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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

To our Chinese and Vietnamese friends celebrating Chinese New Year and Tet Nguyen Dan over the coming week, we wish you the most wonderful celebrations with your family and friends and a wildly successful Year of the Rooster.

One of the key dates in the new year will be the Mekong Tourism Forum to be held in Luang Prabang from June 6-8, and hosted by Lao PDR. We are working on an interesting and unique event and hope that many of you will join us.

In our effort to increase exposure of Mekong Tourism, we will hold the first mini Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin, the largest travel trade fair in the world, with the theme of Human Capital Development. Please join us on Wednesday, March 8.

Enjoy the newsletter and consider contributing to tell your story. Please share the e-news among your colleagues and associates and invite them to subscribe.

Jens Thraenhart
Executive Director, MTCO

News & Articles of the Week

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

Infrastructure a Barrier to ASEAN Open Skies: Cambodia SSCA
Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation says an ASEAN Open Skies agreement would boost connectivity and tourism, but a barrier is infrastructure ... Read more about it.

Big MICE, Niche MICE Attract Regional Attention
The MICE industry is finally getting attention at the regional level, with ASEAN members rolling out concerted efforts to develop the sector, reports TTG Asia ... Read more about it.

e-Commerce, Tourism, & Tax Revenue: Geese & Golden Eggs
Burke and Nguyen from law firm Baker & McKenzie delve into balancing tax revenue from tourism-related e-commerce with the economic benefits of tourism ... Read more about it.

Dali at Forefront of China’s Culture, Heritage Preservation
Yunnan province’s Dali is on the forefront of an encouraging Chinese tourism trend focused on preservation and sustainability ... Read more about it.

Tackling Child Sexploitation One Call at a Time in Cambodia
Tourism is Cambodia’s second biggest industry after textiles. Along with visitors comes the potential for child sexual exploitation ... Read more about it.

2017 “Very Important” for Myanmar Tourism: Tint Thwin
Myanmar’s hope of becoming a travel & tourism hub is unlikely if the nation fails to position itself as a destination for international visitors. And 2017 is key ... Read more about it.

Chinese Firms to Transform Cambodia’s Coastal Provinces
Top Chinese firms are keen to invest in tourism-related services in the Cambodia’s coastal provinces of Preah Sihanouk and Kampot ... Read more about it.

Don Ross Tackles Tachilek on an e-Visa
“Myanmar is a contradiction as far as last frontiers are concerned,” according to TTR Weekly's Don Ross ... Read more about it.

Gambling with Time in Boten, Laos
Tourism in the China-Laos border town of Boten collapsed after the casinos closed in 2011. However, Chinese migrants' luck may soon change ... Read more about it.

Laos’ Oudomxay Prepares for Tourism Development
Several sites in Laos’ Oudomxay province, including Chom Ong Cave, are attracting the interest of foreign investors keen to develop new tourism attractions ... Read more about it.

Thailand Can Handle 100 Million Tourists: Chanin
“... tourist arrivals could rise as high as 100 million [...] if we have better infrastructure,” the chairman of Dusit Thani Plc told the Bangkok Post ... Read more about it.

HCM City Considers Responsible Tourism Development
Ho Chi Minh City is promoting responsible tourism to meet a range of economic, socio-cultural, and environmental objectives ... Read more about it.

Myanmar Calls for Investment in New Tourism Destinations
Myanmar’s Minister of Hotels & Tourism, U Ohn Maung, has called on international companies to invest in his country's up-and-coming destinations ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

ITB World Travel Trends Report 2016/2017
This new report by IPK covers predictions for global tourism growth and its sources; the Mekong tourism region; the influence of terror threats on travel behavior; the development of the Chinese outbound market; and trends in the sharing economy ... Download for free.

Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 Report
The official summary report of the proceedings of Mekong Tourism Forum 2016, Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Cambodia proudly presented the report to the 38th Meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group in Kunming, Yunnan ... Download for free.

Mekong Innovative Startup Tourism (MIST)

MIST aims to support innovative new travel & tourism-related ventures in the developing destinations and source markets of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, and Vietnam. MIST will mentor new ventures, provide support and guidance, and match them with suitable investors. For more information and a form to register startups please visit Also join MIST's Facebook discussion group.

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 “Official Mekong Tourism Experts“. In return for 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 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 ... Read more about it.


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 © 2017 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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