Members are chosen from all member countries, active in travel and tourism in various sectors, from academia and accommodation to tours and NGOs
The Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) is a prestigious voluntary group, appointed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), to assist in giving valuable advise, specific to the programs, implemented by the public-private sector framework, Destination Mekong, and overseen by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), the secretariat of the six member governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion.
In order to make the group as diverse as possible, members are chosen from all member countries, active in travel and tourism in various sectors, from academia and accommodation to tours and NGOs. Members have demonstrated passion and engagement towards sustainable tourism development in the Mekong Region over the past. According to Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, “the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group is inclusive and welcomes anybody that is positive and responsive from CEOs and senior executives to consultants and entrepreneurs.” In addition to private sector representatives, MeTAG is overseen by members of the Mekong Tourism Working Group, made up of senior officials of the tourism ministries of the six member governments. A dedicated online community will help facilitate discussing issues in the age of physical distancing.
With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group increases in relevance and purpose. All over the world, including in the GMS, the travel industry will go through unprecedented change in the 6+ months, and is experiencing the greatest reduction in business in our lifetimes. It cannot be overstated how difficult this time is for the global community, and especially for the travel and tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion. To address these challenges, it is now the time to focus on our collective and collaborative community, to keep each other connected, and to share resources.
MeTAG can strengthen existing relationships and build new ones towards a more resilient, responsible, and sustainable travel and tourism industry in the Mekong Region. In addition, MTCO have created a Mekong Coronovirus Resource Centre which is frequently updated.
In addition to discussing and planning for a balanced recovery of travel and tourism in the Mekong Region, MeTAG members are asked to assist in giving valuable advice to Mekong Tourism programs, including:
- Recommending Experience Mekong Collection members as one of the six annual Experience Mekong Showcases
- Nominating individuals as Mekong Heroes
- Judging the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign
- Advising on the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism program (MIST)
- Giving feedback on the annual Mekong Tourism Forum
- Being an ambassador of Mekong Tourism and promoting the initiatives
Many of these programs can become very helpful, especially for smaller companies, when preparing for post COVID-19 recovery. More information about the Mekong Tourism programs can be viewed by downloading MTCO booklet.