Destination Mekong

Code of Conduct

Current version: 1.0 – February 2022

Destination Mekong (DM) will meet all requirements of privacy principle in relation to storage, use, and release of personal and or commercial “in confidence” information. DM will ensure the protection and correct use of databases of external contacts, members, and directories. DM maintains on record only the details agreed and supplied by members.

1 Membership Terms and Conditions

Membership acceptance is subject to DM’s membership terms and conditions as follows:
  1. All Destination Mekong’s members must agree to be bound by the DM Charter, rules, and by-laws, the DM Code of Conduct, and any other relevant specifications of membership classes.
  2. The purpose of Destination Mekong is to champion the Mekong Region as a leading sustainable tourism destination creating value for all.
  3. To achieve the purpose for which the Company is established, the following objectives are set:
    1. foster the socio-economic advancement of the tourism industry throughout the Member Countries; in collaboration and as agreed with other bodies, such as the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.
    2. to support the development of new tourism programs that contribute to a desirable, attractive, inclusive, and sustainable destination;
    3. to provide a forum that encourages the collaboration, cooperation, and sharing of knowledge between organizations, professionals, and individuals with a mutual interest in the development and continuous improvement of regional tourism;
    4. to identify issues, impediments, and opportunities for the development of regional tourism;
    5. to provide advice to Governmental, non-Governmental, and industry organizations on policy and program initiatives to address impediments and opportunities for sustainable regional tourism development;
    6. to foster professionalism and talent development within the tourism sector;
    7. to foster awareness of the value and importance of sustainable and inclusive tourism among residents;
    8. to encourage regional tourism research, which is industry relevant; and
    9. to engage in and facilitate revenue opportunities to support the activities described above. Membership is based on submission of the completed application form and agreement with these terms and conditions.
  4. Membership is subject to formal acceptance by the DM Executive Board.
  5. DM reserves the right to decline membership:
    1. where the level nominated is considered inappropriate;
    2. where the individual/business has been previously declines; or
    3. at Destination Mekong’s discretion.
  6. Membership is for one year from joining date.
  7. AUTOMATIC MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL: Membership will automatically renew every 12 months.
    1. You will receive an annual renewal notice outlining level of membership and the appropriate annual fee if any.
    2. If you wish to cancel, change details, or amend membership level, you must advise Destination Mekong in writing within 30 days of renewal notice date.
    3. If notice has not been received in writing, your membership will automatically renew for a further 12 months, and payment will be required.
    4. A membership invoice will be emailed to you if applicable.
    5. Any direct debit authorities for payment will also be amended accordingly.
    6. If you do not wish to partake in Automatic Renewal of Membership, you can cancel this option at any time by advising Destination Mekong in writing or by checking the “OPT-OUT” box on the Registration Form.
  8. DM reserves the right to amend, add or remove any membership conditions at any time, in its sole discretion, without notice.
  9. Termination:
    1. All members must give a 14-day written notice to DM if the membership is to not be automatically renewed.
    2. All members can terminate their membership with written notice of 30 days at any time.

2 DM MEMBERSHIP CODE OF CONDUCT

To create a sustainable economy, we continually strive to improve our business practices and bridge the gap between expectation and delivery. We, therefore, encourage our industry to strive for better / best practices and have a code in place for all Destination Mekong Members.

The objectives for the code are:

  1. To provide guidelines to businesses and individuals on the minimum acceptable standards and practices in Destination Mekong member countries;
  2. To encourage self-regulation within the tourism industry;
  3. To lead by example;
  4. To contribute to a sustainable and quality tourism industry;
  5. Establish a framework for professional behavior and practices.

Members agree to adhere to the following principles of professional ethics. Failure to adhere may result in the exclusion or termination from membership and its associated benefits.

