Testimonials

2015 MTF - Da Nang, Viet Nam

Thanks for organizing an excellent conference Jens, and all the rest of the team that were so courteous and helpful. I found the conference to be a great event with quality speakers and presentations and genuine business opportunities through an open networking culture. Thanks!

Liz Ward CEO, Travel Tribe Sydney, Australia

2015 MTF - Da Nang, Viet Nam

One of the best or the best MTF I have attended in the past 6 years! Well done and congrats!

Jaffee Yee Publisher, Greater Mekong Media

2015 MTF - Da Nang, Viet Nam

Would like to add my congratulations as well. An interesting and really useful event in a wonderful setting. Cannot wait to go back to the region. Great speakers and lots of fun as well as serious talk.

Nancy Cockerell Tourism Consultant London, UK

2015 MTF - Da Nang, Viet Nam

Great event!

Peter Semone CEO, Destination Human Capital Vientiane, Lao PDR

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The 2016 MTF brought in an impressive group of speakers, covering interesting and relevant topics. It was clear based on the participants' enthusiasm and comments that they found the information and discussions useful and engaging.

Randy Durband CEO, Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) San Francisco, USA

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Personally I appreciated the discussion on hospitality investments in the Mekong region. There is no doubt that great opportunities lie ahead of us, especially with the gradual opening to foreign investment and the improving legal framework. There is also a shift in business culture toward globalization as more entrepreneurs in the Mekong region are now competing to enter joint venture agreements with foreign partners. It was great forum with quality participants.

Jean-Philippe Beghin Managing Director, ALL-THE-ANGLES Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The Mekong Tourism Forum workshops were focused on key issues such as sustainable tourism and the role digital marketing can play in the future in terms of delivering tourists from new markets to countries centred around the Mekong river. Environmental concerns and infrastructure limitations were raised on numerous occasions and the necessity of keeping Mekong tourism activities authentic was also highlighted.

Naidah Yazdani Asia Director, Compagnie Fluviale du Mekong by CroisiEurope Hanoi, Viet Nam

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The Forum was very informative and an eye opener for us to catch up on the latest trends of tourism in GMS.  It was valuable to know the trends from the point of view of the tourism sectors working actively in GMS, and ADB’s contribution as well. The Digital Boot Camp was stimulating; to find how to efficiently use digital tools for tourism promotion. The experiential tourism content helped me find out how important ‘story tellers’ are in terms of sharing travel experiences. The authentic experience session prompted me to reconsider what is authentic for Japanese travellers in GMS; a really good lesson for me. The sessions on tourism investment, infrastructure, accommodation and air connectivity were interesting. And Mr Luu’s experiences and challenges he related during the food tourism seminar will continue to entice tourists in Cambodia.

Takeko Ito, Project Officer Tourism & Exchange Division, ASEAN-Japan Centre Tokyo, Japan

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

What an amazing chance to connect with tourism professionals and people in related sectors in the Greater Mekong Sub-region. The feeling at the meeting was inspiring and forward thinking. It was an important opportunity to reflect on my business. I am excited at the thought of new market opportunities, and to return back to my team with a greater sense of future priorities. And there were great social activities and bonding over beers. Thanks must go to the organisers, speakers and sponsors for such a quality program. The keynote speakers were exceptional, and it was a rare privilege to have the opportunity to network with them for the entire program.

Jo Crisp, General Manager PEAK Cambodia Destination Management Company, Intrepid (Cambodia) Siem Reap, Cambodia

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

I would like to compliment the organizers of the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum for delivering an exceptional event. The forum provided a fantastic opportunity for a wide range of tourism sector stakeholders to come together to network, share and expand our understanding of important issues, and look into the future as to where our industry is heading. Topical issues addressed by high quality keynote speeches, well-informed presentations, and interactive forums inspired motivation and dynamic interaction throughout the event. Congratulations again to all involved."

