About MTF

The Mekong Tourism

About Mekong Tourism Forum

First held in 1996, the Mekong Tourism Forum is an annual government-led event dedicated to the tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The event provides a cooperative platform for travel and tourism stakeholders to discuss regional tourism development, along with the marketing and promotion of travel to, from, and within the GMS. It presents an inclusive, interactive, and results-oriented opportunity to encourage public- and private-sector participation in promoting the GMS as a single destination.

The Mekong Tourism Forum aims to: 

  • Raise the profile of the Greater Mekong Subregion as a single tourist destination, 
  • Provide an industry-wide platform for the public and private sectors to address sub-regional tourism issues,
  • Expand marketing networks and opportunities for promoting the GMS and pool collective resources to create intra-industry synergies. 

The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) organized the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996 and led it for 10 consecutive years. In subsequent years, the private sector initiated similar events that shared the Forum’s vision and objectives. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) revived the Forum in 2010 in Siem Reap, Cambodia with the theme of “New Roads, New Opportunities.” Since then, the GMS member countries have co-hosted this influential event with the MTCO annually on a rotating basis. Each event is designed to focus on a unique theme that addresses critical subregional tourism issues and sets future strategic directions. 

Read more about past Mekong Tourism Forums below.

About the GMS

The Greater Mekong Subregion comprises Cambodia, China (specifically Yunnan and Guangxi provinces), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. 

In 1992, with assistance from the Asian Development Bank (ADB), these six countries entered into a program of subregional economic cooperation designed to enhance economic relations. 

With support from ADB and other donors, the GMS Program supports the implementation of high-priority subregional projects in agriculture, energy, environment, health and human resource development, information and communication technology, tourism, transport and trade facilitation, and urban development. 

Please visit https://greatermekong.org/ for more information.

About MTCO

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) started operations in 2006. It came out of the Phnom Penh Declaration on Mekong Tourism following the 16th meeting of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG) and is composed of senior officials from the National Tourism Organizations of the six GMS countries. The MTCO receives contributions from the member countries and was initially tasked with assisting the GMS TWG in implementing the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy (TSS) that envisioned the GMS as a unified single destination. 

Over the years, the MTCO has continuously evolved and strengthened its fundamental role in fostering and facilitating effective collaboration among the GMS governments, development partners, the private sector, academic institutions, and the media on the implementation of the GMS TSS. The MTCO now serves as the secretariat for the GMS TWG to lead the development and promotion of the GMS as a single tourism destination in collaboration with the public and private sectors. It also coordinates project development and implementation under the GMS TSS and facilitates tourism knowledge production, centralization, and dissemination. 

The office of MTCO is hosted by the Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand in Bangkok. 

Please visit https://mekongtourism.org/ for more information.

Past Mekong Tourism Forums

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