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Wed, 6 June 2018

Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 to Take Place 26-29 June in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand

[HD videos below] Thailand's Nakhon Phanom province will host the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 from 25-29 June under the theme "Transforming Travel Transforming Lives".

H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, Thailand's Minister of Tourism and Sports, presided over a press conference about the Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 (MTF 2018) on Monday. He said, "The Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 (MTF 2018) is the annual meeting forum for the Greater Mekong Subregion tourism industry specialists. Consisting of 6 member countries; Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province and Guangxi Autonomous Region) Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Discussions will cover market development and tourism promotion. The Mekong Tourism Forum also offers positive opportunities to encourage the participation of the public and private sectors in transforming tourism of GMS member countries into one single destination. In addition, such a meeting will give participants the opportunity to experience tourism in emerging destinations as well as tourism trends in the Greater Mekong (GMS). It is expected that more than 500 exhibitors from the tourism industry of the member countries, stakeholders, foreign and domestic investors will attend the event in Nakhon Phanom."

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Tourism Performance in 2016. Click to enlarge.

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2018 will be divided into two major events:

 The 41st Tourism Working Group Meeting (TWG-41) will be held on 25 June 2018. The meeting between member countries together with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) will be used to discuss the status of tourism in member countries over the past year as well as to plan and form policy for the coming year. This includes, the progress implementations of The Grater Mekong Subregion Tourism Strategic Plan 2015-2025, Grater Mekong Subregion Tourism Marketing Strategy Plan 2015-2020 and the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Work Plan in 2018 according to the key issues to be promoted in the next phase.

 The Mekong Tourism Forum, from 26-29 June 2018, will consist of two major activities:

1) Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), which will introduce new tourism innovations to stakeholders in the industry; and

2) The Mekong Mini Movie Festival which will be held for the first time. There will be a seminar on "Film & Destination Marketing Conference" and a short film contest.

For Thailand, the MTF 2018 will be used to promote Buddhist tourism. Thailand will seek support from member countries for the creation of an ASEAN-South Asia Buddhist Tourism Story Book as well as a forum event inviting the experts and experienced Buddhist tourism keynote speakers to the conference held under the theme "Buddhist Tourism in the Mekong Region"

Mr. Pongpanu Svetarundra, Permanent Secretary of the MOTS, said, "We have chosen Nakhon Phanom as the host province for the MTF 2018 because we at the Ministry feel that Nakhon Phanom is the centre and hub of tourism in the GMS countries. Though currently Nakhon Phanom may be considered as a secondary city for tourism but in recent years the province has shown great potential for sustainable growth in the field of tourism. We have faith in unique culture and traditions of the province and region, the readiness in infrastructure and the national policy for promoting secondary cities as an attraction in order to have a better distribution of income, sustainable growth and participation from the local communities."

 Mr. Pongpanu Svetarundra said that he believes the MTF 2018 will push the agenda for:

- Connectivity and transforming GMS countries into one single destination;

- The materialization of Buddhist Tourism in Thailand and the region;

-  Promote innovation in the tourism industry through start-ups and SMEs;

- Use film and cinema to use GMS countries as a backdrop for their movies to attract more visitors to the region and the presentation of the Mekong Mini Movies Festival; and

 - Experience authentic community based tourism with a field trip for stakeholders to visit 8 local villages.

For more information about the Mekong Tourism Forum please visit the official website.

Jens Thraenhart Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)

Watch also: Mekong Mini Movie Festival Open to Professional and Amateur Videographers.

The following videos are in Thai.

ฯพณฯ วีระศักดิ์ โควสุรัตน์ รัฐมนตรีว่าการกระทรวงการท่องเที่ยวและกีฬา

นายสมชาย วิทย์ดำรงค์ ผู้ว่าราชการจังหวัดนครพนม

นายพงษ์ภาณุ เศวตรุนทร์ ปลัดกระทรวงการท่องเที่ยวและกีฬา

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