Destination Mekong seeks board nominations

PHNOM PENH, 25 February 2022: Destination Mekong, the private-sector-led regional tourism board that champions the Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism marketing, is ready to appoint its first executive board of directors.

Earlier this year, the Destination Mekong moved to a new office under the sponsorship of Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism, ending a three-year stay in Bangkok working out of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

Destination Mekong was registered in January 2022 as a private limited company in Singapore. As the Ministry of Tourism hosts its executive offices in Cambodia, Destination Mekong will become a local legal entity in Phnom Penh.

At its first interim board of directors meeting earlier this month, Destination Mekong announced the timeline and the nomination process for the 2022 elections of its new Board of Directors.

According to its charter, Destination Mekong will appoint eight elected directors as well as additional appointed and ex-officio directors such as the executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, the Founder of Destination Mekong,  Jens Thraenhart, and up to six representatives chosen from the main financial contributors, underwriting the cost of Destination Mekong’s marketing activities.

The call for nominations to the executive board is open to full members from now to 19 March 2022 on

Destination Mekong is now rolling out its new annual membership programme with three main categories: Destination Mekong Insiders (free membership), Changemakers(full members), and Future Players (student members). Changemakers are eligible to stand as candidates for the board and cast votes in the election.

Until 19 March, annual fees for full individual Changemaker memberships will be USD60 instead of the usual USD180.00. Future Player memberships are USD30 instead of USD90 per year.

Details on the membership benefits can be found on

At the Annual General Members’ Meeting, scheduled for 21 April, the new executive board of directors will be elected through an online voting platform to ensure confidentiality.

Destination Mekong’s management team comprises CEO Catherine Germier-Hamel, Chief Development Officer Gavin Bell, and Chief Marketing Officer Gerrit Kruger.

Germier-Hamel praised this partnership between Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism and Destination Mekong as “a unique and exciting collaboration. Destination Mekong should act as an inclusive, value-added solution provider, primarily focused on developing a set of tangible and intangible benefits to its members.”

Meanwhile, the MTCO website is back online after almost a month-long hiatus. It dropped offline due to an alleged financial glitch that has since been resolved as far as the website is concerned. However, financial concerns continue to trouble the organisation that is grossly underfinanced. It relies almost entirely on the six-member countries to each pay USD20,000 a year to administer the office. In addition, Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports provides office space in Bangkok through its Department of Tourism. Destination Mekong runs the marketing programmes that reach out to private sector partners. Programmes fit the policy and strategic frameworks approved by the six countries that fund the MTCO operations. The countries ( Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) meet twice a year for policymaking Tourism Working Group meetings that provide direction for MTCO activities.