Douglas Hainsworth International Tourism Specialist & ADB Consultant Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

I attended the Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 in Sihanoukville on behalf of my client, Fairfest Media with the objective of marketing the lucrative Indian outbound to CLMV NTOs. I am pleased to have accomplished such and was able to make additional contacts from private sector companies with similar interests for India. I especially enjoyed the Mekong Tourism Digital Boot Camp on the first day plus the HVS Hotel Investment in the GMS session. Congratulations to Mr Jens Thraenhart and his colleagues at the Ministry of Tourism, Kingdom of Cambodia for the successful hosting of the recently concluded MTF2016.

Sheila Leong Managing Director, EON Events Singapore, Singapore

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

For me the appeal of the Mekong Tourism Forum was the way the event brought policy makers, researchers and other experts in direct contact with professionals like hoteliers, tour operators and creators of digital products. That dialogue gave everybody a better understanding of how the industry and the region as a whole are perceived from different perspectives. As someone who writes about food and travel for the general public, I left with more insight into what goes on "behind the scenes" in both the public and private sector but also with concrete examples of fresh approaches to developing tourism while preserving and promoting local culture sustainably. I should add that the informal atmosphere of the Forum encouraged direct exchanges meaning for me at least it was an experience that was highly productive as well as being a pleasure to attend.

Vincent Vichit-Vadakan food and travel writer Bangkok, Thailand

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

I attended the whole MTF and appreciated the variety of topics as well as the different speakers. The breaks gave me ample opportunity to discuss with the attendees the topics and questions as well as other tourism-related issues.

Peter Wiesner Advisor to the Board, Advisor Network Management, Bangkok Airways

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

It was very exciting to have such a wide variety of international prestigious speakers, complemented by local experts. I loved how global best practice was then applied to local case studies, and helped delegates realise how locally based destinations could become leaders for responsible and authentic travel too. It was a great balance of traditional conference, with interesting panel discussions, and informal and engaging workshop style conversations.

Amy McLoughlin Co-Founder, Ayana Journeys Siem Reap, Cambodia

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

The Mekong Tourism Forum brought together a really great mix of experienced practitioners and disruptive innovators and frontrunners within their industry. Throwing this mix into a room to discuss a variety of new trends made for very interesting discussions and surely set the course for a few successful collaborations in the future. I liked that both “mass” trends (like marketing to the Chinese) were mixed with aspects of responsible tourism, food and of course inclusiveness etc. Big compliment for such a varied programme, which surely attracted a wider audience into the room!

Sarah Schwepcke Southeast Asia Lead for Responsible & Inclusive Business Hubs, GIZ Jakarta, Indonesia

2016 MTF - Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Through the Mekong Tourism Forum 2016 and its rich program of presentations, panels and networking events, I had the pleasure and the privilege to share insights and authentic experiences with passionate people. The MTCO truly managed to build a dynamic environment for inspiration, transformation, and action. I look forward to the next edition!

Catherine Germier CEO & Founder, Millennium Destinations Seoul, South Korea

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2017 was quite an event for insiders in the GMS travel industry and beyond. It is great to have been there, exchanging ideas and networking with like-minded, passionate people. We know how important the GMS’ development means to everyone, and I certainly appreciate the efforts of those who bring attentions to this region - bravo, Jens and your dedicated team! Looking forward to a brighter future for the GMS as a world destination!

Michael Zhou Founder & President, Tang Dynasty Tours Guilin, China

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

I found MTF 2017 a great opportunity to meet and mingle with a wide variety of Mekong enthusiasts, from tour operators to hoteliers to community activists and more.  The sharing and nurturing of ideas for a sustainable tourism future for the GMS was truly energising and encouraging.   Anyone interested in learning about and participating in the great GMS tourism story should be sure to attend.  Congrats to the organizers, volunteers and participants for an impressive event.

Robert Hecker CEO, Horwath HTL Singapore, Singapore

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

On behalf of Swisscontact I would like to congratulate Jens and the team on a wonderful Mekong Tourism Forum 2017.  The MTF 2017 was an excellent opportunity for tourism stakeholders from the public, private, and development sectors to network and discuss the key issues affecting the industry in the Mekong region.  The inclusive nature of the forum in utilising venues relevant to the key discussion themes was hugely successful in eliciting engagement from delegates, and we were delighted to have the opportunity to present our destination development model and lead the session on human resource development.  Looking forward to 2018!

