Mekong introduces ‘Walkabout Forum’


BANGKOK, 8 March 2017: Registration is now open for the Mekong Tourism Forum 2017 to be hosted by Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, 6 to 9 June.

According to a post by Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office executive director, Jens Thraenhart, this year’s forum theme is “Prosper with Purpose”.

MTF 2017 promises to deliver what the organisers call “interactive topical sessions” hosted at multiple experiential venues in and around the UNESCO World Heritage-listed town.

Breaking with the tradition of hosting the event in a conference venue or hotel, the event will play out at various sites in the world heritage town, including, a museum, a river boat and rice farm.

The comfort zone will not be up to the standard of an air-conditioned hotel conference hall, but it will give delegates a first-hand experience of the Luang Prabang tourism story.

The Ministry of Information, Culture, & Tourism, Lao PDR and Tourism Luang Prabang are organising the event and underwriting most of the hosting costs. Registration is free, but places are limited.

“We are keen to demonstrate that smaller towns in the Mekong region can compete for MICE,” said Thraenhart in his weekly email post.

Around 200 travel executive involved in the tourism industry of the Mekong Region are expected to attend.

The MTCO is funded by six countries; Cambodia, China (Guangxi and Yunnan provinces), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Thraenhart is visiting ITB Berlin this week to launch the first ever “mini” Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin. Discussions at the Wednesday afternoon event at ITB will focus on the theme “Prosper with People” that highlights the urgent need to draw communities into tourism so they can benefit, rather than the revenue stream flowing to just large scale enterprise and corporations.

During the event the MTCO will release details of its latest 10-year GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016 to 2025, that was funded by the Asian Development Bank.