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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

Registration is OPEN for Mekong Tourism Forum 2017, "Prosper with Purpose".

To take place June 6-9 in Luang Prabang, Laos, MTF 2017 promises to deliver interactive topical sessions hosted at multiple experiential venues in and around the UNESCO World Heritage town. Indeed Luang Prabang is the venue for MTF 2017!

Yesterday we announced our keynote speaker for MTF 2017: Anna Pollock (pictured right). I could not imagine a more suitable person than Anna to address our tourism industry at MTF 2017. I worked with Anna, and was inspired by her, during my time at the Canadian Tourism Commission in the mid 2000s. I experienced first-hand one of her strengths, which is her ability to see the “big picture” and help others make sense of rapid change.

The theme of MTF 2017 is “Prosper with Purpose”. This corresponds to much of Anna's work over her 45-year career. As Founder of Conscious.Travel, Anna is currently working on models of destination development that, in her words, “generate higher yields with less impact”. She believes that for tourism to thrive it must "provide much higher levels of satisfaction to the customer, more net benefit to the host community, and sustained yields to shareholders”.

Anna will deliver her keynote speech, entitled "Passion + Purpose = Prosperity", at 10:30am on June 8 at Luang Prabang’s Central Bank building ... Read more about it.

In partnership with our hosts, the Ministry of Information, Culture, & Tourism, Lao PDR and the Department of Information, Culture, & Tourism, Luang Prabang, Mekong Tourism is keen to demonstrate that smaller towns can compete for MICE. We are doing this by inviting small- and medium-sized stakeholders to host sessions. Soon we will announce our eight-track program of 16 breakthrough sessions and their Host Venues. The breakthrough sessions will take place in and around Luang Prabang during the afternoons of June 7 & 8 — after MTF’s opening ceremonies, keynote speeches, and keynote panel discussions in the mornings and the included networking lunches.

Registration is OPEN. And the capacity for each breakthrough session is limited. So register early to secure a spot in the sessions you are most interested in.

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:

Passion + Purpose = Prosperity: Pollock to Keynote MTF 2017
Travel & tourism industry “visionary” Anna Pollock will keynote Mekong Tourism Forum 2017 “Prosper with Purpose”, June 6-9, Luang Prabang, Laos ... Read more about it.

ASEAN-China Year of Tourism Cooperation Launched
“Tourism cooperation not only enhances our mutual understanding and friendship but also boosts our practical cooperation in many industries.” — Li Keqiang ... Read more about it.

Cambodia, Laos Sign MoU to Increase Air Links
Cambodia and Laos have signed a deal to encourage regional airlines to increase their services between both countries in a bid to encourage tourism ... Read more about it.

Philippines, Thailand Boost Tourism Ties
Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte and Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha have emphasised the importance of sustaining the growth and development of tourism ... Read more about it.

New Airline Takes off in Cambodia
JC International Airlines officially launched in Cambodia on Saturday, bringing the number of local airlines to five ... Read more about it.

Thailand Rolls out Good Host Programme
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has launched a Good Host Programme to raise hospitality standards among tourism stakeholders ... Read more about it.

Travel Trade Supports Raising Cambodian Tourism Standards
Authorities’ plans to raise tourism standards across Cambodia have been met with approval by agents ... Read more about it.

Chilling at the “Cusp of a Tourism Boom” in Luang Prabang
“There is little left of Southeast Asia that is not easily accessible, but Laos seems to be one place that has remained off the radar — until now” ... Read more about it.

Recent Additions to the Mekong Tourism e-Library

ADB Releases CLMV Tourism Sector Assessment (2016-2018)
Documenting the strategic investment priorities of the Asian Development Bank and Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, & Vietnam in the tourism sector, the new report highlights performance and constraints as well as past and future plans ... Download for free.

Greater Mekong Subregion: Twenty Years of Partnership
A 2012 publication by the Asian Development Bank, "presents images that illustrate the progress and challenges of 20 years of work in the Greater Mekong Subregion [by] everyone who has labored to make the GMS what it is today" ... 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.


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
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