Klean Kanteen runs the “Replace Single-Use Plastic” campaign to support and give back to the Thailand Recovery Fund in support of healthcare professionals combating with COVID-19

Replace single-use plastic! Grab yourself one of Klean Kanteen’s vacuum insulated TKWide bottles and give back to Thailand Recovery Fund in support of healthcare professionals combating COVID-19.

Thailand Recovery Fund is a reserve fund for quick response against any unfortunate disasters or other social emergency issues.

The fund will continuously be raised to always be well-prepared to respond quickly to any emergency situations such as flooding, wildfire, or possible recurrence of Covid-19.
As a result, your donation to the Thailand Recovery Fund creates quick responses to several issues in the society. We believe that an effective help comes from an immediate response to the issues.

Digital wristband by Angkor Pass set to welcome visitors to the Kingdom

The Ministry of Tourism is preparing for post-Covid-19 travel with Wonderpass powered by Angkorpass Technology that enables seamless travel planning through a phone app and a wristband.

Minister of Tourism Thong Khon said that having a rehabilitation plan for the tourism sector after the Covid-19 crisis is crucial and transitioning to a digital technology platform will make payments fast and easy for visitors.

The minister will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Angkorpass Technology on Thursday.

Cambodia Tourism Federation (CTF) president Chef Luu Meng told Khmer Times yesterday: “We are ready to work with Ministry of Tourism on this digital system.”

“We are private sector businesses ready to manage new technology together,” he said, adding that special attention needs to be given to planning ahead for the future when travel opens up again.

Read the full article at Khmer Times: https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50882359/digital-wristband-by-angkor-pass-set-to-welcome-visitors-to-the-kingdom/

Mekong Tourism Collaboration

Tourism in the Mekong Region is steered collaboratively by a public-private framework between the public and private sectors.

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, which is the secretariat of the Tourism Working Group, and Destination Mekong, which is the destination marketing organization led by private sector partners, are both managing initiatives aligned to the GMS Tourism Strategy to create a sustainable and inclusive environment to support businesses and communities in the Mekong Region and provide benefits for all stakeholders – residents, travelers, and businesses.

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Thailand approves Phuket ‘sandbox’ plan to allow vaccinated tourists in without quarantine

The Phuket “sandbox”,  Thailand’s  bold attempt to reset its tourism industry by opening the island to vaccinated foreign visitors without quarantine was approved on Tuesday, offering hope to battered businesses and a potential shot in the arm to the travel bubble concept across Asia.

Government spokesman Anucha Burapachaisri confirmed the cabinet had officially given the scheme its blessing.

But Chinese tourists – who made up over a quarter of Thailand’s 40 million visitors in 2019 – are not expected to return to the Andaman Sea island in substantial numbers for several months yet, as Beijing keeps in place safeguards to prevent the virus seeping back from overseas.

That suggests a slow restart, which will give Phuket time to rebuild its decimated tourism industry – from out of work tour guides and boat owners, to derelict restaurants and bars – and welcome back the first visitors to uncluttered beaches and resorts on what was the world’s most visited tourist island before the pandemic, according to TripAdvisor.

“The morale and motivation of the [Phuket] people has been lost … the sandbox offers hope and people are very excited,” said Ravi Chandran, managing director of Laguna Resorts and Hotels.


“The bookings are coming from the UAE, UK, Germany, America, Taiwan, and the Scandinavian countries. Anything from international tourism in July would be a bonus. We’re optimistic.”

Destination Mekong organized the MeTAG Workshop of Health & Wellness Expert Group on June 23, 2021

On June 23, 2021, it was a very engaging conversation and good progress today from the MeTAG Expert Group of Health and Wellness on a workshop to get inputs for the upcoming potential projects.

Fruitful discussion and lots of value contribution from active members in different countries on how health and wellness can drive resilience and tourism recovery in post-pandemic.
The recording is available here

UNWTO launches hospitality recruitment platform

Job-seekers are able to create a profile, search for positions that match their experience and skills, and set up job alerts to be informed of the latest opportunities. The platform also helps tourism businesses and organisations to find and recruit the best talent.

All of UNWTO’s 159 member states will be invited to use the Jobs Factory as their national tourism recruitment platform, as will its more than 500 affiliate members, ranging from businesses to universities and think tanks.

Additionally, through the Jobs of the Future Observatory, member states can also monitor current and future skills development to analyse trends. This will allow them to forecast and identify gaps and mismatches and make data-driven decisions.

UNWTO secretary-general Zurab Pololikashvili said: “The pandemic has hit global tourism hard. Up to 120 million jobs are at risk. However, tourism has a long history of adapting and embracing innovation. The Jobs Factory will be a great help to the millions of people who depend on tourism. It connects employers with the very best talent our sector has to offer. And it will help our member states make important decisions based on the latest, trusted data.”

Source: https://www.ttgasia.com/2021/06/18/unwto-launches-hospitality-recruitment-platform/


The tourism ministry is urgently working on a plan for welcoming international tourists with the so-called Covid-19 vaccine passports to Phu Quoc Island in Kien Giang Province.

