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Sustainable Destination Management

Strategies in the OIC Member Countries


Integration of Capacity-Building, Start-Ups, and Local Communities

Through a large number of development projects being supported mainly by development

banks or bilateral partners, numerous capacity-building initiatives are now underway and are

focusing as well on community involvement. (An extensive list of these initiatives can be found

in the annex, ‘The Greater Mekong Subregion Tourism Sector Strategy 2016–2025’).

In terms of start-ups, the Mekong Innovative Start-ups in Tourism (MIST) program was

initiated in partnership with the ADB and is supported by the Australian government. Mentors

annually select travel start-ups from both within the region to drive responsible tourism

development in the Greater Mekong Subregion. Successful applicants will be invited to the

MIST boot camp and will pitch their business concepts to investors and industry experts



Funding sources

In recent years, the MTCO has received an annual contribution of $15,000 USD per country, for

an annual total of $90,000 USD. From 2019 onwards, each country will contribute $20,000 USD,

which means a total of $120,000 USD. These funds cover the operational costs and two full-

time staff members, who are sometimes supported by interns and external advisors. According

to the original plan, MTCO was to have been supported by a Development Director (which it

was for a few years, as subsidized by the French Government) and a Project Coordinator;

however, the latter position was never established.

MTCO is now trying to acquire status as an international governmental organization, which

would allow it to do its own fund-raising.




Legal framework of corridor including monitoring, transparency and data collection

The Greater Mekong Subregion TWC had its beginnings in the ‘Workshop on Tourism

Development in Countries along the Mekong River’ held in Kunming, Yunnan Province, PRC, on

13-17 December 1994. During the workshop, it was agreed that the successful implementation

of sub-regional tourism projects would require regular consultations among the NTOs of the

six GMS countries, representatives of regional and international agencies concerned, and the

private sector. The workshop recommended the establishment of the GMS TWC, which was

subsequently endorsed by the Fifth Ministerial Conference on Subregional Cooperation.

The GMS TWC reports to GMS ministerial-level conferences and the respective governments of

each GMS country. The main objective of the GMS TWC is to provide guidance and professional

support for the implementation of sub-regional tourism projects. The TWC is comprised of



of the




appointed by


respective governments.


Arrangements to implement and monitor strategic programs and projects follow the existing

institutional mechanism for the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. The ADB is acting as the


Interview with Executive Director of Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office


"TourismWorking Group," Mekong Tourism, accessed August 14, 2019,