February 8, 2021

Nominations for 2021 Mekong Hero open

Former Ministers of Tourism from Thailand and Myanmar to co-chair Selection Committee

Bangkok, February 8, 2021:  The  ‘Mekong Heroes’ program (www.MekongHeroes.com), which was launched in 2020, initiated by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Destination Mekong, to celebrate passionate individuals in Mekong tourism who work tirelessly behind the scenes to “inspire and influence the direction of our industry, modeling new ways of conceiving and doing tourism better.”  These leaders that have made a significant contribution to developing tourism sustainability in the Mekong Region. These individual might be CEOs or senior government officials, or they might be entrepreneurs or small business owners. What these people have in common is their vision, commitment, dedication, and passion.  Being nominated to be a Mekong Hero is a tremendous honor, and all our Mekong Heroes join the Mekong Heroes Gallery, to inspire others to walk in their footsteps.

Nominations are now open for the 2021 Mekong Hero at: www.MekongHeroes.com and the next Mekong Hero will be announced at the 2nd Virtual Destination Mekong Summit in May 2021. The Mekong Heroes Selection Committee will be co-chaired by former Minister of Tourism & Sports of Thailand, HE. Ms. Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, and former Minister of Hotels & Tourism of Myanmar, HE. Mr. Htay Aung.

According to Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO): “Achieving a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry is not possible without committed leaders, with special kinds of vision and determination. The Mekong Heroes program is important so the whole industry benefits from their authenticity of vision, purpose, commitment, and determination; maintained over years of hard work. Recognized not only as builders, creators, and innovators, but also as mentors, teachers, and motivators, these individuals have made it their mission to bring out the best in people.”

The first Mekong Hero was announced during the 1st Virtual Destination Mekong Summit on August 25th.  Selected among dozens of nominations, Ms. Potjana Suansri has been selected as the first Mekong Hero. Ms. Potjana Suansri is the founder of the Thailand Community-Based Tourism Institute (CBT-I), and currently is serving as cultural tourism capacity building expert for the UN International Trade Center (ITC) Myanmar Inclusive Tourism project.  Her interview can be watched at the Mekong Heroes Gallery at: https://www.destinationmekong.com/initiatives/mekong-heroes/ms-potjana-suansri/

 

About the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office:

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations, to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning MekongTourism.org digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.

Please visit www.MekongTourism.org for more information.

 

About Destination Mekong:

Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Lancang-Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment, and drive inclusive growth. Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Destination Mekong executes targeted projects and initiatives, including Mekong Moments, Mekong Memories, Mekong Deals, Mekong Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Start-ups in Tourism (MIST), Experience Mekong Collection, Mekong Heroes, and Mekong Trends, with feedback from the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) and via public-private partnership investment structure, led by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.

More information at: www.DestinationMekong.com

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