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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

Last week, representatives of the six member nations of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) convened in Kunming, Yunnan for our 38th GMS Tourism Working Group Meeting. Hosted by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and the Yunnan Provincial Tourism Administration (YPTA), the discussions were very productive and engaging.

The technical tour to Tengchong confirmed the rich cultural, historic, natural, wellness, and gastronomic attractions Yunnan has to offer. CNTA and YTPA should be congratulated for their foresight and guidance in the development and/or preservation of these rich assets for the enjoyment of domestic and, increasingly, international visitors.

I would like to sincerely thank CNTA and YTPA for hosting such a well-organised TWG Meeting and fascinating post-meeting technical tour.

Please enjoy this week's newsletter. If you find it interesting and useful, I encourage you to share it 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 several days:

Making Thailand a Safe Haven for Children
“Child slavery, especially in the form of child sex tourism, is a slowly unfolding disaster,” write Matt Friedman & Peerasit Kamnuansilpa for the Bangkok Post ... Read more about it.

A Dam Shame: Mekong Giant Catfish in Trouble?
Mongabay reports on the plight of the Mekong giant catfish (Pangasianodon gigas), the world’s largest freshwater fish and an icon of the Mekong River ... Read more about it.

Erosion Threatens Vietnam’s Beaches, Tourism
Rising seas are expected to encroach on a third of Vietnam's national parks and a quarter of its key biodiversity areas by 2100, according to a 2014 UNWTO report ... Read more about it.

Volunteers Sought for Myanmar Responsible Tourism
The Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI), a not-for-profit organisation supporting responsible tourism development, is seeking volunteers ... Read more about it.

Community Tourism Village in Vietnam Offers Ta Oi Experience
The Ta Oi people in a remote district in central Vietnam now moonlight as tourism employees, offering tourists the opportunity to experience life as an ethnic minority ... Read more about it.

Mahout Education Key to Ethical Elephant Tourism
Elephant husbandry in Asia is contentious, according to 'The Star', but a foundation in Thailand is taking a pragmatic approach to elephant tourism ... Read more about it.

New Border Gate between India & Myanmar to Open
Pilgrims, traders and adventurous holidaymakers can soon look forward to the opening of a new border gate between India and Myanmar, reports the Myanmar Times ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

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

Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 featured intensive sessions on digital marketing, authenticity, cruises, food tourism, responsible tourism, investment, and much more.

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 © 2016 Mekong Tourism, All rights reserved.

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