MTCO spotlights six lead experiences

Launched in 2018 to recognise sustainable and responsible tourism development, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office’s initiative Experience Mekong Collection is focusing on six new organisations for its second edition.

By choosing just one organisation from each Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) country, MTCO has selected “best practice” tourism organisations in six themed categories.

They are identified as:  “Do, Shop, Stay, Taste Tour and Cruise.

The 2018 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included Phare Cambodian Circus (Cambodia), Longji Rice Terraces Guangxi (China), Ock Pop Tok (Lao PDR), Inle Heritage Place (Myanmar), Local Alike (Thailand), and Koto (Vietnam).

“Experience Mekong Collection is a wonderful way of highlighting small business examples of good practice,” said MTCO executive director Jens Thraenhart.

“In doing so, this sets several benchmarks to further improve travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion. We hope this motivates other operators to become more involved and do their part for responsible tourism,” he said.

Chosen among all current members of the Experience Mekong Collection, the 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcase selectees are as follows:

Cambodia: Soksabike (Tour category) is Battambang’s bike tour social enterprise offering guests an insight into the traditional livelihoods of the Cambodian countryside.

Lao PDR: Elephant Conservation Centre (Do category) offers an experience that studies elephants up close, in the Nam Tien protected area.

Myanmar: Hla Day (Shop category) offers quality handicrafts sourced from local producers. Hla Day provides a fair-trade marketplace.

Thailand: Sampran Riverside (Stay category) Established in 1962, it is now an eco-cultural destination that engages with local farmers and promotes organic agriculture through its “Sampran Model”.

Vietnam: STREETS International (Taste category) is a social enterprise for street kids and disadvantaged youth. It prepares vulnerable, orphaned and other disadvantaged young people for careers in hospitality.

Case studies on each of the 2019 experiences are to be developed by students of the Mahidol University International College in Thailand.

Summarised and well-designed snippets of these case study reports are set to be presented at MTF 2019 in China as well as other tourism community events.

All Experience Mekong Collection are highlighted on a feature page on the MTCO website.