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Dear Mekong Tourism stakeholder,

We hope that 2017 has gotten off to a good start for you.

For MTCO, as well as many of you, the first event of the year is the ASEAN Tourism Forum, which this year is held in Singapore. This year, 2017, marks the 50th anniversary of ASEAN which is also an important event for all of us in the GMS. MTCO was invited to present at the 45th Meeting of the ASEAN National Tourism Organizations about our 2017 initiatives and opportunities for collaboration.

One of the key dates in 2017 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.

We look forward to connecting with you, and hope to hear from you with your ideas and spirit to engage with us over the coming months.

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:

World Travel Trends Report Highlights Mekong Tourism
The new ITB World Travel Trends Report 2016/2017 by IPK highlights the Mekong tourism region “as one of the world’s fastest growing destinations” ... Read more about it.

AAPA Joins WTTC in Call for ASEAN Infrastructure Investment
The Association of Asia Pacific Airlines joins the World Travel & Tourism Council in call for more infrastructure investment in ASEAN to cater to future demand ... Read more about it.

New Cambodia-Laos Border Facilities Open
Cambodia and Laos officially inaugurated a newly expanded border crossing expected to increase trade and tourism between the two countries ... Read more about it.

Tanintharyi, Myanmar Planning for Sustainable Tourism
Tanintharyi, a coastal region of Myanmar with huge tourism potential, has formed a committee to draw up a sustainable tourism master plan ... Read more about it.

Thailand Tourism Looks at CSR Tourism
The Tourism Authority of Thailand has teamed up with nine companies to generate THB1 million for each of 10 small communities in 2017 ... Read more about it.

Myanmar Tourism Launches Six New CBT Projects
Community-based tourism is being introduced in six villages around Myanmar. Meanwhile, the list of no-go zones will remain unchanged ... Read more about it.

Thailand Tourism Refits its China Strategy
Thailand's tourism officials are welcoming Chinese FITs; the next wave to boost tourism from China after the crackdown on zero-dollar tours ... Read more about it.

Cruise Ship Commences Thailand Homeport Season
Thailand’s cruise industry boosted following the decision by Costa Cruises to use Laem Chabang as a temporary homeport for its 2,394-pax 'Costa Victoria' ... Read more about it.

Tourism for All: Thai Designs on Development
Assoc Prof Trirat Jarutach evaluates facilities for people with disabilities in tourism attractions across Thailand. He speaks to the Bangkok Post ... Read more about it.

PATA to Talk Tourism at Vientiane Rendez-Vous
PATA will hold a one-day conference on tourism marketing, HRD, & PPPs during the Vientiane Rendez-Vous in Laos ... Read more about it. Promote your tourism event.

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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