Nguyen Van Hung, the Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, said Thursday that any plan to receive tourists must abide by coronavirus prevention measures.

Previously, on Tuesday, the tourism ministry and Kien Giang authorities had been requested to prepare a plan to receive foreigners to Phu Quoc and submit it to Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh next month.

The health ministry would cooperate with other relevant entities to trial the use of vaccine passports allowing foreigners to travel to certain tourism destinations that have managed the novel coronavirus pandemic well, it was announced.

The National Steering Committee for Covid-19 Prevention and Control had already decided in April that three groups of entrants: vaccinated Vietnamese citizens stranded overseas; foreigners wishing to enter Vietnam for investment and business purposes, and international tourists would be eligible to use vaccine passports.

The vaccine passport is currently envisaged as a digital document issued by the country where the vaccine has been administered.

Vietnam plans to receive people coming from countries that have managed Covid-19 outbreaks well, including those that have achieved herd immunity thanks to their vaccination programs. Such people will be able to visit tourist sites and resorts designated for their ability to control the flow of tourist traffic well and be able to manage guests’ itineraries efficiently and safely.

Last week, Kien Giang authorities had announced plans to vaccinate the island’s population against Covid-19 so that it can reopen its doors to foreigners.

Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island, has become a top tourist destination after the government rolled out a 30-day visa-free policy for foreigners in 2014.

In 2019, the last year before the onset of the pandemic, it received over five million visitors, including 541,600 foreigners.

Vietnam closed its borders and cancelled all international flights in March last year. Only Vietnamese repatriates, foreign experts, diplomats, investors, and highly-skilled workers have been allowed in since with stringent quarantine requirements.






The Bangkok-based Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) seeks an Executive Director to lead overall management of the organization and initiate/coordinate regional public and private tourism marketing and development initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). For more information about MTCO visit www.mekongtourism.org.

Applications will be accepted by email from all qualified candidates during 7 June to 30 June 2021 (deadline, 17:00 Bangkok time).  All nationalities of all genders will be considered. GMS citizens (Cambodia, PR China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam) and women are especially encouraged to apply. The position is a two-year fixed term appointment extendable for an additional two years.



Established in 2006, MTCO is the Secretariat of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG), principally comprising the National Tourism Organizations of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam; and the People’s Republic of China, representing Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

MTCO is hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and is staffed by a full-time Executive Director and Operations Manager. The MTCO Executive Director reports to the MTCO Board, made up of senior tourism officials representing each of the six GMS-member countries. The TWG meets twice-yearly, with participation customarily up to Director General-level or equivalent. As of May 2021, the TWG has met 46 times, rotating among each GMS country. MTCO’s annual workplans align with the GMS  Tourism Sector StrategyGMS Tourism Marketing Strategy and Action Plan, and other relevant public and private strategic planning documents.




The Executive Director’s primary objective is to provide specialized knowledge to support secretariat functions of the GMS TWG and MTCO Board, including organizing TWG/MTCO Board meetings and the annual Mekong Tourism Forum. The secondary objective is to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of GMS tourism sector strategies, GMS tourism marketing and communications plans, and other regional tourism initiatives as directed by the MTCO Board.




The MTCO Executive Director shall undertake the following tasks under the supervision of the MTCO Board and in close cooperation with the GMS TWG:

MTCO Administration

  • Provide secretarial and administrative support to the GMS Tourism Working Group and MTCO Board of Directors.
  • Archive documents to the cloud and make use of digital tools, services, and platforms to cost efficiently manage a paper-less and “green” office, and manage virtual meetings
  • Frequently liaise with MTCO Board members and other GMS tourism officials.
  • Supervise the MTCO Operations Manager and other MTCO employees, interns, consultants, and advisors.
  • Closely coordinate with officials of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports regarding day-to-day MTCO administrative matters (e.g., office arrangements and hardware, telephone lines, Internet service, etc.).
  • Oversee the management of MTCO finances. Prepare quarterly and annual financial reports in accordance with internationally accepted accounting standards. Arrange an annual external audit of MTCO’s financial statements.
  • Represent the MTCO at TWG meetings, and at relevant travel trade events, and other tourism-related meetings and conferences.
  • Prepare GMS TWG/MTCO Board Meeting summary of proceedings and reports on other meetings and events organized by the GMS TWG/MTCO.
  • Prepare technical reports on events organized by the TWG/MTCO.

