Pacific and Mekong tourism ink accord

BANGKOK, 12 October 2021: The Pacific Tourism Organization (SPTO) and Destination Mekong have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to foster a collaborative partnership that will benefit both organisations and their stakeholders.

The MoU creates a framework for Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, China Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and 20 Pacific Island countries (PICs) to develop information sharing and best practices to grow sustainable and inclusive tourism.

Speaking at the MoU announcement during the virtual Mekong World Tourism Day Forum, Destination Mekong founder and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office executive director Jens Thraenhart noted the importance of innovative collaboration during this time.

“The MoU with SPTO signals an important step in a partnership agreement between two major regional tourism organisations, in a time when collaboration and sharing of knowledge are more important than ever, to practically assist our business communities in preparing for a balanced tourism eco-system”.

SPTO chief executive, Christopher Cocker, emphasised: “We recognise that some Destination Mekong members are well-established tourism destinations and will have valuable lessons to share with SPTO and our members… Collaboration with like-minded partners is critical for regional tourism organisations, particularly against the backdrop of the pandemic”.

SPTO and Destination Mekong intend to host a virtual mini tourism forum towards the end of 2021, with details to be announced soon.

Thraenhart signed off on the MoU as one of his final duties as he prepares to vacate the executive director’s chair on 15 October. MTCO has yet to announce his replacement.


Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South Pacific, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation representing Tourism in the region. Its 21 Government members are American Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Rapa Nui, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu Wallis & Futuna and the People’s Republic of China.

Destination Mekong:

Destination Mekong (DM) is the regional destination marketing organisation and is owned and funded by the private sector of the travel and tourism industry in the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion. DM initiates, develops, and operates various programs and initiatives aligned to the strategic framework of the regional Mekong Tourism collaboration, published by the six-member tourism ministries via its secretariat, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.