The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is administered out of the offices of the Department of Tourism of the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand, based in Bangkok, and was established with funding from the six governments of Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Viet Nam, and Thailand, which represent the Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS). A common goal of both of public and private sectors in all countries is to create sustainable tourism profit. This is achieved optimally by increasing inbound tourism yield, by developing quality products that tourists are willing to buy, and inciting longer stays with enhanced motivation to revisit. Thus, GMS’s strategy is to “develop and promote the Mekong Region as a single tourism destination. In 2016 the GMS welcomed 59.8 million international tourist arrivals, representing a 3% share of the global market. The MTCO, via Destination Mekong, aims to collaborate with public and private sectors to execute programs, such as Mekong Moments, the Mekong Mini Movie Festival, the Experience Mekong Collection, Mekong Trends, and the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) program.Learn More
The Mekong Tourism Forum provides a cooperative platform for public and private sector stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the development, marketing and promotion of travel to, from and within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), and monitor sustainable and responsible tourism growth. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has revived the forum in 2010 taking place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, with the theme of “New Roads, New Opportunities”. Followed by MTF 2011 “Destination Mekong: The Making of a Star” in Pakse, Laos, MTF 2012 in Chiang Rai, Thailand with the theme of “20/20 Vision: Building on Two Decades of GMS Cooperation”, MTF 2013 in Guilin, China with the theme ““The Rise of the Chinese traveller: Optimizing the impacts for the GMS”, MTF 2014 in Mandalay, Myanmar with the theme “Tourism investment for the protection of Heritage and Culture”, MTF 2015 in Da Nang, Viet Nam with the theme “Unlocking the GMS via Innovative Partnerships”, and MTF 2016 in Sihanoukville, Cambodia with the theme “Authentic Experiences along the Mekong River.”. MTF 2017 in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, with the theme “Prosper with Purpose”, MTF 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand with the theme “Transforming Travel – Transforming Lives”, and MTF 2019 in Dali, Yunnan, P.R.China with the theme “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation”.Learn More
Hosted by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar, in collaboration with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, in the latest UNESCO world heritage town Bagan on September 2021, the MTF 2021 will focus on the theme of “Achieving Balanced Tourism” which is highly relevant in today’s world where mismanagement of destinations has led to over-crowding which in return has resulted in an imbalance of the destination’s ecosystem to have a harmonious and inclusive relationship between tourists and residents and to protect and preserve the cultural and environmental assets.
MTF 2021 will feature five parts: After the “Village Experience” bringing delegates to visit local businesses and sites around Bagan for interactive sessions relevant to the theme of “Balanced Tourism”, and the “MTF Gala Dinner & Awards” during the afternoon and evening, the “MTF Official Opening” followed by the “MTF Plenary” will feature engaging keynotes and panel sessions will stimulate discussions. MTF 2021 will end with the traditional Mekong Food Festival, allowing delegates to sample delicious local cuisine and interact with local artisans showcasing their handicrafts.Learn More
The feeling at the meeting was inspiring and forward thinking. The keynote speakers were exceptional, and it was a rare privilege to have the opportunity to network with them for the entire program. More...
Jo Crisp, General Manager PEAK Cambodia Destination Management Company, Intrepid (Cambodia) Siem Reap, Cambodia March 3, 2017More Testimonials
Topical issues addressed by high quality keynote speeches, well-informed presentations, and interactive forums inspired motivation and dynamic interaction throughout the event. More...
Douglas Hainsworth International Tourism Specialist & ADB Consultant Phnom Penh, Cambodia March 3, 2017More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
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 March 5, 2018More Testimonials
2018 MTF - Nakhon Phanom, Thailand I would like to start by thanking you for all the effort you put in to organise last week’s conference. I have never seen a conference with such a varied and creative mix of activities and formats: from the business startup sessions, to the short film festival, the environmentally sustainable efforts, the varied collection of speakers, the inclusion of the blogger and media community, the thematic strategy sessions in the villages (the highlight for me), and the post-conference tours. I would really like to commend you for a huge achievement.
