Virtual Destination Mekong Summit tackles recovery action plan

Backed by global tourism figureheads, the event focuses on giving actionable insights to businesses operating in the Mekong region.

Registration for the half-day summit has been waived as a gesture of goodwill.
Registration for the half-day summit has been waived as a gesture of goodwill.

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office is hosting a half-day Virtual Destination Mekong Summit on 25 August – themed Balanced Tourism Recovery for a Better Future – to give actionable insights and action steps to businesses operating in the member countries of the Mekong Region.

Registration fees will be waived as a gesture of goodwill for this virtual event organised by public-private partnership Destination Mekong, with sponsorship of UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.

The format of the Virtual Destination Mekong Summit deploys a "condensed content concept" by getting 40 speakers engage in pointed discussions through 15 short sessions, with a focus of extracting succinct and recommendations and action steps that industry stakeholders can act upon, according to Jens Thraenhart, executive director, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

The UNWTO-endorsed event starts with remarks from the organisation's Asia Pacific director Harry Hwang, followed by an opening keynote
from Dr Simon Hudson of South Carolina University in the US, looking at case studies and best practices from all over the world.

The summit will offer two short take-away sessions, led by Horwath's global tourism practice leader Siniša Topalović, who will give delegates a quick view on key ‘dos and don’ts’, drawing on global research of many destinations and travel businesses.

Reflections from past crises will be discussed by Weearasak Kowsurat, senator and former minister of tourism and sports of Thailand; Htay Aung, former minister of hotels and tourism in Myanmar; Ha Van Sieu, vice chairman of the Vietnam Administration of Tourism; and Rathasak Thong, director general of the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia in two sessions led by UNWTO's former director for Asia Pacific Xu Jing and Steven Schipani from the Asian Development Bank's Southeast Asia Department.

WTTC head Gloria Guevara, former UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai, and former minister of tourism and sports of Thailand Kobkarn Wattanavrangkul, and PATA CEO Mario Hardy engage in a special reflective discussion, moderated by SunX Program founder Professor Geoffrey Lipman, by giving recommendations and opinions to stakeholders in the visitor.

Other sessions will look at recommendations for the meetings sector, latest data and insights for travel businesses, how to communicate to stakeholders in these times, the ever increasing importance of sustainability including climate change, plastic pollution, child protection, and wildlife conservation, as well as a scenario analysis to prepare for the future today.

The complete programme is available at: