Mekong tourism website falters

BANGKOK, 20 January 2022: Once a treasure trove of resources and information on the six countries of the Mekong region, the website mekongtourism.org has been offline for almost a week.

Sources say the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office hopes to free up funding to get the site back online within days. MTCO operates out an office in Thailand’s Department of Tourism.

Considered an essential resource for tourism students, the media and researchers, the website went offline last week, displaying an Error 522 message without any information on when it would be back online.

Background details on the website mekongtourism.com clearly state the website and the MTCO’s operations are administered out of the office of Thailand’s Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports. So the buck appears to stop at the administrative door of the DOT if a financial glitch caused the blackout. It’s the first serious downtime for the MTCO’s website since it launched in 2005. 

It also comes just a few months after the former executive director Jens Thraenhart resigned to take up a new challenge as the CEO of Barbados Tourism Inc.

The MTCO’s Facebook account lives on with its latest post wishing the travel industries of the six Mekong countries (Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) a successful start to 2022. Meanwhile, the six-country Tourism Working Group overseeing MTCO activities will appoint a permanent executive director soon.