The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is committed to responsible and sustainable tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). Responsible tourism practices have the opportunity to make an impact on the life of the population the Mekong Region.Responsibility seeks to minimize negative economic, environmental and social impacts and generate greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the well-being of host communities, improve working conditions and access to the industry. Lots of operators and entrepreneurs are operating innovative businesses that give back to the local community on one hand, and enhance the travel experience in the region by providing authentic experiences.
It is now widely recognized that a growing segment of visitors are seeking unique, authentic and responsible experiences based on high quality service. In order to assist in developing unique experiences within the Mekong Region, the “Experience Mekong Collection” has been developed as a way of highlighting examples of good practice and providing benchmarks for improving the visitor offerings in the region.
Our Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG), made up of tourism professionals active in responsible tourism in the GMS endorse all nominations. Feel free to nominate any responsible travel experiences in the GMS that you feel should be included in the EMC. Nominations/Applications as well as listings are free, and all endorsed responsible travel experiences are eligible for the annual “Experience Mekong Showcase” to feature innovative experiences in the region. As a capacity building initiative in the GMS, these best practices are to motivate other operators to learn and get inspired. In addition, all listed operators in the “Experience Mekong Collection” will be added for free to the new collaborative marketing platform MekongMoments.com, and identified with a special Mekong Responsible Travel badge. Please get involved to apply and nominate great responsible travel experiences.
Also, we want to leverage the past work that has been done as part of the Mekong Development Project in 2007, when the “Mekong Responsible Tourism Guide” (both offline and online) was established, and to take the excellent work to the next level, and focus on experiences, but all with the premise of being responsible.
How does the Experience Mekong Collection work?
The EMC is a curation of responsible travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Open nominations encourage anybody to suggest businesses for free that engage in providing travel products that are in the very least not irresponsible or engage in any unethical business practices. These experiences should be primarily operated by small and medium based enterprises. All included businesses will be included in MekongMoments.com.
Businesses should meet the following requirements:
- Being responsible in nature and giving back to the local community
- Provides an authentic experience that positions the Mekong Region
- Has a sustainable business model, and empowers local workforce and gender equality
What is the Experience Mekong Showcase and how does it work?
Every year, we aim to select up to five experiences from the Experience Mekong Collection that shine via best practices in particular areas, such as local employment, conservation, etc. The Experience Mekong Showcase is to inspire businesses to learn from these best practices for adoption to build capacity in the GMS, as well as feature these responsible travel experiences to the world (especially media and travel trade) to inspire travellers to visit the GMS in a responsible way. Mekong Tourism Showcase recipients are honoured at the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, included in an annual Mekong Tourism Showcase e-book and special website, and receive a special badge on MekongMoments.com to be highlighted.
What is the governance behind the Experience Mekong Collection & Showcase?
The Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG), made up of active Mekong Tourism Contributors, passionate about travel and tourism s in the GMS, that on one hand verify the legitimacy of EMC nominations, and on the other hand select possible businesses included in the EMC for the Experience Mekong Showcase. MeTAG members are passionate advocates for Responsible Travel in the GMS, and actively promote and encourage nominations to the Experience Mekong Collection.
How can you get engaged?
Become an active member of the Mekong Tourism Contributor Program (http://www.mekongtourism.org/contributors/), and indicate your desire to become a member of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) – http://www.mekongtourism.org/mekong-tourism-advisory-group/.
Once part of the MeTAG, we will communicate directly how to verify and endorse EMC nominations.
Here are some key links:
Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG)
Experience Mekong Showcase (TBD)
PS: Please note that the website www.mekongresponsibletourism.org is not operated by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. However, we do appreciate and encourage all efforts from the private sector to promote responsible development and sustainable practices in the Greater Mekong Subregion.