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Mekong TourismIn the heart of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), the picturesque city of Lijiang, China, is poised to host a landmark event that promises to chart a new course for the future of tourism. The Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) 2024, scheduled for April 23-25, stands as a beacon of innovation and collaboration under the inspiring theme “Visionary Journeys Redefining Tomorrow’s Travel.”

This year’s forum is not just an event; it is a clarion call to travel professionals, policymakers, and stakeholders across the GMS to come together and forge a new path for tourism that balances economic growth with environmental sustainability and cultural preservation. With an expected assembly of 200 esteemed participants, including tourism ministers, industry leaders, non-governmental organizations, and representatives from the private sector, MTF 2024 is set to be a melting pot of ideas and strategies that will drive the transformation of the tourism landscape.

Ms Suvimol 'Dee' Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the MTCO

Ms Suvimol ‘Dee’ Thanasarakij is the executive director of the MTCO.

The selection of Lijiang as the backdrop for this pivotal forum is no coincidence. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its well-preserved ancient town and breathtaking natural scenery, embodies the essence of sustainable tourism. It is a living example of how destinations can thrive by integrating cultural heritage and environmental consciousness into their tourism models.

At the core of MTF 2024 are discussions and presentations geared toward unleashing the full potential of the tourism sector. Delegates will delve into the latest trends and innovations in destination marketing, management, sustainable practices, and the integration of cutting-edge technology in travel. A forum highlight will be the keynote speech on “Visionary Journeys Redefining Tomorrow’s Travel,” delivered by Ms Suvimol ‘Dee’ Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). Her insights will spotlight the shift towards more sustainable and conscious tourism models in the post-pandemic era, setting the tone for the following discussions.

A particularly engaging session titled “Unleashing Potential: Enhancing International Cooperation to Propel Tourism Growth” will address the imperative of strengthening international ties. The goal is to foster a unified, prosperous, and responsible future for GMS tourism, highlighting the importance of collaboration across borders to face the challenges and seize the opportunities ahead.

Moreover, MTF 2024 offers attendees the unique opportunity to engage directly with Lijiang’s rich cultural heritage through field studies and a museum exhibition. These experiences promise to enrich the forum’s discussions with real-world context, making the case for preserving cultural identities while embracing modern tourism practices.

Hosted by an array of prestigious organizations, including the Bureau of International Exchanges and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China, and co-organized by the Lijiang Municipal Administration of Culture and Tourism, MTF 2024 is a testament to the collective commitment to shaping a more connected, responsible, and productive tourism sector.

As Ms. Thanasarakij poignantly remarked, the theme “Visionary Journeys Redefining Tomorrow’s Travel” underscores the pivotal role of cultural integration and international cooperation in the evolution of GMS tourism. Her invitation to stakeholders is not just to attend an event but to be part of a movement towards a more sustainable and inclusive future in travel.

The call to action is clear for those interested in being at the forefront of transforming the travel industry. Register for MTF 2024 and be part of the journey to redefine tomorrow’s travel. As space is limited, prospective participants are encouraged to secure their spot promptly to ensure they don’t miss out on this unparalleled opportunity to shape the future of tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion.




Written by: My Thanh Pham