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Dear Mekong Tourism Stakeholder,

Last week was ITB Berlin week, and the greater Mekong Tourism team, including representatives from the six tourism ministries, their secretariat Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong were represented at the largest travel trade show in the world. 



Generously supported by ITB Berlin, the 2nd MEKONG@ITB Seminar with a focus on Innovation in Tourism Marketing Collaboration, successfully attracted a big crowd, which means good exposure for the member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion.  Organised for the Mekong Tourism Working Group (tourism ministries of the six GMs member countries) by its secretariat the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), and produced by the public-private partnership Destination Mekong, a panel of public and private sector representatives discussed how the member countries have been working together in promoting the region.  



Finally Thailand invited the tourism industry to Nakhon Phanom for the 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum.  The good news: ITB Berlin already confirmed us for the 3rd MEKONG@ITB Forum at ITB Berlin 2019. We already started having discussions with partners about interesting and important themes for next year.



The Mekong Mini Movie Festival, the first regional tourism marketing campaign is live with some amazing and inspirational 1-Minute Mekong Movies coming in, hosted a screening of some the most inspirational videos, together with the Myanmar Tourism Federation at the Myanmar stand at ITB Berlin. 



Kindly supported by GIZ, Mekong Tourism had a home this year at the "CLMV - 4 Countries, 1 Destinations" stand. MTCO also supported the Myanmar press conference, as well as events by Cambodia and Lao PDR.
 



Finally, a little tip for those that want to secure a seat at the 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum in Nakhon Phanom from June 26-29 - online registrations just have opened last week. Get an overview of the highlights and the program at MTF 2018, featuring the second year of MIST, and the first year of the Mekong Mini Movie Festival, the Mekong Tourism Village Experience, and the half-day Conference on Transformative Travel, including a session on Buddhist Tourism, chaired by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand.

Finally, don't forget to tag your photos you upload to your own social media accounts (i.e. Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.) with #MekongMoments, get involved in our Mekong Tourism Contributor Program to share articles, documents, and events, and nominate responsible travel businesses for the Experience Mekong Collection. And if you are a travel startup, get involved in MIST.  Download our Mekong Tourism Overview to get more details about many of our projects and initiatives.  My colleague Mr. Ton and I, as well as the team at Destination Mekong look forward to working with you.

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:

LAOS SEEKS THAI SUPPORT ON NEW MEKONG BRIDGE

The Lao government has approached Thailand for financial support for the construction of a new bridge connecting the two countries. Vientiane had forwarded the request in the form of grants or loans to the Neighbouring Countries Economic Development Cooperation Agency, the Vientiane Times reported. ... Read more about it.

SICHUAN AIRLINES LAUNCHES DIRECT FLIGHTS TO MANDALAY IN MYANMAR

A new air route opened between Kunming, capital of southwest China’s Yunnan Province, and Mandalay in Myanmar on Sunday. ... Read more about it.

A STRATEGY TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE FOOD IN THE MEKONG

The Siem Reap Action Plan will pave the way for the Greater Mekong Subregion to become a regional and global hub for good, sustainably produced food. In a blog post, Pavit Ramachandran of the Asian Development Bank talks about the ambitious goal to transform the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) into a leading global supplier of safe and environment-friendly agriculture products. ... Read more about it.

DIETHELM WEBINARS TO COVER ITS 13 DESTINATIONS IN GREATER DEPTH

Diethelm Travel Group has unveiled the lineup of its returning webinar series, which launched last year offering free educational sessions to client agents. The tour operator will produce a webinar once a month focusing on each of the 13 countries it operates in, aimed at helping clients better understand and sell the destinations. ... Read more about it.

MYANMAR JUBILANT AS ASIAN ARRIVALS SWELL

After seeing a staggering 109 per cent increase in visitors from Asia in 2017 over 2016, Myanmar has pledged to pump up its marketing efforts in the region going ahead.Myanmar minister of hotels and tourism, Ohn Maung, said a visa waiver that has been in place for almost a year to the majority of South-east Asian citizens has led to a 13 per cent year-on-year. ... Read more about it.

THAILAND PUSHING FOR INDIA TOURISTS

It is well known that Thailand is keen to promote tourist arrivals, but the Asian country is also focused on boosting tourism participation from India for the many specialized exhibitions held regularly in the country, not only in Bangkok but in other parts of the country as well. ... Read more about it.

VIETNAM TOURISM FACES CHALLENGES FROM THE 4TH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Last year the Politburo released a resolution on developing tourism into a spearhead industry and set a target of receiving 20 million foreign visitors by 2020. This will be a challenge amidst the 4th industrial revolution. Vietnam ranks 17th in the world in internet coverage. More than half of its population use the internet daily. 90% of the foreign visitors to Vietnam access tourist information via the internet. ... Read more about it.

RIVER FESTIVAL COMES CLOSE TO CAPITAL FOR FIRST TIME

For the first time in four years the annual Mekong River Festival and multi-sport gala, a celebratory event to pay tribute to Asia’s seventh longest river, is to be held within easy distance of Phnom Penh. ... 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: AYANA JOURNEYS – SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

Ayana crafts ethical, educational travel experiences, with the belief that travel can enrich the lives of individuals, communities, and the world. They facilitate a range of educational experiences, from Day Tours in Siem Reap, to longer immersive journeys for students on development, or individuals on Buddhism. ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

BUSINESS FOR SUSTAINABLE LANDSCAPES AN ACTION AGENDA FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

This Action Agenda is a product of the Business for Sustainable Landscapes project, a year-long initiative of the Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative. ... 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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