Mekong Tourism Forum confirms top speakers


The Mekong Tourism Forum has confirmed a compelling list of speakers to address its theme for 2010, “New Roads, New Opportunities.”

Tourism ministers, director generals, travel industry CEOs, and leading private sector and development minds will address current and future challenges and opportunities facing tourism in the Mekong region. The forum takes place in Siem Reap, Cambodia, May 7-8, 2010.

High profile speakers include HE Dr Thong Khon, Minister of Tourism of Cambodia; Mr. Luzi Matzig, Group CEO, Asian Trails; Mr. Pradech Phayakvichien, former Governor, Tourism Authority of Thailand; Mr. Bill Black, Managing Director, Altiva Hospitality; Mr. Tran Trong Kien, Founder and CEO of Buffalo Tours Vietnam; Ms. Chananya Phataraprasit, Chairperson, Asian Oasis; Mr. Inthy Deansavan, Managing Director of Green Discovery Laos; and Mr. Greg Duffell, CEO of PATA, to name a few.

One of the highlights will be “In Conversation with Lim Neo Chian.” In this session, Yeoh Siew Hoon, Editor & Producer of WIT-Web In Travel, will interview the former CEO of the Singapore Tourism Board, who will share Mekong-region travel encounters from his 2009 “ASEAN On Wheels” 4-wheel drive adventure. He will highlight the opportunities that he sees for Mekong tourism growth in the years ahead.

Other top-level session moderators and controllers, such as Ludwig Rieder of Asia Pacific Projects, Mr. Don Ross of TTR Weekly, and Mr. Tith Chanta, Director General of the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia, will define and direct the debates at the forum.

Opportunities and threats will be analyzed against a backdrop of growth. “Tourism demand for Mekong region destinations is storming ahead,” said Mr. Mason Florence, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office in Bangkok. “We need to work together to make sure development is fair and sustainable and that we remove obstacles to growth and poverty alleviation.”

With new road corridors opening much of the sub-region, there will be sessions on “Pioneering Mekong Tourism Products,” “The Path to Community-based Tourism,” “How Sustainable Tourism Can Drive Profit,” and “The Road Ahead.”

Government speakers will update the audience on visa regulations, border crossing changes, airport developments, and new policies and incentives for the tourism sector.

For the full program showing all speakers, visit here.

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2010 is open to all. Registration can be done online at . For further information, email: or call the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office at: (+66) 2-612-4150.