Mekong Tourism Forum confirms speaker line-up

Running under the theme, “Authentic Experiences in the Mekong Region”, this year’s travel trade event will hear from Dr. Thong Khon, Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism, Willem Niejmeijer, chairman of Yaana Ventures and Khiri Travel, Luzi Matzig, chairman of Asian Trails, Captain Worante Laprabang, CEO of THAI Smile, Rory Hunter, founder & CEO of Song Saa Hotels & Resorts, and Lonely Planet author Joe Cummings.

And with sustainable tourism firmly on the agenda, speakers will also include Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainability Tourism Council, John Roberts, global conservation director for Anantara, Inthy Deansavan, managing director of Green Discovery Laos, and Dr. Ashley Brooks of the WWF’s Tigers Alive initiative.

Laos - community

“This year’s theme is focusing on authentic experiences in a time where consumers are looking to connect with local communities, go off the beaten path to get away from mass tourist attractions,” explained Tith Chanta, Secretary of State for Cambodia’s Ministry of Tourism.

The 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum will be held in the Cambodian coastal city of Sihanoukville from 5-7 July. It is expected to attract tourism ministers, travel industry CEOs and other leading figures to address the challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the Mekong region.

One of the highlights of the event is expected to be the Mekong Tourism Open Forum, which will be led by the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and invites the travel and tourism industry to brainstorm ideas for the Mekong tourism industry’s next 10-year strategy.

“Tourism demand for Mekong region destinations is storming ahead,” said Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “We need to work together to make sure development is fair and sustainable and that we remove obstacles to growth and poverty alleviation.”

For more information about, and to register for, the Mekong Tourism Forum, visit mekongtourismforum.

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