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:

  • 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.