The 2023 Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF 2023), hosted by the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia and co-organised by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, will take place from April 25 to 27 in Sihanoukville city, the capital of Preah Sihanouk province.
Based on the theme Rethinking for Resilience and Digitalisation, tourism ministers and leaders, NTOs, NGOs and private sector representatives, will discuss ways to rethink post-lockdown tourism in China, Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam as a collective and dynamic sub-region.
The conference programme will address job creation, gender equality, food safety and hygiene, digital transformation and a geographically-dispersed tourism approach.
Five key ideas will be addressed during MTF 2023: rethinking tourism to put people and planet first; developing local food production networks with a focus on safety and hygiene, while reducing food waste; using new digital technology to boost tourism start-ups and small- and medium-sized businesses; improving training so that tourism workers have the skills to adapt; and advancing equality of opportunity and fair treatment for women in the private and public sectors of tourism.
Thong Khon, minister of tourism for Cambodia, said: “With my tourism colleagues from around the Greater Mekong Subregion, we will work hard to ensure that tourism re-establishes itself as an engine to create sustainable prosperity for our citizens. The MTF 2023 agenda has a clear focus and will address those issues.”
To showcase sustainable tourism practices in the destination, delegates will have the opportunity on the last day to join many of the local excursions and post-tours such as Sihanoukville city tour, Koh Rong Island, diving, mangrove tour, kayaking, and community-based ecotourism exploration.
The MTF 2023 will also host a Sustainable Tourism Exhibit on April 25 and 26. It will comprise over 20 exhibitors highlighting responsible and sustainable tourism, community-based tourism and local community products.
An estimated 150 international delegates are expected to attend the forum.