Bangkok, August 28, 2020: The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office announced the 6 Winners of the 2020 Experience Mekong Showcases. From 60 shortlisted businesses of the over 350 Experience Mekong Collection members, nearly 10,000 eligible votes narrowed down to 18 finalists (3 from each of the six GMS member countries), and finally recognizing the six 2020 Experience Mekong Showcases.
The winners were announced at the Virtual Destination Mekong Summit on August 25th. The videos announcing the winners can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVmQJUJeZGFWbbubEplhL0A/videos
The 6 Experience Mekong Showcases of 2020 – 1 from each of the 6 member countries of the Mekong Region are:
The Experience Mekong Collection was created three years ago to both recognize and encourage sustainable and responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In order to be appointed as member of the Experience Mekong Collection, all small travel businesses in the Mekong Region need to fulfill the following requirements:
- Make a significant social impact to its community
- Provide an authentically local experience positioning the GMS as a responsible, inclusive, and experiential tourism destination.
- Have an innovative concept and sustainable business model.
Members of the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) selected the 60 shortlisted Experience Mekong Collection (EMC) member businesses – ten from each of the six GMS member countries from the 350+ members of the Experience Mekong Collection.
“The importance of responsible tourism cannot be underestimated and the ‘Experience Mekong Collection’ is a wonderful way of highlighting examples of good practice. Social enterprises have the potential to drive sustainable tourism and to promote the Mekong Region as an experiential and responsible travel destination. We aim to tell their stories to inspire travelers to experience these “shining lights of the Mekong,” said Mr. Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO).
In January 2020, at the FITUR travel trade show in Madrid, Spain, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) featured the Experience Mekong Collection as a global best practice on tourism aligned to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
The 2018 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included Phare Cambodian Circus (Cambodia), Longji Rice Terraces Guangxi (PR China), Ock Pop Tok (Lao PDR), Inle Heritage Place (Myanmar), Local Alike (Thailand), and Koto (Viet Nam). The 2019 Experience Mekong Collection included Soksabike (Cambodia), Linden Centre (PR China), Elephant Conservation Centre (Lao PDR), Hla Day (Myanmar), Sampran Riverside (Thailand), and Streets International (Viet Nam). Please see: https://www.destinationmekong.com/initiatives/experience-mekong-showcases/
All members of the Experience Mekong Collection get exposure via channels of Mekong Tourism and Destination Mekong, including MekongTourism.org, DestinationMekong.com, ExperienceMekong.com, as well as the dedicated Experience Mekong Collection Facebook and Instagram accounts. Experience Mekong Collection members also have priority access to marketing campaigns and have their own dedicated online member-only community to connect with each other.
In order to help struggling members of the Experience Mekong Collection to survive these challenging times of the COVID-19 pandemic, a support page has been created at https://www.destinationmekong.com/projects/support-experience-mekong-collection-members/ to list businesses asking for donations or selling gift certificates. Please support these small businesses by visiting: For more information about the Experience Mekong Collection and its members, please visit www.experiencemekong.com.
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 MekongTourism.org 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 www.MekongTourism.org for more information.
About Destination Mekong:
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Lancang-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 Memories, Mekong Deals, Mekong Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Start-ups 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.
More information at: www.DestinationMekong.com