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Mekong Tourism Forum 2024 concludes successfully in Lijiang, China

The MTF 2024

The Mekong Tourism Forum 2024 in Lijiang highlighted sustainable travel and international tourism cooperation with 270 delegates.

LIJIANG, CHINA – The Mekong Tourism Forum (MTF) 2024, hosted in Lijiang from April 23 to 25, successfully concluded with 270 delegates at both the welcome dinner and the opening ceremony. The forum was honored by the opening speech from H.E. Zhang Zheng, Vice Minister of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China.

The forum, under the theme, “Visionary Journeys Redefining Tomorrow’s Travel,” featured a compelling keynote by Mr. Kimi Liu, Vice President of Trip.com Group. He highlighted significant sustainable travel initiatives, including efforts to promote low-carbon travel products and the adoption of sustainable practices across the tourism industry.

The first panel, “Crossing Bridges, Building Connections for Cultural Integration and Prosperity,” showcased insights from experts at the Linden Centre, Mira Travels, the Network of International Culturalink Entities (NICE), and RDK Group, emphasizing the importance of cultural heritage and digital innovation in tourism as well as the involvement of local communities.

The second panel focused on enhancing international cooperation to boost sustainable tourism growth in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), featuring experts from the ASEAN-China Centre, the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (DASTA), the Ministry of Tourism Cambodia, and WWF Greater Mekong.

Participants also engaged in a field study in Lijiang’s Old Town and a technical tour, highlighting Lijiang’s natural landscapes and cultural offerings.

Ms. Suvimol Thanasarakij, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, reflected on the event’s success.

We thank the host country, China, including the Bureau of International Exchanges and Cooperation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the People’s Republic of China, the Yunnan Provincial Culture and Tourism Department, and the People’s Government of Lijiang City, for hosting this important event, the signature-event of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) tourism cooperation. I am so proud to have tourism experts from every GMS country on the panels, showcasing the depth of expertise and strong collaborative spirit across our region. Lijiang has demonstrated an ideal example of how cultural heritage assets can be managed using digitalization as a tool in smart tourism destinations.

MTF 2025 is scheduled to be held in Luang Prabang, Lao PDR, promising further exploration of sustainable tourism practices.

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