Vang Vieng, Lao PDR

In partnership with PATA, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office will hold its annual Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin for the third consecutive year



Produced by Destination Mekong, the third Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin is organized by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) in partnership with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

The 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin (MTF@ITB) will feature a partnered showcase between Mekong Tourism and PATA regarding this year’s elected theme of ‘Leveraging Visual Storytelling to Promote Destinations and Effect Change’.

This year’s MTF@ITB theme leans into the MTCO’s growing reputation in promoting and empowering regions through different visual storytelling means.  To give the topic its full justice, Mekong Tourism has scheduled VP of Business Development, BBC Worldwide Mr. John Williams, GLP Films CEO Mr. Rob Holmes, and PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy to collectively showcase how visual storytelling and film can impact destination tourism in Southeast Asia.

“We love the way a video can give new life to our most extraordinary Mekong memories, but visual storytelling can also effect change to have us become more conscious travellers, said MTCO Executive Director Jens Thraenhart.

“It’s the reason why we started our Mekong Mini Movie Festival—to celebrate those inspiring and stunning Mekong moments). We appreciate our partnership with ITB as well as PATA to give us a platform to further our mandate to drive sustainable and inclusive tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion,” he said.

MTF@ITB will open with speaker spotlights sessions from each of the aforementioned guest speakers as well as Mr. Thraenhart, highlighting the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign and the Mekong Moments visual storytelling platform. Drawn from his experience working with BBC Worldwide, Mr. Williams will speak about ‘Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age’, an overarching topic that captures the MTCO’s current and future initiatives. Mr. Rob Holmes will showcase best practice examples of visual storytelling in travel and tourism and how visual storytelling has successfully driven sustainable tourism. To close the forum’s first leg, Dr. Mario Hardy will moderate a panel discussion which is aimed to dig deeper on the trends and impact of destination storytelling.

“The Mekong Mini Movie Festival is a brilliant initiative to help feature the Mekong region as its best,” said Mr. Hardy. “People who are passionate about the Mekong can share their personal experiences and inspire others to come and discover this beautiful region.”

In 2018, PATA – along with the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the UNWTO – had recognised Mekong Tourism for its digital marketing excellence displayed in its destination social media aggregation platform Mekong Moments, an engine that facilitated one of the MTCO’s most prominent visual storytelling campaigns to date – the 2018 Mekong Mini Movie Festival. The award-winning festival was targeted to attract amateur and professional moviemakers and create a large amount of content for the Great Mekong Subregion. The contest campaign resulted in over 500 video submissions, which earned a collective viewership of over 7 million people globally.

To conclude MTF@ITB 2019, the MTCO will air a select number of winning films from the 2018 mini movie festival in addition to officially announcing its 2019 successor. For more information on the 2019 Mekong Mini Movie Festival, please visit

The 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum will take place on March 6 at the Cube Club/City Cube in Berlin and is scheduled from 3pm to 3:45pm local time.


For further information please contact:
Communications & Content Studio

About the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations, to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.

Please visit for more information.

About Destination Mekong

Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment and drive inclusive growth. Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion, Destination Mekong executes targeted projects and initiatives via public-private partnership investment structures, including Mekong Moments and Mekong Trends, led by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.

Please visit for more information.

About the Mekong Mini Movie Festival

The Mekong Minis is a unique film festival that celebrates the many faces and experiences of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and promotes the region as a single tourist destination. It is an annual regional tourism marketing campaign with its first instance in 2018, supported by all Tourism Ministries and the private sector in the GMS. The festival is targeted to attract amateur and professional movie makers and create a large amount of content for the region with promotions and screenings internationally. The Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign is powered by Mekong Moments at or

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