CHIANGRAI TIMES –The Mekong Tourism Forum will be hosted at the Dusit Island Resort, Chiang Rai, the market place will feature 40 booths selling handicrafts from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Sub-region. MTCO represents the tourism interests of six countries – Thailand, Laos Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and two provinces in China – Yunnan and Guangxi.
MTCO executive director, Mason Florence, said the decision to drop the travel mart in favour of an arts and craft mall were based on feedback from recent MTFs.
“Based on past experience at the MTF2010 in Siem Reap and the MTF2011 in Pakse, we have decided to steer the exhibition component of the Mekong Tourism Forum towards local handicrafts, art and culture, as opposed to a conventional B2B travel trade mart.”
He claimed the new component would support the handicraft trade in host destinations better than a travel mart noting there are many trade shows in the region that made a mart at the MTF redundant.
One of the drawbacks of hosting a travel mart at the forum is the lack of participation from tour operators who could interact with so-called travel sellers. MTF generally attracts tour company owners who are not involved in daily sales and would have to invest in sending a second delegate occupy the travel mart booth.
MTCO confirms keynote speaker, Doi Tung Development Project chairman, Mom Rajawongse Disnadda Diskul will make the main presentation on Thailand’s Royal Projects & Sustainable Tourism Development focusing on the Princess Mother’s initiated Doi Tung Development Project.
Apart from that, Aarti Kapoor and Afrooz Kaviani Johnson from Project Childhood-Prevention Pillar, WorldVision will update delegates on the battle to protect children from exploitation and outline best practices in child protection and how to respond to future challenges.
Community Based Tourism – International Research for Development Centre (CBT-IRDC), John Hummel will introduce a newly established Chiang Mai-based regional knowledge centre.
A PATA special advisor from the strategic Intelligence Centre, John Koldowski, will talk about a retrospective journey back through two decades of tourism evolution and growth in the Mekong.
Google Thailand country business manager, Ariya Banomyong, will speak about the role of technology and the internet and how their initiatives are helping to create economic opportunities.
ForwardKeys.com CEO and co-founder, Olivier Jager will share insights on future trends and data intelligence for the GMS under the subject, Travel Trends from the West.
Other events related to MTF 2012 are: eTourism Day @ Mekong Tourism Forum 2012 on 12 June at Le Meridien Chiang Rai; Tour Guides Workshop on 10 to 12 June at Mae Fah Luang University; Tour Operators Workshop on 12 June at Mae Fah Luang University and Community Based Tourism Workshop on 10 to13 June at Chiang Rai Rajabhat University.
For more information go to Mekong Tourism Forum Website