The Board of Directors of Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has appointed Suvimol Thanasarakij as its new executive director, effective March 15, 2022.
The appointment was officially agreed by the NTOs of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries at the Special MTCO Board Meeting.
Suvimol is a planning and coordination expert with 23 years’ of experience delivering high-level multilateral programmes and events for institutions such as the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) and the US Department of State.
Prior to joining MTCO, she worked for Strategic Capacity Group, where she implemented multilateral programmes on behalf of the US government across South-east Asia. She spent more than eight years managing tourism marketing projects for ASEAN. She also worked for PATA, Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok and Centara Hotels & Resorts.
“We are happy to welcome Suvimol to our GMS tourism family, particularly as she is the first female executive director, and the first one with GMS nationality in MTCO’s 16-year history,” said Somxay Sipaseuth, deputy director general of Tourism Development Department from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism Lao PDR, which is also Chair of the upcoming 49th GMS Tourism Working Group Meeting.
He added: “Suvimol brings to MCTO her extensive experience in tourism industry and an in-depth expertise in international cooperation and project management. With her proven capacity to build strategic international partnerships and bolster support for various programmes, we are confident that she will be a force in driving GMS tourism cooperation forward in this exciting, but also challenging time.”
Suvimol succeeds Jens Thraenhart, who exited MTCO in June 2021.
“I look forward to working closely with the MTCO Board, international organisations, development partners, other travel and tourism stakeholders in promoting GMS countries as a single destination and supporting regional tourism development for a sustainable and inclusive recovery,” she said on her appointment.