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Destination Mekong Opens the Call for Nominations to its Board of Directors

17 February 2022, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

After commencing operations, Destination Mekong welcomes nominations to its new Executive Board of Directors. 

Destination Mekong, the private-sector-led regional tourism board, aimed at championing the Greater Mekong Subregion as a single sustainable tourism destination, has initiated the process to elect its first Executive Board of Directors. 

During the last meeting of its interim Board of Directors on 3 February 2022, the Executive Team of Destination Mekong announced the timeline and the nomination process for the 2022 elections of its new Board of Directors. The election is a crucial step to establish the private-sector side of the Mekong Tourism Framework consisting of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as Secretariat of the Tourism Ministries of the Greater Mekong Subregion and Destination Mekong, which is initiating and operating programs to build resilience by supporting a sustainable and inclusive tourism industry.

According to the Charter of Destination Mekong, the Executive Board of Directors is composed of 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, namely Mr. Jens Thraenhart, and up to six representatives of the main financial contributors.

The Board of Directors will play a crucial leadership role in governing and managing the organization while representing the interests of its members and partners. Directors are elected for a two-year term and are eligible for re-election for a total of three (3) terms. Elections to half of the Board will take place alternating every two years.

The call for nominations to the Executive Board is open to full members from now to 19 March 2022 on Self-nominations are welcomed, and any full member is entitled to run for this board election. As an inclusive organization, Destination Mekong seeks diversity, equality, and balance for its Board and asks any tourism professional in the region to actively participate.

During the same period, Destination Mekong will implement its new annual membership program with three main options: 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. They have a say at the Annual General Members Meeting on the programs and initiatives of the organization.

Any individual directly or indirectly engaged or interested in tourism and hospitality may apply for membership in Destination Mekong. Destination Mekong membership is for individuals only to ensure that any tourism and hospitality professional can join. Sponsored memberships can be facilitated for individuals who want to participate actively but cannot cover their fees at the moment. Businesses, educational institutions, and other organizations can opt for partnership packages, including multiple individual memberships and other benefits that create tangible value for businesses.

Until 19 March, annual fees for full individual Changemaker memberships will be USD 60.00 instead of the usual US$ 180.00. Future Player memberships are USD 30.00 instead of USD 90.00 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 was registered in January 2022 as a private limited company in Singapore. As its executive offices will be hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, Destination Mekong will soon incorporate a local entity in Phnom Penh.

On 4 February, an inaugural meeting was organized between Destination Mekong and the Ministry of Tourism of the Kingdom of Cambodia, led by H.E. Thong Rathasak, Director General of Tourism Development and International Cooperation at the MoT. The meeting was attended by Catherine Germier-Hamel, the CEO of Destination Mekong, DM Chief Development Officer Gavin Bell, and DM Chief Marketing Officer Gerrit Kruger. 

Ms. Germier-Hamel praised this partnership between the MoT and DM 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”, stressing that “especially in the challenging context of the COVID pandemic, it is crucial to acknowledge and encourage leadership, innovation, cooperation, and positive impact, as part of the efforts to inspire and foster a successful, sustainable recovery of the tourism industry, not only in the Mekong region but also at a global level.”

Jens Thraenhart, Founder of DM and CEO of Barbados Tourism Marketing, commented: “I am very happy to see the vision become a reality. I am watching and cheering on from afar. Keep on moving forward, Destination Mekong”. He added, “Destination Mekong can save regional tourism collaboration in The Greater Mekong Subregion, to leverage tourism as a force for good, especially for small enterprises and local communities.”