Mekong Tourism Forum mulls new dates

BANGKOK, 24 February 2020: Final dates for the annual Mekong Tourism Forum are up in the air, and it is now confirmed the forum will not be held during the last week of April as earlier announced by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

In an email post to Mekong tourism stakeholders, the MTCO executive director Jens Thraenhart said: “We would like to inform you that due to the Coronavirus, we are waiting to hear the final dates of the Mekong Tourism Forum. MTF 2020 will take place in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Bagan in Myanmar, later this year. Stay tuned for upcoming developments.”

While acknowledging MTF 2020 should take place “later this year”, Thraenhart may have firm dates once he meets with Myanmar’s tourism officials at ITB Berlin during the first week of March.

The forum that represents the interests of six Mekong Region nations (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) was scheduled for 28 to 29 April after being moved a week forward from its traditional time slot in May to avoid the onset of the monsoon season.

Now another rescheduling is in the pipeline, and it is now possible the event could be hosted either in September or October.

MTF usually attracts a turn out of 150 to 200 delegates representing governments, NGOs and tourism operators.

Myanmar’s Ministry of Hotels and Tourism is hosting the event this year following China that hosted the 2019 event in Dali. The ministry decided to switch the venue from Mandalay to Bagan when the latter gained UNESCO World Heritage endorsement July 2019.