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:

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.”


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

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 with copy to

  • 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 coordinated the organization of consultative workshop of the Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications Plan

On June 15, Destination Mekong coordinated the organization of the workshop of the Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications Plan, an initiative by the six governments facilitated by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office with technical assistance from the Asian Development Bank.

A brief summary of the meeting is available here


Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia recently launched a video advertising Khmer food by connecting potential tourism targets across the country.
Under the program of strengthening the trade in the field of tourism (TCBP), it receives financial assistance from the French Development Agency (AFD), led by the Ministry of Tourism and many strategies that will be giving continuously contributed to the developments of the current affairs.
This video reveals Khmer food with local important ingredients, connect with the potential of tourism targets to promote tourism activities for the domestic and international market.

More information:

System kicked off to receive feedback in tourism

By installing an app named Du Lịch Việt Nam An Toàn (A Safe Trip in Việt Nam), visitors can provide feedback on issues in tourism services including those related to fake and poor quality products, fraud, price pressure, improper advertising and food safety. 

The information will be collected, verified and handled by the Việt Nam National Administration of Tourism (VNAT) in coordination with the Việt Nam Directorate of Market Surveillance (VNDMS) under the Ministry of Industry and Trade.

The VNAT and VNDMS earlier signed a co-operation agreement to boost and promote the application of digital technology in tourism services, ensuring the interests of tourists and with a focus on strengthening coordination in receiving and processing feedback from tourists through the app Du Lịch Việt Nam An Toàn.

Accordingly, the app is linked to the professional information system of the VNDMS, allowing the two parties to easily exchange information, coordinate in receiving and dealing with tourists’ feedback ensuring the protection of their rights.

VNDMS will quickly receive the information and solve problems related to fake goods, poor quality goods, fraud, price pressure, improper advertising and food safety, thus contributing to promoting a healthy tourism market and improving service quality and the tourism reputation of the country.

A representative from the VNDMS said this was the first time the tourism and market management sectors signed a coordination regulation to strengthen State management, rectify acts of trade fraud, and protect tourists’ rights ensuring a healthy tourism business environment in Việt Nam.

The event has marked a new step in the model of cooperation between the two units based on the exploitation of modern digital technology, according to the official.

The app Du Lịch Việt Nam An Toàn will help connect tourists, service providers and state management agencies, the official said.

This new co-operation model promises to create a breakthrough to meet the requirements of tourism and help the industry develop more sustainably, the official added.

The app Du Lịch Việt Nam An Toàn was launched last year to provide a useful tool for tourists in Việt Nam. It is expected to improve tourists’ experience while travelling in the country.

The app is easy to find and on both Android and iOS with the image of a lotus, a symbol of Vietnamese tourism.

Tourists can use Vietnamese or English to find information on destinations in the country, estimate the safety level and how the pandemic is controlled in the places they are about to go and find suitable services.

COVID-19 has changed demand and the way people travel, so many people prioritise safety instead of competitive prices as they did before, according to Nguyễn Lê Phúc, vice chairman of the VNAT.

Read more:

Govt to launch ‘Health Wallet’ app for Covid-19 vaccine registration

The government will soon launch “Health Wallet”, a smartphone app for people to register for Covid-19 vaccination.

Government spokesperson Anucha Burapachaisri said Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha had discussed the preparation of a phone app for people to register to receive Covid-19 vaccines at a meeting with officials from the Public Health, Interior and Finance ministries on Friday morning.

The Health Wallet app would be used for Covid-19 vaccine registration. It would keep all registration data so vaccines could be distributed to people in all provinces.  

The Finance Ministry and Krungthai Bank would supervise the Health Wallet app and work  closely with the Public Health Ministry, which will launch the “Mor Prom’’ phone app, which allows people to book their Covid-19 vaccinaion.

Mr Anucha said the prime minister put emphasis on accelerating all processes to have Thais vaccinated against Covid-19,  so the country could fully re-open.

By year’s end, at least 60% of  the population should be vaccinated, in preparation for the official re-opening of the country in early 2022, the spokesman said.


Cambodia introduces QR code scanning for venues to combat COVID-19

The  Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) has set up a QR Code “Stop Covid” in an attempt to provide additional measures to increase the efficiency and speed of prevention and control of the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Ministry of Health announced Saturday on the implementation of the QR Code and this moves comes as a direct response to the current February 20 Community Incident, which as of Saturday 9pm has seen 32 foreign nations being tested positive for COVID-19.

It said that the public need to scan the QR Code when traveling in and out of hotels, guesthouses, restaurants, entertainment venues, condominiums, companies, factories, and other enterprises which have a lot of foot traffic.

“This system will record the location of the person logged who had scanned the QR Code (a system that does not track or affect the privacy of the individual) and make it easier to find those involved or affected if that location is found to have COVID infected guests or patrons.”

The Intergovernmental Commission on the Prevention of COVID-19 also advised business owners, restaurant owners and the above-mentioned owners of crowded places to use the QR Code “Stop Covid-19”.

To get the QR Code to use, please go to and click on “Request QR Code” . Then fill in the information and click on “Request QR Code” and click on “Download” to get a QR Code to print and paste in front of the business entry-exit points. Using this system is free of charge.

The Intergovernmental Commission for the Prevention of COVID-19 also called on the public to use the system to prevent the spread of the outbreak.


TAT launches virtual tours to 4 top destinations in Thailand

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a virtual reality tour of top attractions in four of Thailand’s leading tourism destinations comprising Bangkok, Phuket, Chiang Mai, and Surat Thani.

The tours are an immersive 360° adventure that allow visitors to explore the attractions in 3D. After clicking on individual links from the main page, it leads visitors directly to the attraction.

There are icons on the bottom left for viewing floorplans and for navigation, while other functions allow visitors to view in VR or share with friends on social media.

Once inside an attraction, visitors can move around using the cursor, while some of the attractions have information about its historical background or details of items on display in both English and Thai.

The 3D virtual tour helps give visitors a visual image of each attraction and that will hopefully encourage them to visit some of them in real life in the near future.

In Bangkok, the Mekhala Ruchi Pavilion lets visitors virtually explore the two-storey teak wood building in all its glory, which was the residence of King Rama VI while Phayathai Palace was under construction. Meanwhile, the virtual tour of Thewarat Sapharom Hall showcases the elegant interior of the palace’s throne hall, and the Phiman Chakri Hall stands out for its iconic turret.

In Chiang Mai, visitors can dive deep into a virtual visit of Phra Chao Tan Chai Ma Tam Na Bun Chapel or the Big Reclining Buddha at Wat Chedi Luang. There is also a tour of Phra Maha That Chedi for the 12 astrological signs and Phra Chao Pun Ton. The final two attractions in Chiang Mai include the statue of Khruba Chao Teung Na Ta Si Lo and Ma Tam Na Bun Chapel.

In the southern region, there are virtual tours of Chedi Khao Hua Chuk in Surat Thani and Chinpracha House in Phuket.

The virtual reality tours give visitors a bird’s-eye view of these famous attraction, allowing them to move around simply by clicking on points of interest. The tours also allow virtual travellers to enjoy these Thai tourist attractions and get immersed in each one’s history. For more information, please visit