STEPS IMPACT REPORT 2022

Impact-report-22-English-version_Page_01

Sasin School of Business

Poverty, stigma and discrimination intersect to create barriers for people with disabilities to gain equal access to education.
A lack of education prevents access to decent work, which, coupled with weak enforcement of laws, poorly designed policies and widespread discrimination, creates a multitude of barriers for people with disabilities to enter into the workforce.

For example, the Persons with Disabilities Quality of Life Promotion Act BE 2550 requires companies and organisations to hire one person with a disability for every 100 people, however 98.2% of companies opt to instead pay the fine, resulting in 2 billion baht per year being paid to the fund.

Employers in our network consist of multinationals, large corporations, SME’s, and sole traders all of whom share that they want to hire inclusively, but they don’t know how.

The distinct lack of support available for all stakeholders leaves behind an untapped talent pool.

Of the total 856,844 just 36.25% are in some form of employment, with the majority of those (53.69%) working in agriculture, and freelance labour-intensive work (23.49%). These numbers reveal a deeply unequal society which prevents the full enjoyment of rights for people with disabilities. Women with disabilities face even greater exclusion from meaningful participation in both social and family settings, as well as greater risk of violence than men.

COVID-19 has greatly exacerbated these entrenched inequalities, as people with disabilities are the first to become unemployed during an economic crisis and are not sufficiently covered by social protection systems.

Whilst our focus today is Thailand, our strategic vision for 2023-2026 is to be a leader in the region.

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Destination Mekong proudly announces the members of its first Executive Board

21 June 2022, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Destination Mekong held its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) on 3 June 2022, together with the election of its new Executive Board Members.

Destination Mekong (DM) held its first Annual General Meeting since its incorporation as a full-fledged company in January this year. The AGM took place virtually and was attended by DM full members and guests.

Ms. Catherine Germier-Hamel, CEO of Destination Mekong, introduced DM’s purpose, goals, and structure to the audience, stressing the importance of providing an inclusive framework that enables all kinds of members to participate actively. She also presented recent partnerships between Destination Mekong and other organizations sharing the same values, such as the South-Pacific Tourism Organisation, the Seoul Tourism Organization, and Planeterra, as well as its membership in the Small Islands Developing States Tourism Organizations (SIDS). Mr. Gerrit Kruger, Chief Marketing Officer of Destination Mekong, presented its Charter, which the members adopted without objection.

The 15 candidates for the new Executive Board of Directors were then given the opportunity to introduce themselves before processing the election through an online system. By the DM Charter, full members (Destination Mekong Changemakers) were invited to rank the candidates by order of preference.

As a result, the eight following people are now officially sitting on the new Executive Board:

 

As a result, the eight following people are now officially sitting on the new Executive Board:

Ms. Duangmala Phommavong, Co-Founder and Partner | EXO Travel Lao

Mr. Fréderic Tambon, Founder & CEO | Society and Fred, Expert in international marketing, tourism industry, and education

Mr. Guido Neil, Director Special Operations | 12Go

Mr. Mark Bibby Jackson, Founder | Travel Begins at 40

Ms. Melita Koulmandas, CEO/Founder | Song Saa Collective

Mr. Nguyen Tuan Linh, Owner | Mr. Linh’s Adventures Travel Company Limited

Dr. Sasithara Pichaichannarong, Rector | College of Tourism, Hospitality, and Sports, Rangsit University, Thailand | RSU Vista Golf Course

Ms. Sophea Sok, Regional Program Manager, Asia-Pacific | Planeterra Foundation

Additionally, Board Members representing the most significant financial contributors to Destination Mekong are:

For Small Luxury Hotels of The World: Mr. Mark Wong, Senior Vice President Asia Pacific

For the World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Mr. Jedsada Taweekan, Regional Illegal Wildlife Trade Program Manager for WWF-Greater Mekong

For Enwoke: Prof. Hailin Zhang, Professor at Guilin Tourism University

For Chameleon Strategies: Mr. Gerrit Kruger, Managing Director

For Sasin School of Management: Dr. Ian Fenwick, Director

Finally, ex-officio Board Members are:

Mr. Willem Niemeijer, outgoing Chairman of the Interim Board of Destination Mekong and CEO of Yanna Ventures;

Ms. Catherine Germier-Hamel, CEO of Destination Mekong;

Dr. Jens Thraenhart, Founder of Destination Mekong.

After completing the elections, several upcoming initiatives and projects were presented, such as publications by the Destination Mekong Working Group on Academia and Education. It was also announced that Destination Mekong would prioritize the execution of the new Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications Plan, starting with the release of the much-expected Mekong Stories book in June.

To become a Destination Mekong Changemaker, please go to:

https://www.destinationmekong.com/membership/ or contact us.

-ENDS

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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2019 MIST Winners Announced

This year, MIST was held in Bangkok together with the new Travel Startups Asia Forum, featuring startup stories from successful travel ventures and MIST Alumni. The opening keynote was given by Senator and former Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand HE Mr Weerasak Kowsurat who linked the importance of innovation and entrepreneurship to tourism development in Thailand and the Mekong Region. The closing keynote was given by founder of Nok Airways Mr Patee Sarasin, who gave valuable insights from his experiences in starting an airline in Southeast Asia.

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