2.1 BUSINESS RELATIONS

  1. Operators shall, where possible, inform their customers of pertinent facts concerning the service offered to consumers;
  2. Operators shall provide factual and timely information to trade and consumers;
  3. Operators shall inform their employees, DM, trade, and industry of any alterations to their product or services;
  4. Any practices that are illegal or may be deemed as damaging to the integrity of the tourism industry shall have membership canceled;
  5. When advertising or promoting their business or the destination, operators are to avoid using superlatives or misleading information in accordance with fair trading regulations;
  6. Operators will offer fair and impartial representation of other members and/or products they represent, and act in a professional manner if information is sought by a competitor;
  7. Operators should encourage membership of DM to enable sustainability, growth, and economic success to the region.

2.2 CONDUCT OF MEMBERS

  1. Members are encouraged to support sustainable practices that minimize operational, social, and environmental impacts and operate in a way that enhances and preserves the natural, social, cultural, and economic values of the region;
  2. Members should lead by example;
  3. Not injure or attempt to injure, maliciously or recklessly, directly or indirectly, the professional reputation of other members of the organization or of Destination Mekong;
  4. All feasible steps should be taken to manage the public’s exposure to risk and hazard and manage this according to current best practice;
  5. All operations shall be in accordance with statutory requirements relevant to their operations, inclusive of discrimination, harassment, and safety;
  6. Members are required to aim to strive for excellence in quality of service to customers and to foster best practice ethics;
  7. Members shall treat other members and staff with respect and in a professional and courteous manner;
  8. Members will act to promote the best interests of the region and not act in any way that might expose the region or Destination Mekong to negative publicity.

2.3 DEALING WITH COMPLAINTS

  1. If a complaint is made about another operator by trade, consumers, or another business, that operator shall take steps to amicably deal with the complaint;
  2. If the complaint breaches the code of conduct negatively impacts your business and/or the region, it should be reported through the complaint procedure (see below).

3 COMPLIANCE AND MONITORING

The code will be used to inspire and reward better business practices and be used as a catalyst to help the industry to develop. Breaches will be seen as areas of business and industry improvement. If the code is breached – the reasons why will be investigated, and a program of self-improvement developed in consultation with relevant agencies to overcome the issue. This could require such things as workforce development, management training, customer service training, etc. However, if the code is breached more than three-time, DM may, at their discretion, terminate membership and benefits, and all relevant agencies will be notified of the breach. Monitoring will be undertaken in a number of ways, including:

  1. By the industry itself – who agree to monitor other members as part of the code;
  2. Customer feedback via our websites;
  3. Direct customer complaints to DM;
  4. Liaison with other agencies;
  5. Site inspections by DM staff;
  6. Other monitoring of consumer, trade, and industry feedback where relevant.

4 BREACHES OF THE CODE

Breaches of the code include:

  1. Misuse of brand;
  2. Failure to honor the objectives;
  3. A report of misconduct or unsafe practices;
  4. Other instances as deemed to breach the code as determined by DM at our discretion.

5 REPORTING A BREACH OR COMPLAINTS

  1. A detailed, written statement is completed using the DM Complaints Form. This includes complaints by or via members or direct complaints by customers to DM and/or other agencies;
  2. Once completed and signed, the form should be forwarded to the relevant authority at DM;
  3. DM will acknowledge receipt of the breach/complaint in writing to the complainant within 14 days of receipt;
  4. If the complaint does not breach the Code of Conduct, it will be resolved by DM – this will be via liaison with the complainant and all interested parties;
  5. If the Code of Conduct has been breached, DM will remove the person/organization from any public listing on DM channels and notify the organization, business, or individual of the complaint allowing five days for the organization to respond in writing;
  6. A detailed report outlining the breach and the communication to date will be tabled at the next DM Executive Board meeting, with recommendations regarding applicable actions;
  7. The DM Executive Board will assess the complaint/breach, the response from the organization, business, or individual and determine future actions;
  8. DM will work proactively with the member to address the issues or problems;
  9. If the code is breached on more than three occasions alongside failure to implement recommendations made by the Board, membership, and benefits will be terminated and all relevant agencies notified of the breach.

     

    5.1 WHO SHOULD YOU MAKE YOUR COMPLAINT TO?

    All complaints will be submitted using the DM Complaints Form on www.destinationmekong.com/complaints to members@destinationmekong.com

Download

You can download the current version of the Destination Mekong Code of Conduct here.

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