The Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) 2018 will open its doors from June 26-29, 2018 to provide a cooperative platform for public and private sector stakeholders in the tourism industry. The venue is Nakhon Phanom in Thailand’s Northeast, the major Thai-Laos border town at the Mekong River.
The event will bring together key stakeholders to discuss the development, marketing and promotion of responsible and sustainable travel within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).
MTF 2018 this year is again 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. The Mekong Tourism Forum is organized in collaboration with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO).
Delegates, however, will be asked to give back to the local communities, and pay a small fee to participate in the Village Experience, with all proceeds going to the local villages.
Billed as the conference highlight, delegates will undertake ethnic village experiences, getting up close and personal with different aspects of local village life – a series of new and immersive events for small groups of delegates.
The 2018 Mekong Tourism Forum will focus on new travel trends with the theme: “Transforming Travel – Transforming Lives.”
This year the Forum has three key parts:
On Wednesday afternoon, discussions ranging from Buddhist Tourism to Responsible Tourism focus on the potential of transforming travel and people’s lives
On Thursday morning, mini keynotes from senior travel executives coming from different sectors, all focusing on transformative travel.
On Thursday afternoon thematic sessions from Adventure Tourism to Religious Tourism will be hosted in eight community-based villages around Nakhon Phanom in North-eastern Thailand. From a traditional village welcome ceremony and a lunch – authentic to the respective village – 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.
During MTF 2018, Mekong Trends will offer a sneak preview to its new Report on Responsible Travel in the GMS, including case studies on six Experience Mekong Collection Showcases, produced in collaboration with Mahidol University. With the final report being launched at ITB Asia in Singapore in October 2018, the organisors are hoping that partnering with the report offers great opportunities for companies to showcase their alignment with responsible tourism.
For the first time, MTF will feature the 1st Mekong Mini Movie Festival , including the Film & Destination Marketing Conference, as well as a Film Screening and Awards Ceremony. Initiated by Destination Mekong, the Mekong Minis is a unique film festival that celebrates the various faces and experiences of the Greater Mekong Subregion and promotes the region as a single tourist destination. It is an annual regional tourism marketing campaign, which has already reached over 5 million people since its launch in January 2018. The Campaign is supported by all Tourism Ministries and the private sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In collaboration with WWF , the Mekong Mini Movie Festival raises awareness of the endangered Mekong Dolphin, the mascot of the Mekong Minis campaign. The Festival is targeted to attract amateur and professional movie makers and create a large amount of content for the region with promotions and screenings internationally.
Mekong Tourism is a collaborative effort between Cambodia, China, Lao, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam to promote the Greater Mekong Subregion as a single tourism destination.
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