The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is calling for public nominations for responsible and sustainable travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) as the second annual Experience Mekong Collection Showcase approaches.
MTCO is inviting the public to nominate their favourite GMS small businesses on www.experiencemekong.org to determine the 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcase. The nomination deadline is December 1, 2018.
According to MTCO, results gleaned from this year’s collection showcase revealed a strong rooting interest from the public with nearly 80 small-business nominations collected in total.
“The importance of responsible tourism cannot be underestimated and the ‘Experience Mekong Collection’ is a wonderful way of highlighting examples of good practice,” said MTCO executive director Jens Thraenhart.
“This sets several benchmarks to further improve travel experiences in the GMS. We hope this motivates other operators to become more involved and do their part for responsible tourism,” he said.
During the earlier Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) held in Nakhon Phanom, Thailand, MTCO announced its inaugural showcase selections (one per GMS country). The first-ever showcase featured small businesses committed to sustainable and responsible practices with each of them categorised under Do, Shop, Stay, Tour/Cruise or Taste.
In addition to being honoured at this year’s MTF, representatives of the showcase selectees had a chance to speak to delegates about the positive impact their experience has impressed on not only tourists but also on local residents.
The 2018 showcase attractions were each examined on practices, tangible impact on the environment and social climate, and financial viability. Case studies on each of the 2018 experiences were developed by students of the Mahidol University International College in Thailand.
All members of the Experience Mekong Collection are highlighted on a feature page within www.mekongmoments.com in addition to being recognised by a certified badge reflecting its responsible and sustainable practice.
Other benefits for members include a free booth at next year’s MTF and discounted rates on sales and marketing services from industry partner Oriental Hospitality Solutions.