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Wed, 28 July 2021

Finalists of Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 Unveiled as Public Voting Begins

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office has unveiled the 15 finalists of the Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 from Cambodia, Laos, Thailand Vietnam, as well as Guangxi and Yunnan in China.

Three thousand eligible votes determined three Experience Mekong Collection members from each of the five participating countries this year for the next round of voting.

The public can vote until 31 August, with the six Experience Mekong Showcases to be announced at the 2021 Destination Mekong Summit scheduled to take place later this year.

The 15 finalists are:

15 Finalists of the Experience Mekong Showcases 2021

Alliances like the Experience Mekong Collection are more important than ever, especially in crises such as during the COVID19 pandemic, to strengthen resilience both at the destination level, as well as for the individual businesses themselves, via sharing of best practices, networking, cross-promotional activities, and creating operational efficiencies, said Jens Thraenhart, outgoing Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, and initiator of the Experience Mekong Collection. I am convinced that the Experience Mekong Collection will help accelerate tourism recovery in the region, as well as protect and conserve these locally authentic experiences, which are the treasure trove of the Mekong region.

The Experience Mekong Collection was created four years ago to recognize and encourage sustainable and responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion.

To be appointed as a member of the Experience Mekong Collection, all small travel businesses in the Mekong Region need to fulfill the following requirements:

Visiting rural communities in the Mekong region is one of the most rewarding holiday experiences you can have. Picture by Steven Howard of TravelNewsAsia.com Click to enlarge.

1. Make a significant social impact on its community;

2. Provide an authentically local experience positioning the GMS as a responsible, inclusive, and experiential tourism destination; and

3. Have an innovative concept and sustainable business model.

Willem Niemeijer, Founder & CEO of Yaana Ventures and interim Chairman of Destination Mekong, said, In recognizing the most innovative best practice businesses as the Experience Mekong Showcases, this sets several benchmarks to further improve travel experiences in the Greater Mekong Subregion. As consumer trends and travel behaviors are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we hope this inspires other operators of any size to become involved in responsible and inclusive tourism.

The 2018 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included: Phare Cambodian Circus (Cambodia), Longji Rice Terraces Guangxi (China), Ock Pop Tok (Laos), Inle Heritage Place (Myanmar), Local Alike (Thailand), and Koto (Vietnam).

The 2019 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included: Soksabike (Cambodia), Linden Centre (China), Elephant Conservation Centre (Laos), Hla Day (Myanmar), Sampran Riverside (Thailand), and Streets International (Vietnam).

The 2020 Experience Mekong Collection Showcases included: the Elephant Valley Project (Cambodia), Yangshuo Mountain Retreat (China), Laos Buffalo Dairy (Lao PDR), Living Irravaddy Dolphin Project (Myanmar), The Family Tree (Thailand), and Journey of the Senses (Vietnam).

The 2021 finalists from Myanmar will this year be judged differently via an industry panel made up of Mekong Tourism Advisory Group members.

Vote for your favourite Experience Mekong Showcases 2021 here.

See latest Travel Industry News, Video Interviews, Podcasts and other news regarding: MTCO, MeTAG, Mekong Tourism, Mekong.

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