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Mekong Tourism Forum 2019

Dal Kikin
April 25, 2019

Hosted by the Ministry of Culture & Tourism of P.R. China (MCT) The two-day event will be held in Dali and the ancient heritage town of Xizhou in Yunnan, China on 28 and 29 May respectively.

The Mekong Tourism Forum provides a cooperative platform for stakeholders in the tourism industry to discuss the development, marketing and promotion of travel to, from and within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). It presents an inclusive, interactive and results-oriented opportunity to encourage public and private sector participation in representing the GMS as a single destination.

The event's theme for 2019 is “Tourism – a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation”.

Key Mekong Tourism initiatives featured on the first day include the launch of the new Mekong Trends Report on Responsible Tourism in the GMS, the introduction of the new Experience Mekong Collection website, and the screening of some of the most inspiring videos of the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign.

One of the two keynotes of MTF 2019 is Dr. Brian Linden, the owner of the Linden Centre hotel in Xizhou, Yunnan. Dr. Linden will look at how sustainable tourism is shaping the way the industry is developing, which also includes an insight into the extensive rail network in China.

Dr. Linden said, “Tourism has not evolved in China, it has exploded. And our industry has scrambled, often blindly, to capture a part of this lucrative trade. We should remember that we pursue our projects on social and cultural canvases that are far from empty. These resources, the history, heritage, and hospitality of the Asian peoples should be the foundation for all future tourism development.”

The second day will be hosted in the ancient heritage town of Xizhou, which is located 20 km north of Dali Old Town and is part of the Dali Bai Autonomous Prefecture in northwestern Yunnan, China. Xizhou has been historically important as a trading post along the Tea Horse Road and has gained notability for its high concentration of preserved and restored traditional Bai architecture and protected heritage sites. To take into consideration the requirements of this living ancient heritage town, this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum will be more intimate, limiting the number of delegates.

 “We are grateful to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China and the People’s Government of Yunnan for giving us the opportunity to fully integrate this year’s Mekong Tourism Forum with the local residents of a heritage town. In the efforts to be highly inclusive, the cultural learning experiences will be held in small artisan businesses and lunches will be served in local restaurants. This might be the first tourism conference in the world that showcases sustainability in this kind of way”, said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

Registration has opened for this year's event on the Mekong Tourism Forum website. While the conference is again free due to the generosity of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of PRC, this year, delegates are required to register in advance for the complete package, including conference, hotel accommodation, transfers, meals, and a trip to Xizhou.