TREE Alliance and M’Lop Tapang showcase young Khmer culinary talent at 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum

Company contributor Mekong Tourism Office

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The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has partnered with TREE Alliance training restaurant Sandan, an initiative of Cambodian NGO M’Lop Tapang, to showcase culinary demonstrations during the networking breaks at 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum in Sihanoukville, Cambodia from July 5-7.


The concept was successfully introduced to become a part of Mekong Tourism Forum at the 2015 MTF in Da Nang, Viet Nam, when MTCO partnered with Hanoi-based NGO KOTA.


TREE is a global alliance of training restaurants working to build futures for former street youth, marginalized young people and adults which was created and is powered by Friends-International, a leading social enterprise saving lives and building futures of the most marginalized children and youth, their families and their communities in South East Asia.


TREE partner organization M’Lop Tapang will showcase students from their Sihanoukville training restaurant Sandan who will do cooking demonstrations during the networking breaks. Delegates can interact with the students with a unique opportunity to learn their stories, and vice versa.



Sebastien Marot, Co-founder and Executive Director of Friends-International says:” The Mekong Sub-region is a very dynamic growth sector in global tourism, and of course that brings challenges in how we address issues such as child protection and responsible tourism. Our partnership approach, working with other NGOs and developing initiatives such as TREE and ChildSafe Movement enables all stakeholders to participate in this – Together, Protecting Children across the Mekong! We appreciate the opportunity to increase awareness about this important issue to the travel and tourism industry during the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum.”


Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office says: “We are very excited to partner with M’Lop Tapang and TREE for this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum. Being able to leverage food and local people is the essence of developing authentic experiences in the region. Integrating this idea into our annual flagship event solidifies our commitment to creating Mekong Moments for our travelers as well as MTF delegates.”



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 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 – please follow download link from the website.


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 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, and follow us on social media @TourismMekong.


Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
Mr. Jens Thraenhart
MTCO Executive Director
Bangkok, Thailand

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