Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

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, Vietnam, 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.

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Mekong Tourism Forum: The GMS must-attend Conference

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”, and MTF 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand with the theme “Transforming Travel – Transforming Lives”.

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Don't Miss MTF 2019

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. 

This year, space at the 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum is strictly limited, so please make sure you reserve your seat early. While the conference is again free due to the generosity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of PRC, this year, delegates are required to register for the complete package, including conference, hotel accommodation, transfers, meals, and trip to Xizhou. Please feel free to download the MTF 2019 Program Summary.

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Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation
Day 1
28 May 2019
Day 2
29 May 2019

MTF 2019 Official Opening

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

Managing Cultural Heritage Preservation and Poverty Alleviation in the GMS

This session, focusing on the theme of MTF 2019 looks into the management of sustainable and responsible tourism in destinations in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). The session starts with...
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Khin Than Win
Dr. Jiraporn Prommaha
Zhang Hailin
Latdaphone Vongkhamheng
Steven Schipani

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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Kanha Sam
Mei Zhang
Brian Linden
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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Mei Zhang

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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Jereth Jansen
Gerrit Krueger

MTF 2019 Cultural Experience

MTF 2019 Cultural Experience

Buffet Dinner with Mekong Tourism Recognition Ceremony

Recognition of the 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases (


Dali, Yunnan, P.R. China





I found the conference to be a great event with quality speakers... More...

Liz Ward CEO, Travel Tribe Sydney, Australia March 3, 2017

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