BANGKOK, 12 October 2021: The Pacific Tourism Organization
(SPTO) and Destination Mekong have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
to foster a collaborative partnership that will benefit both organisations and
their stakeholders.

The MoU creates a framework for Greater Mekong Sub-region (Cambodia, China Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and 20 Pacific Island countries (PICs) to develop information sharing and best practices to grow sustainable and inclusive tourism.

Speaking at the MoU announcement during the virtual Mekong
World Tourism Day Forum, Destination Mekong founder and the Mekong Tourism
Coordinating Office executive director Jens Thraenhart noted the importance of
innovative collaboration during this time.

“The MoU with SPTO signals an important step in a
partnership agreement between two major regional tourism organisations, in a
time when collaboration and sharing of knowledge are more important than ever,
to practically assist our business communities in preparing for a balanced
tourism eco-system”.

SPTO chief executive, Christopher Cocker, emphasised:
“We recognise that some Destination Mekong members are well-established
tourism destinations and will have valuable lessons to share with SPTO and our
members… Collaboration with like-minded partners is critical for regional
tourism organisations, particularly against the backdrop of the pandemic”.

SPTO and Destination Mekong intend to host a virtual mini
tourism forum towards the end of 2021, with details to be announced soon.

Thraenhart signed off on the MoU as one of his final duties
as he prepares to vacate the executive director’s chair on 15 October. MTCO has
yet to announce his replacement.

SPTO:

Established in 1983 as the Tourism Council of the South
Pacific, the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) is the mandated organisation
representing Tourism in the region. Its 21 Government members are American
Samoa, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polynesia,
Kiribati, Nauru, Marshall Islands, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Rapa
Nui, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu
Wallis & Futuna and the People’s Republic of China.

Destination Mekong:

Destination Mekong (DM) is the regional destination
marketing organisation and is owned and funded by the private sector of the
travel and tourism industry in the six countries of the Greater Mekong
Subregion. DM initiates, develops, and operates various programs and
initiatives aligned to the strategic framework of the regional Mekong Tourism
collaboration, published by the six-member tourism ministries via its
secretariat, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.