MTCO is introducing Mekong Heroes

Proudly contributed by JENS THRAENHART

Company contributor Mekong Tourism Office

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Seeking nominations of inspiring, dedicated and innovative leaders in travel and tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Bangkok, April 15, 2020:  Achieving a prosperous and sustainable tourism industry relies on committed leaders with vision and determination. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is introducing the Mekong Heroes, an initiative operated by the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong, in a time when inspiring leadership is of paramount importance. Rebuilding travel and tourism post COVID-19 will require innovation, often coming from creative individuals who open new niches  by finding new approaches, put new destinations on the experience map, and create new demand. These individuals can become crucial for the viability of travel and tourism in a fragile destination such as the Greater Mekong Subregion and create important domestic employment opportunities, listening to and involving local communities, safeguarding cultural values, and protecting natural treasures.

Especially in difficult times like these, we need to remember and recognize individuals that have consistently contributed to a sustainable travel and tourism industry in the Greater Mekong Subregion”, says Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). “When we start the recovery process, collaboration, innovation, and dedication will be critical to emerging from this pandemic with a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry. Let us not forget that we are building for future generations who will judge us by how we worked our way out of our current crisis.”

To recognize the importance of inspiring, dedicated leadership in thought and action, we are seeking recommendations from anybody active in the travel and tourism industry in the Mekong Region. We are looking for passionate and innovative individuals that have truly made a difference in promoting sustainable and responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion. The whole industry benefits from our Mekong Heroes. From their authenticity of vision, purpose, commitment, and determination, maintained over years of hard work. Recognized not only as builders, creators, and innovators, but also as mentors, teachers, and motivators, these individuals have made it their mission to bring out the best in people.

From innovative entrepreneurs, passionate managers, and visionary executives, to selfless officials or tireless field workers who have modeled new ways of conceiving and bettering tourism: we are inviting you to nominate individuals that are worth being honored and named as a Mekong Tourism Hero.

The Mekong Heroes program is chaired by H.E. Mr. Htay Aung, former Minister of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar, who will endorse and approve the Mekong Heroes, selected by the Mekong Tourism Advisory Group (MeTAG) from the received nominations via

We will tell the personal stories of each Mekong Hero, to inspire others via a special profile on an upcoming dedicated website,, which will bring together all Mekong Heroes in the Mekong Heroes Gallery. We plan to announce one new Mekong Hero every quarter and recognize the Mekong Heroes of the year at the respective Mekong Tourism Forum.  All Mekong Heroes will be featured in the proposed Mekong Stories book and companion website, together with inspiring content of Experience Collection Members, as well as exiting photography shared via Mekong Moments to inspire people from all over the world to experience the Mekong Region when travel resumes after the corona virus pandemic.

Please nominate your Mekong Hero by visiting

This is an extraordinary opportunity to support these programs and initiatives that will fuel the tourism recovery process in the Mekong Region post COVID-19. Partners that would like to interview and publishing the stories of these Mekong Heroes, and organizations that are interested in sponsoring our planned Mekong Stories initiative, provide a crucial contribution to tourism development and revival in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Please find out more information about our programs by downloading our Mekong Tourism program booklet at and contact us via

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