Destination Mekong organized the initial call of MeTAG Expert Group on SDGs & Climate Change

On July 6, the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) Expert Group on SDGs & Climate Change was recently well established to address one of the most critical issues that need to be taken on serious action.
It was a very productive discussion in the first call organized by Destination Mekong and facilitated by Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office among MeTAG members who brought valuable comments and ideas to work toward Climate Change issues, especially within this region.
The recording is available here

Mekong Tourism & SUNx Malta Announce Scholarships for Climate Friendly Travel

Supporting Students & Professionals From The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Bangkok, September 22, 2020: Thanks to Malta’s Minister for Tourism and Consumer Protection, Hon. Julia Farrugia Portelli, and the Institute for Tourism Studies Malta, SUNx Malta and The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) are offering 5 scholarships for a new online Diploma in Climate Friendly Travel.


This Diploma is the first of its kind and will train students and professionals to support companies and communities in the Travel & Tourism industry in adjusting their operations towards the goal of becoming carbon neutral, in the face of the global challenge of Climate Change.


“Through these scholarships and this institute of Climate Friendly Travel Malta is committing itself in this sector and has become a global centre for Climate Friendly Travel,” stated Minister Julia Farrugia Portelli.


Professor Geoffrey Lipman, President of SUNx Malta and former Assistant Secretary-General of the UNWTO, said:


“We have formed a team of around 25 deeply-informed lecturers on the subject, to provide online interactive lessons in this diploma. This will help them for future climate-friendly jobs in transport and sustainable hospitality, to be policymakers for governments or destination management. They will discover why it is essential to have Climate Friendly Travel and to do our part in the global response for the existing climate crisis. They shall also learn to consider the transformation of the travel and tourism sector in light of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, the European Green Deal and the Paris Climate Accord. In the next 10 years, every travel and tourism business and the community will shift towards climate-friendly travel, whether it is through informed decisions, consumer pressure or government regulations. It is why those career opportunities will multiply greatly,” stated Professor Lipman.


Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of MTCO said:


“We are delighted to be partnering with SUNx Malta to promote this opportunity to people in the Mekong that recognise the existential threat of Climate Change and the essential role that Travel & Tourism has to play in transforming to become Climate Friendly. As a region directly affected by the changing climate, countries of The Greater Mekong Subregion are at most risk, and it is essential that they develop Climate Resilient strategies. This initiative, taught by some of the leading authorities in this field will train the next generation to implement this change.”    


Interested applicants may register for this scholarship at      


Individuals who are interested in this programme but are not eligible to apply for this scholarship, may apply for the study programme here




Notes to Editors


The Strong Universal Network SUNx is a global Travel & Tourism Climate Response system, designed to act as a catalyst for the sector to develop Climate Friendly Travel – Paris 1.5 and SDG linked: and a conduit to the UNFCCC driven New Climate Economy. Operating globally from Malta, with a Registry of Climate Neutral Ambitions; a Climate Friendly Travel Diploma and an SDG17 led Climate Champions outreach program. Established as legacy to Maurice Strong, Climate Activist and Sustainable Development Pioneer. In 2019, through a partnership with Malta’s Ministry for Tourism and Consumer Protection, and Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) SUNx Malta was created to establish Malta as a Global Centre for Climate Friendly Travel. 


For more information, please contact:

Olly Wheatcroft, SUNx Program Manager +44 (0) 7765 132408



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 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 for more information.

About Destination Mekong:
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the 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 Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Startups 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. 

Please visit for more information.


Destinations at Risk: The Invisible Burden of Tourism

The rapid growth of tourism in the 21st century is leading
to damage in destinations across the world that is largely
unreported and frequently not perceived by tourists, putting
destinations at risk without effective response.

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