Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office Introducing Mekong Heroes

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office Introducing Mekong Heroes

Bangkok, Thailand, April 21, 2020 / / Seeking nominations of inspiring, dedicated and innovative leaders in travel and tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Achieving a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry relies on committed leaders with vision and determination. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is introducing the Mekong Heroes, an initiative operated by the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong, in a time when inspiring leadership is of paramount importance. Rebuilding travel and tourism post COVID-19 will require innovation, often coming from creative individuals who open new niches by finding new approaches, put new destinations on the experience map, and create new demand. These individuals can become crucial for the viability of travel and tourism in a fragile destination such as the Greater Mekong Subregion and create important domestic employment opportunities, listening to and involving local communities, safeguarding cultural values, and protecting natural treasures.

Especially in difficult times like these, we need to remember and recognize individuals that have consistently contributed to a sustainable travel and tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion”, says Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). “When we start the recovery process, collaboration, innovation, and dedication will be critical to emerging from this pandemic with a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry. Let us not forget that we are building for future generations who will judge us by how we worked our way out of our current crisis.”

To recognize the importance of inspiring, dedicated leadership in thought and action, we are seeking recommendations from anybody active in the travel and tourism industry in the Mekong Region. We are looking for passionate and innovative individuals that have truly made a difference in promoting sustainable and responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The whole industry benefits from our Mekong Heros. From their authenticity of vision, purpose, commitment, and determination, maintained over years of hard work. Recognized not only as builders, creators, and innovators, but also as mentors, teachers, and motivators, these individuals have made it their mission to bring out the best in people.

From innovative entrepreneurs, passionate managers, and visionary executives, to selfless officials or tireless field workers who have modeled new ways of concieving and bettering tourism: we are inviting you to nominate individuals that are worth being honored and named as a Mekong Tourism Hero.

The Mekong Heroes program is co-chaired by H.E. Mr. Weerasak Kowsurat, former Minister of Tourism and Sports of Thailand and H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, former Minister of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar, who will endorse and approve the Mekong Heroes, selected by the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) from the received nominations via

We will tell the personal stories of each Mekong Hero, to inspire others via a special profile on an upcoming dedicated website,, which will bring together all Mekong Heroes in the Mekong Heroes Gallery. We plan to announce one new Mekong Hero every quarter and recognize the Mekong Heroes of the year at the respective Mekong Tourism Forum. All Mekong Heroes will be featured in the proposed Mekong Stories book and companion website, together with inspiring content of Experience Collection Members, as well as exiting photography shared via Mekong Moments to inspire people from all over the world to experience the Mekong Region when travel resumes after the corona virus pandemic.

Please nominate your Mekong Hero by visiting

This is a extraordinary opportunity to support these programs and initaitives that will fuel the tourism recovery process in the Mekong Region post COVID-19. Partners that would like to interview and publishing the stories of these Mekong Heroes, and organizations that are interested in sponsoring our planned Mekong Stories initiative, provide a crucial contribution to tourism development and revival in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

About the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Sub-region (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations, to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.

About Destination Mekong
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment, and drive inclusive growth. Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Sub-region, Destination Mekong executes targeted projects and initiatives, including Mekong Moments, Mekong Mini Movie Festival, Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST), Experience Mekong Collection, Mekong Heroes, and Mekong Trends, with feedback from the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) and via public-private partnership investment structure.