Mekong Tourism Forum 2019 to highlight strong connection between tourism and culture

The news was updated on May 24, 2019.

The 2019 edition of the Mekong Tourism Forum, to be held in Dali, Yunnan province of China on May 28-29, will focus on the theme of “Tourism — a driver for cultural heritage preservation and poverty alleviation,” Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office has said.

During a media briefing held in Bangkok on Wednesday, the office said the forum will look ways to foster sustainability in tourism and its positive influence for protection of cultural assets with sessions talking on rail tourism, the management of sustainable and responsible tourism in Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) destinations, the impact of tourism in preserving cultural heritage in Yunnan province and so on.

After that, delegates would also visit Xizhou Ancient Town, which shows how tourism and culture are tightly interlinked, while preservation and conservation are critical to ensure sustainability.

“We are thrilled by the possibility to host the Mekong Tourism Forum in Dali, one of Yunnan’s most scenic destinations to visit and we want to extend our warmest gratitude to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of China,” said Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

He added that the excursion to Xizhou is a living testimony of ways to intimately link tourism and heritage without destroying the authenticity of a destination.

The executive director also mentioned that beside the forum itself, they have put forward initiatives to promote tourism in the region, such as Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) aiming to help startups grow, SMEs to expand in the region, and Mekong Mini Movie Festival that everyone can join by submitting a 60-second film to social media with certain hashtags.