2016 Mekong Tourism Forum confirms top speakers
Bangkok – May 30th, 2016: The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office has confirmed a compelling list of speakers for the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum to address its theme, “Authentic Experiences in the Mekong Region.”
Tourism ministers, director generals, travel industry CEOs, and leading private sector and development minds will address current and future challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the Mekong region. The forum takes place in Sihanoukville, Cambodia, July 5-7, 2016, and is hosted by the Cambodia Ministry of Tourism.
High profile speakers include HE Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia; Mr. Willem Niejmeijer, Chairman of Khiri Travel Group and Yaana Ventures; Mr. Luzi Matzig, Chairman of Asian Trails; Captain Worante Laprabang, CEO of Thai Smile Airways, Mr. Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainability Tourism Council; Mr. Rory Hunter, Founder and CEO of Song Saa Hotels & Resorts; Mr. John Roberts, Global Conservation Director of Anantara Resorts & Spas; Mr. Inthy Deansavan, Managing Director of Green Discovery Laos; and Dr. Ashley Brooks of the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative, and Lonely Planet author Joe Cummings, to name just a few.
One of the highlights will be the Mekong Tourism Open Forum, led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), which invites the travel and tourism industry to brainstorm on the next 10-year GMS Tourism Sector Strategy. A lot has changed in the past ten years including the opening of Myanmar as a thriving tourism destination, increased air and land connectivity, as well as the internet, social media, mobile, and the sharing economy driving a changing consumer landscape.
“This year’s theme is focusing on authentic experiences in a time where consumers are looking to connect with local communities, go off the beaten path to get away from mass tourist attractions, “said Mr. Tith Chanta, Secretary of State of the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia, will define and direct the debates at the forum.
Opportunities and threats will be analyzed against a backdrop of growth. “Tourism demand for Mekong region destinations is storming ahead,” said Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office in Bangkok. “We need to work together to make sure development is fair and sustainable and that we remove obstacles to growth and poverty alleviation.”
The 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum will be hosted by the Cambodia Ministry of Tourism (MoT) at the Sokha Beach Resort Sihanoukville at the beautiful Southern Coast of Cambodia from July 5-7. More information, and the most updated agenda is accessible at www.MekongTourismForum.org. Like last year, MTF strives to be as sustainable of an event as possible, and is looking to move from printed brochures to a mobile app.
In order to make it easy for even small and medium sized businesses to get engaged, for the third time in a row, the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum is free to attend for the first 150 qualified industry professionals, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia.
Please make sure to register online at www.MekongTourismForum.org to secure one of the 150 free seats.
About Mekong Tourism:
Established in early 2006, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is a collaborative effort between the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): Cambodia, The People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The mission of the MTCO is to help GMS National Tourism Organizations develop and promote the Mekong as a single travel destination, offering a diversity of good quality and high-yielding sub-regional products that help to distribute the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the tourism development efforts of each GMS destination; contribute to poverty reduction, gender equality and empowerment of women; and minimize any adverse impacts of tourism through the development of a sustainable industry. For more information, please visit www.MekongTourism.org, and follow us on social media @TourismMekong.
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
Mr. Jens Thraenhart
MTCO Executive Director