Richard Rose Deputy Country Director, Swisscontact Cambodia Phnom Penh, Cambodia

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Mekong Tourism Forum was a gathering of nearly 400 travel industry insiders.  It was a great opportunity to learn more about the incredible potential of the Mekong region with great keynote speakers and too many to count, informative break out sessions.  Whether during the day or evening at the social events, the Forum provided an opportunity to network and develop strong relationships.  The icing on the cake, was the event was held in amazing Luang Prabang, an UNESCO World Heritage site.

Ric Gazarian Travel Influencer Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

The UNESCO World Heritage town of Luang Prabang in Laos was a well chosen location for the 2017 Mekong Tourism Forum and the format allowing the delegates and speakers to see multiple venues in the city and beyond was a great idea. I found the content very informative promoting the Greater Mekong Subregion and had the opportunity to exchange thoughts with delegates from the most diverse hospitality and tourism organizations.

Stefan Wolf Chief Commercial Officer, FavStay Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Just wish to extend my thanks and acknowledgement of a excellent 2017 MTF this past week. Well attended, powerful themes and takeaways, and strong connectivity. Feedback from all I spoke to was all positive as noted as one of the best MTF's ever.

Charles Blocker CEO, IC Partners Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

First of all, let me congratulate you two for taking the Mekong Tourism Forum to another level!

We were very impressed how the MTF was done professionally with many interesting topics, experienced speakers and contributors who are full with passion and positive energy.

Rangsima Deesawade Regional Coordinator for Southeast Asia, ECPAT Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

The rolling venue  format for this year’s MTF  was innovative excellent drawing out high levels of interactive discussion and debate locking right on to the hot issues. The networking events were ample and well -spaced allowing for excellent opportunities for active discussions leading to good opportunities in the months ahead.

Kevin Wallace Managing Director Asia Pacific, Dream Hotel Group Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

It was both an honor and delight to participate in the 2017 Mekong Tourism Forum, one of the best tourism conferences I have ever attended, setting a new standard in conference delivery. The 'distributed, inclusive' model maximized exposure to the talent in both the host and delegate communities, and was a brave, novel and constructive initiative, of benefit to many. Combined with the online platform developed for Mekong Tourism, the forum has set a new standard for destination management organizations to follow!

Anna Pollock Founder, Conscious.travel London, UK

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

Being able to discuss the issues of river-based tourism right on a river cruise boat on the Mekong River, made the debate not only so much more relevant and engaging, but also offered delegates to experience tourism products away from the traditional meeting room. We were very pleased to be part of the MTF 2017 hosting community. This new and innovative approach may open up future opportunities for collaboration among the travel industry in Luang Prabang.“

Duanratchada Chimphalee Director of Sales & Marketing, Mekong Cruises Bangkok, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

While complex from a logistics standpoint, the organizer’s efforts paid off to create one of the most inclusive and experiential tourism conferences yet by making the destination the venue. This is a new benchmark for inclusive conferences. It was marvelous.

Peter Richards Consultant, United Nations International Trade Centre Hua Hin, Thailand

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao, PDR

The distributed approach no doubt added greatly to the planning and logistics but provided participants with many experiences, engaging with the town and its many assets. In the process providing many more businesses with profile. This works well in a small place like Luang Prabang that would normally not host a large meeting.  Such a delightful place, I never tire of visiting Luang Prabang. It brought so many of the issues and opportunities being discussed into sharp focus.  A great initiative, and a really productive forum.

Professor Dr. Robyn Bushell UNESCO Consultant

2017 MTF - Luang Prabang, Lao PDR

We avoided using about 5,000 plastic bottles during MTF 2017, which in itself is a great achievement and aligned to our theme 'Prosper with Purpose'.

Dr. Soudaphone Khomthavong Deputy Director of Information, Culture, and Tourism, Luang Prabang Provincial Government