Mekong Stories tells the stories of the many individuals and organizations working in the GMS’s tourism industry, impacting cultural, social, and environmental sustainability through tourism, and strengthening communities in the region.

Mekong Stories is designed to tell the hidden stories in the Mekong Region, introducing people working in the industry that have made a difference and devoted their lives to sustainability, such as Mekong Heroes and Mekong Faces. Stories from businesses, in particular, from the Experience Mekong Collection and Made in Mekong businesses bring closer the human aspect and the social impact created by these enterprises. And finally, stories from travelers and residents unleash real experiences from Mekong Moments, Mekong Minis, and Mekong Memories.

Mekong Stories is an online magazine available on the Mekong Stories website and as a PDF. The content is also made available to partners for printing and distribution to their own networks.

Introduction by the Initiator of Mekong Stories, Dr. Jens Thraenhart:

Dear friends,

My almost eight years as Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office have been a long and quite amazing journey, meeting the most wonderful people along the way, getting immersed in authentic local experiences, and hearing their stories.

In many respects, Mekong Stories is the culmination of my work for the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and Destination Mekong that I founded to foster collaboration between the public and private sectors in the member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Mekong Stories is in part a compendium of some of the best examples of travel enterprises within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), but it is also the truly inspiring stories of those people working in the Mekong’s travel sector. From the small responsible travel businesses and social enterprises showcased in our Experience Mekong Collection, the tourism professionals portrayed in Mekong Faces, the passionate entrepreneurs featured in our Mekong Innovations in Sustainable Tourism program (MIST), to our Mekong Heroes, as well as to the all the shared experiences by our travelers and residents from our Mekong Moments and Mekong Minis campaigns. It is their story.

So, why have I chosen Mekong Stories to be my Mekong swansong?

I firmly belief that destination storytelling is the most powerful marketing tool for a travel destination to inspire the world and build pride, in particular a region as diverse as the GMS.

When people start planning their trips they normally have little idea of what they will do or where they will stay, often they are not even sure which country to visit. This is where storytelling plays such an important role.

It makes the destination more real. It turns the theoretical into the actual. It persuades people to visit a destination by offering them the inspiration to experience something that often they never knew existed. It allows future travellers to relate with the people they will visit. It makes them realise the tangible 


Initiator: Dr. Jens Thraenhart

Editor-at-large: Mark Bibby Jackson

Art Director: Gerrit Kruger

Design: Studio DMB



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