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This year the Mekong Tourism Forum presents ‘Authentic Experiences Along the Mekong River’ which will be held on the 5th-8th July, 2016 at Sihanoukville, Cambodia.

The ultimate goal of this forum is, of course, to promote the sub-region of Great Mekong with six high potential countries for tourism; Cambodia, The People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR), Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

If your business is operating in this region, it’s definitely worthwhile taking a look. If you are still undecide, then let me help you out.

Listen to Specialists

The Mekong Tourism Forum promises an array of speakers that you won’t get a chance to listen to in a setting like this too often:

HE Dr. Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia;

Mr. Willem Niejmeijer, Chairman of Khiri Travel Group and Yaana Ventures;

Mr. Luzi Matzig, Chairman of Asian Trails;

Captain Worante Laprabang, CEO of Thai Smile Airways,

Mr. Randy Durband, CEO of Global Sustainability Tourism Council;

Mr. Rory Hunter, Founder and CEO of Song Saa Hotels & Resorts;

Mr. John Roberts, Global Conservation Director of Anantara Resorts & Spas;

Mr. Inthy Deansavan, Managing Director of Green Discovery Laos;

Dr. Ashley Brooks of the WWF Tigers Alive Initiative;

Mr. Joe Cummings. Author of Lonely Planet for several countries in the region;

Professor Geoffrey Lipman, former Assistant Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO);

James Dion, Sustainable Tourism Program Manager at National Geographic;

And many more…

The Opportunity to Learn …

We learn something new everyday. If you are one of those people who attend conferences all over the world, you start to develop a sixth sense of which ones are going to be worth your time and which ones might be a waste of time. For me this comes down to either the potential to develop business or the potential to learn – or both.  There is definitely an opportunity to learn here.

On the whole, I would say that I personally have not seen anything super engaging or ‘productive’ when it comes to conferences hosted by government bodies.  The Mekong Forum is different though as there are not that many events that occur like this in this region, people and businesses in the member states are much more supportive and really collaborate in a way that ensures that we will really get something out of the event.  

Networking

You will meet new people, as well as many of the familiar faces from past conferences. It’s always great to connect and re-connect. You don’t know who you will meet, and sometimes it’s good to be able to talk about things you know, you passionate about with the people who shares the same interests as you.  If you are a hotelier, this is an opportunity to meet local media, tour operators and government agencies.

Food

People who travel to Asia love to try the myriad of food available across the region. There is no better place to try Asian food than at the meeting point of many countries in the region – Thailand, China, Vietnam, Burma and Cambodia.  You name it – there will be a cuisine to suit your palate.

It will be a great opportunity for hoteliers, restaurateurs and people in the food & beverage business to join and discuss business with people in your business. Last year, I attended this session and believe that having many more F&B people in the session will make it much more worthwhile.

The Mekong Tourism Forum would really appreciate your input.

It’s Free

In order to make it easy for even small and medium sized businesses to stay engaged, for the third time in a row, the 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum is free to attend for the first 150 qualified industry professionals, sponsored by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia.

Please be sure to register online atwww.MekongTourismForum.org to secure one of the 150 free seats.