Hosted by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of P.R. China (MCT) in beautiful Dali and Xizhou Ancient Town in Yunnan from May 28-29, the 2019 MTF will focus on the theme of “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation”. After the official opening of the 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum, inspiring keynotes and sessions will drive discussions and debate. Key Mekong Tourism initiatives, including the Experience Mekong Collection, the Mekong Mini Movie Festival, and the MIST program will showcase some of its highlights. The second day will take delegates to Xizhou Ancient Town part of the Dali Prefecture, to experience how tourism and culture are tightly interlinked, and preservation and conservation are critical to ensure sustainability.
Day 1
28 May 2019

MTF 2019 Official Opening

Chaired by H.E.  Mr. Zhang Xu – Vice Minister, Ministry of Culture and Tourism of PRC

Social Enterprises driving Sustainable Tourism

Social Enterprises and small sustainable travel experiences have become the heroes of the Mekong Region. The Experience Mekong Collection has been showcasing the best responsible small tourism businesses in the...
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Jens Thraenhart

Tourism and Culture – Driving Sustainability

Mei Zhang is a native of Dali, and in 2016 launched her first book “Travels through Dali with a leg of ham”. in search of her roots of the region’s...
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The Power of Visual Storytelling

Inspiring people via visual content from photos to videos has been an important way for destinations to promote experiences to travelers. The successful platform and the award-winning Mekong Mini...
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Day 2
29 May 2019

MTF 2019 Cultural Experience

MTF 2019 Cultural Experience

Buffet Dinner with Mekong Tourism Recognition Ceremony

Recognition of the 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases (

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 from April 28-29, the 2020 MTF 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 2020 will feature five parts: After the “MTF 2020 Official Opening” the previous day followed by the “MTF 2020 Gala Dinner & Awards”, the “Village Experience” in the morning will bring delegates to visit local businesses and sites around Bagan for interactive sessions relevant to the theme of “Balanced Tourism”, while in the afternoon, the “MTF 2020 Plenary” will feature engaging keynotes and panel sessions will stimulate discussions.  MTF 2020 will end with the traditional Mekong Food Festival, allowing delegates to sample delicious local cuisine and interact with local artisans showcasing their handicrafts. For the first time, the Mekong Food Festival will also feature the “Mekong  Trashion Show”. This program is designed to challenge the participants to think about trash in different ways. It is open to all businesses and participants of the Mekong Tourism Forum in Bagan 2020. The Recycled Runway will present “Trashion” costumes made from trash and other recyclable materials to challenge people to make elaborate costumes that represent either their heritage, country of origin or climate change.  Contestants must make a costume from that consists of at least 75% recycled or recyclable materials, and model it in on a catwalk runway fashion show.

The Mekong Marketplace will allow local businesses and artisans, as well as responsible travel businesses and social enterprises of the Experience Mekong Collection, alumni of the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism program, tourism destinations in the Mekong Region, NGOs, development partners, sponsors, and partners to showcase their products and services, preferably in an experiential and interactive way for delegates to engage.

The 2020 Mekong Tourism Forum for the 4th year in a row will ban single-use plastic. Delegates will receive a refillable water bottle, and the MTF 2020 venues will serve as water refill stations during the time of the conference. Please feel free to download the MTF 2020 Program Summary.