Bangkok, 28 September, 2022 – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is pleased to announce that Mr. Nithee Seeprae, TAT Deputy Governor for Digitalisation, Research and Development, will be joining as a panelist at the Mekong Tourism Forum 2022, which will take place from 12-13 October, 2022, in Quang Nam, Vietnam with the theme “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience”.
The event has announced a total of 25 speakers, representing both the public and private sectors, from the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi provinces), Lao PDR., Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam.
The forum will discuss the rebuilding of GMS tourism and resilience-based approaches for the industry’s revival post COVID-19 with highlights on creating sustainable and inclusive tourism with technology as a tool, and how it will be essential for the industry to rethink and transform tourism to ensure a resilient and sustainable recovery.
Mr. Nithee Seeprae, TAT Deputy Governor for Digitalisation, Research and Development, said, “We are pleased that the Mekong Tourism Forum is returning this year as a face-to-face, in-person event for the first time since the pandemic. The event is set to be a vital landmark on the road to achieving sustainable and inclusive tourism in the region, which is in line with Thailand’s drive towards exactly this as is reflected in our ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign.”
The venue for the Mekong Tourism Forum 2022 is the Hoiana Resort and Golf (Hoiana), a beach setting just south of the UNESCO-listed heritage city of Hoi An.
The main conference programme on 12 October includes three interactive expert-led panel discussions on: 1) Social enterprises as a powerful tool for inclusive and sustainable tourism recovery, development, and promotion, 2) new strategies to connect sustainable tourism suppliers and buyers with markets, financing, and nature, and 3) technology to unlock green tourism opportunities.
There will also be welcome remarks by Ms. Suvimol Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), which is located in Bangkok and hosted by Thailand’s Department of Tourism under the Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
A keynote address will be given on ‘The Future of Tourism – Rethink Travel, Rethink Destination Marketing and Management’ by Ms. Liz Ortiguera, CEO of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), and an expert perspective on ‘Sustainably Reviving Tourism-Mekong Reflections’ by Mr. Wouter Schalken, Senior Sustainable Tourism Specialist of the Asian Development Bank (ADB).
Leading the government sector contributions will be H.E. Nguyen Van Hung, host nation Vietnam’s Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, while senior representatives from ministries and the national tourism offices of Cambodia, Lao PDR., Myanmar, and Thailand – to be represented by Mr. Nithee Seeprae, TAT Deputy Governor for Digitalisation, Research and Development – will also address the forum’s main theme of “Rebuild Tourism, Rebound with Resilience.”
Among the leading private sector panelists will be Mr. Daniel Gelfer of Agoda, Mr. Willem Niemeijer of YAANA Ventures, Ms. Tean Ly of Seeva Capital, Mr. Jason Lusk of Clickable Impact, Ms. Mika Cui of JNE Group, Ms. Duangmala Phommavong of EXO Travel Lao, Mr. Mayur (Mac) Patel of OAG, and Ms. Thuy Phuong Nguyen of Plan International/Travelife.
As part of the Mekong Tourism Forum, there will also be a sustainable tourism exhibition by Vietnam and other GMS countries from 10-12 October. This will showcase sustainable tourism, community-based tourism, and local community products, and include experiential hands-on workshops to foster better understanding of local cultures.
The choice of event tours on offer to delegates, which will take place on 13 October, reflect the focus on resilience-based approaches for reviving the GMS tourism industry and on creating sustainable and inclusive tourism, and how the event’s host location is setting an example as a leading green tourism destination in the region.
The three tours available are Cultural Heritage Tourism – a visit to the two World Heritage Sites of Hoi An Ancient Town and My Son Sanctuary, Nature-based Tourism – Cu Lao Cham Biosphere Reserve and Tra Que Vegetable Village, and Green and Agro-tourism – the story of organic agriculture and the circular economy, using Tra Que Vegetable Village as an example.