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Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office appoints new Executive Director

Ms. Suvimol Thanasarakij is first female and first GMS national to head up the Bangkok-based MTCO.

Bangkok, 24 March, 2022 – Ms. Suvimol Thanasarakij has been appointed the new Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), becoming both the first female and – as a Thai national – the first person to be from a Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) country to fill the role.

The National Tourism Organisations (NTOs) of the six GMS member nations of the MTCO officially agreed on the appointment at a Special MTCO Board Meeting.       

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office appoints new Executive Director

Ms. Suvimol’s appointment as the Bangkok-based MTCO’s Executive Director is effective from 15 March, 2022, and she succeeds Mr. Jens Thraenhart.

A planning and coordination expert with 23 years of experience delivering high-level multilateral programmes and events for institutions; such as, ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations), Ms. Suvimol holds a Master of Tourism Management from the University of Surrey in the United Kingdom. She graduated with honours from Assumption University in Bangkok with a Bachelor of Business Administration majoring in Hotel Management.

Before taking on her new role at the MTCO, Ms. Suvimol worked for the Strategic Capacity Group, where she implemented multilateral programmes on behalf of the U.S. government across Southeast Asia. She spent more than eight years managing tourism marketing projects for ASEAN, and also worked for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Shangri-La Bangkok, and Centara Hotels & Resorts.

Ms. Suvimol said, “I look forward to working closely with the MTCO Board, international organisations, development partners, and other travel and tourism stakeholders in promoting the GMS countries as a single destination and supporting regional tourism development for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”

The MTCO – established in 2006 – is a tourism collaboration framework by the six GMS governments of Cambodia, Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region in China (PRC), Lao PDR., Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam. Supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the MTCO implements activities that boost tourism’s contribution to inclusive economic growth and environmental sustainability in the region.

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