Record Number of Delegates Expected at Mekong
Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand
[HD videos below] The Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom,
Thailand gets underway tomorrow and is expected to hit a new attendance record
according to the latest numbers.
Taking place in the northern Thai province
from 26-29 June, registration figures from late last week show a total of 370 registered delegates.
Numbers are still temporary as it is expected that last minute
delegates will travel to Nakhon Phanom directly and register on
site. Final numbers,
including local participants are expected to be over 450
“We are thrilled by the expected attendance. We have
been working hard with the Thailand Ministry of Tourism and
Sports, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), and the
Provincial Government of Nakhon Phanom to make this year’s MTF a
true success. We are encouraged that our new inclusive format for
MTF, inaugurated last year in Luang Prabang, is gaining pace and
traction,” told Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director for the Mekong
Tourism Coordinating Office.
Temporary registration data shows
that officials represent 26.5% of all delegates followed by media
and bloggers at 18%, academics and consultants with 14%, and
start-up founders and entrepreneurs at 12.5%. Over 20% of the
participants come from the tourism private sector (hotels, tour
operators, travel agencies, transportation and attractions).
“We want to make MTF a lively platform of exchange, discussions
and this is why we called our MTF 2018 theme ‘Transforming Travel -
Transforming Lives’. Under that theme, we also aim to redefine the
way tourism should grow in the Greater Mekong Sub-region,” said
“We organize eight themed strategy workshops
in rural communities around Nakhon Phanom, which will bring
together villagers and tourism stakeholders to look at new ways to
develop sustainable practices. Not to forget the important issue
over waste. On the morning of June 28, we will have a special
session titled ‘Mekong Opportunities and Threats- Plastic
Pollution’. During this event we will launch the Plastic Free
Pledge social media campaign, hosted on MekongMoments.com,” added
It is estimated that every man, woman and child
produces on average 136 kg of single-use plastic per year and that by 2025, the plastic dumped into the oceans will be
tenfold compared to today. Similar to last year, the Mekong
Tourism Forum 2018 is banning all single-use plastic items from
the event to raise awareness and to show the importance the
Greater Mekong Subregion can make in creating sustainable travel
and tourism practices.
“By providing all delegates with a free kit
including a refillable steel water bottle, bamboo straws and a
locally hand-woven bag we reduce the impact the event makes on the
environment by over 5,000 single-use plastic bottles, plastic
lanyards and plastic bags” said Mr Thraenhart. Even delegate
badges and lanyards, as well as the shirts delegates receive are
produced locally from natural materials.
session on Wednesday, 27 June will focus on Buddhist
Tourism, one of the fastest growing tourism segments in Asia, not
only drawing international tourists into the GMS, and boosting
domestic travel, but also contributes significantly to the local
“Our aim is also to give an opportunity to
secondary destinations to get more exposure. In the last years,
MTF highlighted destinations such as Champassak and Luang Prabang
in Laos, Sihanoukville in Cambodia, and Danang in Vietnam. Once
again, we are delighted that the high attendance in Nakhon Phanom
will give a superb opportunity for exposure to this Province,
which offers so much in terms of superb landscaping, history,
gastronomy, culture and ethnics. Nakhon Phanom epitomizes the way
tourism in the Mekong region should develop,” said Jens Thraenhart.
The Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 taking place 26-29 June
features side events that include the Mekong Innovative Start-ups in
Tourism, as well as the Mekong Mini Movie Festival. Nakhon Phanom
will be the inaugural venue for the Mekong Mini Movie Festival
followed by the first ASEAN Film and Destination Marketing
MIST (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) Panel Discussion at Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 on 26 June 2018. Panelists include Jason Richards, Regional Sales Manager - Asia Pacific at Cloudbeds, Alberto Moreno, CEO and Founder of Baolau and Clement Wong, CEO and Founder of BeMyGuest. The panel discussion was moderated by Jason Lusk, Director of MIST.".
Alberto Moreno, CEO and Founder of Baolau - a multi-transport travel search engine for the Mekong region, gives a presentation during M.I.S.T. (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) at the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand on 26 June 2018.
Jason Richards, Cloudbeds Regional Manager Asia Pacific, gives a presentation at MIST (Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism) during the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 on 26 June".
Clement Wong, CEO and Founder of BeMyGuest giving a presentation at Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand on 26 June 2018.