Technical & Stakeholder Coordination

  • Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and public and private destination marketing/management organizations to market and promote the GMS as a single destination, following the GMS tourism marketing plan and GMS TWG’s annual work plan.
  • Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and other public and private development partners to identify resources to support the implementation of priority projects in the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy, with emphasis on mobilizing assistance for secondary destinations.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional, and international travel media organization and individuals to support MTCO initiatives.
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with national, regional and international organizations, including UNWTO, WTTC, PATA, and ASEAN Centres, to promote MTCO initiatives, solicit investment, and seek support and cooperation.
  • Engage with academic institutions, including teachers/professors and students, especially in the fields of tourism planning, management, and promotion to support MTCO initiatives.
  • Supervise maintenance of the MTCO website and social media accounts, including security and content management; upload relevant documents to the online library, dissemination of announcements, travel advisories/crisis communications, social media engagement, newsletters, and press releases.
  • Coordinate and support the respective host countries to organize the annual Mekong Tourism Forum and other GMS tourism knowledge events. Organize virtual events, and online webinars to communicate with shareholders and public and private sector stakeholders.
  • Supervise and maintain MTCO databases (e.g., contacts database, publications inventory, image library, and all other electronic archives).



Post Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery: Tourism continues to be one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Director will facilitate implementation of the Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications plan in cooperation with MTCO’s public and private partners.



University degree in tourism, marketing, or related specialized fields, preferably with a postgraduate degree.

Minimum of 5-years of relevant experience in tourism marketing and strategic planning/development, preferably in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

At least 3-years of relevant experience managing digital tourism assets. Demonstrated advanced social media and website development capabilities.

At least 3-years of relevant experience working with one or more national tourism organizations in the GMS.



  • You have graduated from a recognized university or college, ideally with a master’s degree in Tourism and Marketing, Marketing, Business Administration, or relate field.
  • You thrive working in the tourism industry with passion and a high level of understanding of the impact of tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
  • You have extensive experience supporting marketing campaigns, including digital social media, and web-based marketing, digital innovations, as well as expertise in the key tourism source markets of the GMS member countries.
  • You have a fair understanding of the issues facing small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, and are familiar with innovation ecosystems and platforms.
  • You are an expert user of Microsoft Office and Adobe products; and WordPress to publish website content, and post content on social media platform. You are able to design social media graphics and optimize and edit photos and videos for the web.
  • You are familiar with tourism statistics and analytics, especially in GMS and ASEAN countries.
  • You have experience interfacing with political leadership and tourism government officials in the GMS and/or ASEAN.
  • You have experience managing staff and interns.
  • You are a diplomatic communicator that naturally enjoys engaging with diverse stakeholders, including government, development partners, academia, civil society, private sector travel companies, as well as media including trade and consumer media.
  • You have experience managing complex projects and events.
  • You are familiar with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, its mandate, and activities.
  • You have experience in handling official documents, and secretarial administration.
  • You recognize that flexible work hours are required, including evenings and weekends and some travel will be required for meetings, conferences and events.
  • You are familiar with the current COVID-19 situation and recovery plans in the GMS countries.
  • You bring relationships, networks and new fresh ideas from your previous professional engagements to the position which helps to evolve and adapt the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office to new challenges and situations.



The MTCO Executive Director shall report to the MTCO Board. Regular reports to be provided to the Board include but are not limited to: (i) MTCOs annual audited financial statements; (ii) brief quarterly and annual reports on MTCO operations and activities, in a format agreed with the MTCO Board; (iii) and annual report on the GMS TWG Workplan, in a format agreed with the MTCO Board.



Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an online interview with the MTCO Board in August 2021. The successful candidate is expected to be appointed by mid-September 2021.



The successful candidate will be engaged as an independent consultant under a fixed-term two-year contract, extendable for an additional two years contingent on a performance evaluation by the MTCO Board prior to expiry of the initial two-year appointment. The total tenure is limited to two terms. The MTCO Executive Director is not an employee of any of the six governments and is responsible for paying his/her own tax obligations and insurance costs.



The MTCO Executive Director shall receive a monthly consulting fee of USD 4,000, plus work-related travel expenses.



All interested candidates are required to submit the following by email before 30 June 2021 to info@mekongtourism.org with copy to jens@tourismmekong.org:

  • a signed expression of interest, detailing the applicant’s suitability for the position
  • a CV (not longer than 5 pages) summarizing qualifications, skills, and experience relevant to the position.
  • Three references (ideally combination of supervisor, peer, subordinate, partner/client).


The Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office will be selected by the MTCO Board, which is made up of senior government officials from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion.


Only candidates shortlisted for an interview will be contacted.

Destination Mekong organized the Experience Mekong Collection Members Meeting on June 17, 2021

On June 17, It was a great and interactive call with our Experience Mekong Collection members organized by Destination Mekong. Happy to see how active and engaged our members getting together, especially in these challenging times.
There are many productive discussions among members and how the Experience Mekong Collection program can stimulate and support members to prepare for tourism recovery once the borders reopen.
Looking forward to fruitful cooperation and seeing all members in the next calls!

Agoda Partnered with COVID Relief Bangkok

In July 2020, Agoda partnered with the COVID Relief project in Bangkok to distribute essentials to the most vulnerable groups in Bangkok.

Our colleagues in Bangkok joined to help pack relief kits that include masks, soaps, hand sanitizers, and basic food supplies. Agoda is proud to support this effort through our giving and volunteering program.

More details: https://partnerhub.agoda.com/agoda-partnered-with-covid-relief-bangkok/