ATF 2018 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. More information is at www.mekongtourism.org/MekongMiniMovie 

> MTCO collaborated with the Laos Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism (MICT) and GIZ to organize a networking reception to announce Visit Laos Year 2018 at ITB Asia. Mekong Moments will power the Visit Laos 2018 by aggregating uploaded photos and videos on social media shared by people experiencing Laos and tagged with #MekongMoments and tagged #VisitLaos. A dedicated webpage will be put up at VisitLaos2018.com next year. 



> MTCO officially launched the Experience Mekong Collection (www.ExperienceMekong.org), which is part of the mandate of the GMS Tourism Working Group to promote responsible travel in the region (www.MekongResponsibleTravel.org). The Experience Mekong Collection, is open for nominations by anybody and everybody, to highlight responsible travel operators in the Mekong Region. Every year, we look to feature the most innovative best practices and publsih their stories and case studies. 

> MekongMoments.com, the collaborative social commerce campaign platform, initiated by MTCO and developed by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies under a public private partnership has been launched at ITB Asia as an open beta website to gain feedback from industry and consumers.  For organizations and businesses in the GMS that want to leverage Mekong Moments to drive business and collaboratively promote the Mekong Region, please visit www.MekongMoments.info and www.MekongTourism.org/MekongMoments

> The 2017 Mekong Tourism Forum, hosted in Luang Prabang last June was accepted as a case study in the upcoming UNWTO Report on Inclusive Tourism. The report is subject to be released end of 2017 and launched at the UNWTO Conference on Inclusive Tourism in Jamaica. 

> In collaboration with the ADB funded Mekong Business Initiative (MBI), MTCO is currently working to assemble the 2018 Advisory Board for the MIST, our Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism program.  After the success of our first year of MIST in 2017, we are very excited for next year, and invite travel companies to come inboard and support the program by becoming a partner and sponsor. We strongly believe in the importance in connecting passionate entrepreneurs with the travel and tourism ecosystem in the GMS to disrupt the industry and drive innovation. 

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!
Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

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

LAOS LAUNCHED OFFICIALLY ITS VISIT YEAR 2018

Laos officially launched the “Visit Laos Year 2018” on Saturday, aiming to promote tourism and preserve unique and fine traditional culture of the country. ... Read more about it.

NEW EXPERIENCE MEKONG COLLECTION SHOWCASES THE BEST IN RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL

With the purpose of showcasing responsible and sustainable travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the “Experience Mekong Collection” is a collection of inspirational, rewarding and authentic experiences that minimise negative impacts and generate greater benefits for the people of the GMS and enhance the well-being of host communities.. ... Read more about it.

MYANMAR READY FOR ACCESSIBLE TOURISM

Myanmar is now open for travel by wheelchair travelers and senior travelers, claimed Myanmar Accessible Tourism Center (MATC) which is pioneering barrier free travel in the country. ... Read more about it.

VIETJET TO CONNECT HO CHI MINH CITY TO CHIANG MAI AND PHUKET

VietJet Air in winter 2017/18 season expands service to Thailand, with services starting to two new destinations: Chiang Mai and Phuket. ... Read more about it.

ECO-TOURISM SITE IN CAMBODIA SHORTLISTED FOR EURO AWARD

An ecotourism site in Mondulkiri province has been shortlisted alongside four other countries for a $35,000 award from the European Outdoor Conservation Association. ... Read more about it.

THAILAND’S SMART PLANS FOR EXPANSION

Thailand’s business travel sector should gain a  push from the government’s “Thailand 4.0” development strategy and elaborate plans to develop the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) including a major airport expansion. ... Read more about it.

HCM CITY PROMOTES MEDICAL TOURISM

HCM City has several competitive advantages. With high-quality public and private hospitals, skilful physicians, advanced technologies and low cost of treatment, the city’s hospitals have recently acquired a strong reputation for infertility treatment, traditional medicine and acupuncture at reasonable prices in comparison to regional and Western countries. ... Read more about it.

MEKONG COUNTRIES JOINS ACCESSIBLE TOURISM WORKSHOP IN JAPAN

ASEAN-Japan Center (AJC)’s Tourism & Exchange Division invited management-level representatives from government and private sectors of Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore and the Philippines to attend accessible tourism workshop in Japan. ... Read more about it.

GO-GO GOING AS CHINESE WOMEN FUEL THAI TOURISM BOOM

Hoping to attract more female tourists, the state’s Tourism Authority of Thailand started a “Women’s Journey” campaign last year, with a website and mobile application offering discounts for hotels, spas, malls, and restaurants. ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

HALAL TRAVELLER

Halal Travel is one of the fastest growing travel sectors in the world and it is expected that Halal tourism will grow by 50% in volume and by 35% in value in the next five years.. ... 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 © 2017 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.


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