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Thu, 25 April 2019

Registration Opens for Mekong Tourism Forum 2019

Registration has opened for this year's Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF).

The two-day event will be held in Dali and the ancient heritage town of Xizhou in Yunnan, China on 28 and 29 May respectively.

It is free of charge for travel and tourism professionals to attend the MTF, however space is limited and delegates need to follow the online registration process which includes submitting a valid Chinese visa.

The event's theme for 2019 is “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation”.

Registration has opened for this year's Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF). The two-day event will be held in Dali and the ancient heritage town of Xizhou in Yunnan, China on 28 and 29 May respectively. The event's theme for 2019 is “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation”. Click to enlarge.

The first day, 28 May 2019, will be held in Dali New Town at the Dali Conference Centre and will feature the official opening as well as the MTF keynotes and sessions. The day will close with a Gala Dinner hosted by the People’s Government of Yunnan at Dali International Hotel, located adjacent to the Conference Center.

Key Mekong Tourism initiatives featured on the first day include the launch of the new Mekong Trends Report on Responsible Tourism in the GMS, the introduction of the new Experience Mekong Collection website, and the screening of some of the most inspiring videos of the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign.

One of the two keynotes of MTF 2019 is Dr. Brian Linden, the owner of the Linden Centre hotel in Xizhou, Yunnan. Dr. Linden will look at how sustainable tourism is shaping the way the industry is developing, which also includes an insight into the extensive rail network in China.

Dr. Linden said, “Tourism has not evolved in China, it has exploded. And our industry has scrambled, often blindly, to capture a part of this lucrative trade. We should remember that we pursue our projects on social and cultural canvases that are far from empty. These resources, the history, heritage, and hospitality of the Asian peoples should be the foundation for all future tourism development.”

The afternoon keynote will be given by Mei Zhang, founder of the travel company Wild China and a native of Dali. Ms. Zhang will take the MTF 2019 delegates on her own personal journey of Yunnan, the importance of connecting culture with tourism to achieve heritage preservation, poverty alleviation, and sustainability.

The second day will be hosted in the ancient heritage town of Xizhou, which is located 20 km north of Dali Old Town and is part of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan, China. Xizhou has been historically important as a trading post along the Tea Horse Road and has gained notability for its high concentration of preserved and restored traditional Bai architecture and protected heritage sites. To take into consideration the requirements of this living ancient heritage town, this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum will be more intimate, limiting the number of delegates.

Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, said, “We are grateful to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the People’s Government of Yunnan for giving us the opportunity to fully integrate this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum with the local residents of a heritage town. In the efforts to be highly inclusive, the cultural learning experiences will be held in small artisan businesses and lunches will be served in local restaurants. This might be the first tourism conference in the world that showcases sustainability in this kind of way.”

To attend MTF 2019, delegates need to register on the Mekong Tourism Forum website, here.

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