Tuesday, 8 May 2018

50 Days until MTF 2018

 Nakhon Phanom
We are about 50 days away from the 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum - hosted by the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand in Nakhon Phanom from June 26-29 - under the theme "Transforming Travel - Transforming Lives".

Make sure you register at MekongTourismForum.org.

MTF 2018 this year again is free of charge for industry professionals, thanks to this year's host, the Ministry of Tourism and Sports of Thailand and the Province of Nakhon Phanom.

We only ask delegates to give back to the local communities, and pay a small fee of THB 1,200 (around USD 30) to participate in the Village Experience on Thursday afternoon. All proceeds will go the local villages! Note: Delegates will be able to pay online when registering for the MTF Village Experience.

This year, Mekong Tourism Forum has three key parts:
  • Mekong Tourism Forum – Transforming Travel (Part 1)
On Wednesday afternoon, discussions ranging from Buddhist Tourism to Responsible Tourism focus on the potential of transforming travel and people’s lives.
  • Mekong Tourism Forum – Transforming Travel (Part 2)
On Thursday morning, mini keynotes from senior travel executives coming from different sectors, all focusing on transformative travel. Our second Mekong Opportunities & Threats sessions will focus on key issues that are vital to focus on as an industry to develop the region in a responsible way, pitched by young travel professionals, native to the GMS.
  • Mekong Tourism Forum – Transforming Travel (Part 3)
Not to be missed, on Thursday afternoon, the highlight of MTF 2018, we will actually look at transforming travel and transforming lives by ourselves. As a first in travel and tourism conferences worldwide, eight thematic sessions from Adventure Tourism to Religious Tourism will be hosted in eight community-based villages around Nakhon Phanom in North-eastern Thailand. (See one of the welcoming villages pictured above). From a traditional village welcome ceremony and a lunch authentic to the respective village, to the thematic workshop followed by an interactive village experience to engage in weaving, fishing, and other activities, delegates will be able to interact with the local people, while the local people will be able to interact with visitors from all over the world. In order to give back to the local communities, delegates are asked to pay THB 1,200 (around USD 30). In exchange, delegates will receive a (limited-edition) traditional shirt designed by their respective village, especially produced for MTF 2018. More information about the sessions: http://mekongtourismforum.org/index.php/sessions/

MTF 2018 ends with the Mekong Tourism Food Festival on Thursday evening, and optional technical tours around Nakhon Phanom the following day on Friday.

Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 also has two integrated side events:
  • Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST)
On Tuesday morning, the Mekong Travel Innovation Conference gives delegates an overview of the travel start-up landscape in Southeast Asia and the Mekong Region. On Wednesday morning, MIST will showcase some of its most innovative and promising start-ups in the current batch, as well as MIST alumni from last year, to present to the travel and tourism industry. MIST is a globally unique concept, initiated by MTCO and ADB, executed by MBI and Destination Mekong, with support from the Australian Government.
  • Mekong Mini Movie Festival
On Tuesday afternoon and evening, the first Mekong Mini Movie Festival kicks off with the “Film & Destination Marketing Conference” to explore the power of visual storytelling to promote destinations. The Mekong Minis campaign, powered by the powerful and innovative Mekong Moments campaign and social commerce platform, in only three months has had a reach of over 5 million views, inspiring people from all over the world with shared experiences from the Mekong Region in 60 second video format. The Mekong Minis Screening will allow delegates to view and vote via mobile app on the final three films per country. The Mekong Minis Awards Ceremony will award the top mini movies for each country in the Industry Choice and the Editors Choice Categories, as well as the best video in the Luxury category sponsored by Rosewood Hotels & Resorts. Check out some of the videos at www.MekongMinis.com.

Finally, we are very excited to announce that very soon, the new Destination Mekong e-Newsletter will go live. Destination Mekong is executing programs and initiatives, including Mekong Moments, the Mekong Mini Movie Festival, the Experience Mekong Collection, and MIST (in collaboration with MBI), as a pubic-private partnership, aligned to the strategic framework of the GMS Tourism Working Group, coordinated by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), in order to fulfil the mandate of the Mekong Tourism Collaboration to promote the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) as a sustainable, experiential, and inclusive single tourism destination.

That's it for our weekly update. We look forward to hearing from you as always. If you ever missed one of our newsletter - no worries, they are all archived on MekongTourism.org.

Have a great week!
Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director, MTCO

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
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