MEKONG TOURISM FORUM
The Mekong Tourism Forum provides a cooperative platform for stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the development, marketing and promotion of travel to, from and within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It presents an inclusive, interactive and results-oriented opportunity to encourage public and private sector participation in representing the GMS as a single destination.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) organized the first Mekong Tourism Forum in 1996 and led it for 10 consecutive years. The hosting of this influential annual event rotated among destinations within the GMS until 2005. In subsequent years private sector-initiated events around the region continued to work towards the forum’s goals.
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) revived the event in 2010 thanks to a grant from USAID. The Forum has been an annual event ever since:
MTF 2010 — “New Roads, New Opportunities” — Siem Reap, Cambodia
MTF 2011 — “Destination Mekong: The Making of a Star” — Pakse, Laos
MTF 2012 — “20/20 Vision: Building on Two Decades of GMS Cooperation” — Chiang Rai, Thailand
MTF 2013 — “The Rise of the Chinese Traveller: Optimizing the Impacts for the GMS” — Guilin, China
MTF 2014 — “Tourism Investment for the Protection of Heritage and Culture” — Mandalay, Myanmar
MTF 2015 — “Unlocking the Potential of the GMS via Innovative Partnerships” — Da Nang, Viet Nam
MTF 2016 — “Developing Authentic Experiences along the Mekong River” — Sihanoukville, Cambodia
MTF 2017 — “Prosper with Purpose” — Luang Prabang, Laos
MTF 2018 — “Transforming Travel, Transforming Lives” — Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
MTF 2019 — “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation” — Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China
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.