Renewed Commitment for a Mekong Tourism Forum edition at ITB Berlin for 2020

With PATA and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office hosting a Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin for the past three years, a fourth edition is already confirmed due to the success of the event.

Produced by Destination Mekong, the third Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin was organized by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) in partnership with the Paci c Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the support of ITB Berlin. “We have been very happy with the output of the event, especially as we continue to vie for a sustainable community-based, inclusive tourism, encouraging players in the region to create unique products which are beneficial for local communities,” explained Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director for the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office in Bangkok. The office is in charge of tourism for the six Mekong member countries (Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan).

The theme of the 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin was “Leveraging Visual Storytelling to Promote Destinations and Effect Change”. The subject was leaning into the MTCO’s growing reputation of promoting and empowering regions through different visual storytelling means.

Participants to the forum included prestigious speakers such as BBC Worldwide’s John Williams, GLP Films CEO Rob Holmes, Lonely Planet Author & Hanuman Films Cambodia Producer Nick Ray, and PATA CEO Dr Mario Hardy, who collectively showcased how visual storytelling and film can impact destination tourism.

“We love the way a video can give new life to our most extraordinary Mekong memories, but visual storytelling can also effect turn us into more conscious travellers,” explained Jens Thraenhart.

“It’s the reason why we started our Mekong Mini Movie Festival—to celebrate those inspiring and stunning Mekong moments. And we appreciate our partnership with ITB as well as PATA to give us a platform to drive sustainable and inclusive tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion, I can already confirm that we will be back in 2020,” he added.

Photo: Mario Hardy, PATA CEO; Jens Thraenhart, MTCO; Nick Ray; Rob Holmes, GLP Films and John Williams, BBC during Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin 2019