Nick Day GOCO Hospitality March 19, 2019More Testimonials
2018 MTF - Nakhon Phanom, Thailand I am so delighted to be invited to join the MTF2018 and share the Experience Mekong Collection Showcase about Longji Rice Terraces’ case to the forum. It’s also an opportunity for me to collect a lifelong unforgettable experience in the tranquillity of Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The breathtaking landscape of the rice fields and the ever-flowing Mekong River view were really amazing. The craftsmanship of the local villagers inherited from the ancestors also left me with a very very deep impression. My sincere thanks for the opportunity to join in the MTF 2018, and looking More...
Zhu Jinsheng Guilin Tourism University / Chiangmai University March 19, 2019More Testimonials
2018 MTF - Nakhon Phanom, Thailand Just a quick email to thank you and your team for this really inspiring MTF. Met lots of interesting people and made new connections. Very much looking forward to the next one and thanks again for the top-notch organisation.
Marc Ruffet Go Beyond Thailand March 19, 2019More Testimonials
2018 MTF - Nakhon Phanom, Thailand I recently had the privilege to attend the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 held in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand. The coordinators did an amazing job of balancing useful and informative sessions led by knowledgeable industry professionals whilst orchestrating cultural events to showcase the amazing people, food, and sights of the charming city of Nakhon Phanom. It was a great opportunity to network with fellow travel and food enthusiasts as well as discover a city which is rarely travelled to by foreign tourists. I am already looking forward to next year's conference!
Paul Moore Chowtraveller.com March 19, 2019More Testimonials
2018 MTF - Nakhon Phanom, Thailand A very well organised event with many good inspirations. I really enjoyed and gained a lot of insights from the MTF event, particularly from the Mekong Travel Startup Session (MIST) and the forum on Transforming Travel. The 'No' plastic initiative was admirable!
Dr. Walanchalee Wattanacharoensil Mahidol University International College March 19, 2019More Testimonials
2019 MTF - Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China I have been attending the annual Mekong Tourism Forum every year for more than a decade. MTF2019 Dali is truly a productive and memorable event as we did the talk in one day and walked the talk the next day. Encore! And see you in MTF2020 Mandalay.
Jaffee Yee Publisher / Editor-in-Chief, Mekong Business & Travel July 2, 2019More Testimonials
2019 MTF - Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China Mekong Tourism Forum 2019 was my first and it was more than I imagined it could be. From the program, the facilitators, resource speakers down to actual tourism in Xizhou, Dali, it was a feast for the mind, spirit and all senses. The whole experience inspires one to do better in supporting sustainable and inclusive tourism in the GMS and beyond. Kudos to the hosts and organizers!
Alma M. Cañarejo Consultant, GMS Unit, Asian Development Bank July 2, 2019More Testimonials
2019 MTF - Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China The MTF was a wonderful opportunity to showcase the initial results of an ADB project on sustainable tourism in Guilin, PRC. I learnt a lot from the presentations and side discussions with experts from Mekong countries and we are planning to test whether some of the lessons can be replicated, in particular with a view to preventing plastic pollution in Guilin. The hospitality of the Dali people was amazing and the memories of the field visit will stay with me for a long time. The way the cultural inheritance was protected with the More...
Dr. Claudia Buentjen Principle Public Management Specialist, Asian Development Bank July 2, 2019More Testimonials
2019 MTF - Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China It was a great event for all the GMS member countries and we had a fruitful and friendly discussion between member countries during the 43rd GMS TWG meeting. Mekong Tourism Forum 2019 was also celebrated on a grand scale. The arrangement and hospitality of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, People's Republic of China and People's Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and People's Government of Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture were wonderful and experiential. And thank you very much for all the efforts and cooperation of the Mekong Tourism Coordination Office for the More...
Khin Than Win Deputy Director General, Ministry of Hotels and Tourism, Myanmar July 11, 2019More Testimonials
2019 MTF - Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China Mekong Tourism Forum in 2019 in Dali has indeed met the expectation of the regional event. The overall component was comprehensive including the agenda, speakers, and especially the beauty of ancient town Xizhou. Congratulations to the host country and MTCO for such a satisfying experience at the event. Thank you and Khob Khun Krub
Anan Wongbenjarat Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Tourism and Sports Thailand July 11, 2019More Testimonials