The 2015 Mekong Tourism Forum in Da Nang, Viet Nam from June 15-19, features four events during four days. Participants will discover a new format and a range of special events. In a new departure, the three-decade old event is now free of charge for all professionals of the tourism and travel industry.
The Mekong Tourism Forum is supported by six countries of the GMS Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, China PRC, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam), the Asia Development Bank (ADB), and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO).
MTCO Executive Director, Jens Thraenhart, said the new look Mekong Tourism Forum represents a perfect opportunity to track progress of the GMS while exploring new ways to create sustainable tourism in a region that now attracts 50 million tourists a year.
“We decided not to charge a registration fee this year to be fully inclusive. Not charging will make it easy for the industry to participate at the main symposium, a social media boot camp, a marketing workshop, and the investment summit,” said Thraenhart. Free registration for the MTF is to be found under http://www.mekongtourismforum.org.
Four events in a week
During MTF 2015, the main symposium will be emceed by Peter Greenberg, award-winning author and CBS News TV Host for the Travel Channel.
The four events comprise: The Mekong Tourism Marketing Workshop, produced in collaboration with UNWTO, PATA, ATTA, GSTC, and Bangkok-based Thammasat University on Monday June 15; the Mekong Tourism Social Media Boot-Camp produced by Digital Innovation Asia on Tuesday June 16; the Mekong Tourism Investment Summit, produced in cooperation with HVS, Horwath HTL, and C9 Hotel works on Wednesday June 17; and the Mekong Tourism Symposium on Thursday June 18.
The Mekong Tourism Forum will focus on enhancing collaboration between the public and private sectors under the theme of “Unlocking the Potential of the Mekong Region via Innovative Partnerships” to develop responsible and sustainable tourism, and protecting the natural and cultural heritage of the GMS for future generations.
Among special events organized during the MTF will be the screening of a movie called Gringo Trails on Wednesday June 17. The film shows the unanticipated impact of tourism on cultures, economies and the environment. Cooking demonstrations will also be organized by Koto students during breaks.
What is the Mekong Tourism Forum?
The Mekong Tourism Forum is the flagship annual gathering for the six-nation Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). Since 1996 the MTF has provided a platform for stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the development and promotion of travel to, from and within the GMS. The MTF is inclusive, interactive and results-oriented, encouraging all participants to work together to effectively market the GMS as a single destination.
Six Nations, Three Common Goals
The Mekong Tourism Forum works to achieve three main objectives:
- to raise the profile of the Greater Mekong Sub-region GMS) as a single tourist destination
- to provide an industry-wide platform for the public and private sectors to address sub-regional tourism issues
- to expand marketing networks and opportunities for promoting the GMS and its stakeholders, pool collective resources and create intra-industry synergy
Who does come to the MTF?
The Forum enables delegates to meet, mingle, network and negotiate with:
- High-level government officials and representatives of national tourism organisations (NTOs)
- Government officials and representatives of international organisations involved in the development of the GMS
- GMS-based entrepreneurs, investors and financiers
- Hoteliers, tour operators, ground transportation providers and tourism facilitators
- Representatives of airlines serving or planning to serve the GMS
The MTF will end on Friday June 19 with post-event tours to explore the Da Nang/Hoi An region as well as discovering a community-based tourism village.