The 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum at ITB Berlin (MTF@ITB) will feature a partnered showcase between Mekong Tourism and PATA regarding this year’s elected theme of ‘Leveraging Visual Storytelling to Promote Destinations and Effect Change’.This year’s MTF@ITB theme leans into the MTCO’s growing reputation in promoting and empowering regions through different visual storytelling means. To give the topic its full justice, Mekong Tourism has scheduled VP of Business Development, BBC Worldwide Mr. John Williams, GLP Films CEO Mr. Rob Holmes, Lonely Planet Author & Hanuman Films Cambodia Producer Mr. Nick Ray, and PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy to collectively showcase how visual storytelling and film can impact destination tourism in Southeast Asia.
“We love the way a video can give new life to our most extraordinary Mekong memories, but visual storytelling can also effect change to have us become more conscious travellers, said MTCO Executive Director Mr. Jens Thraenhart.
“It’s the reason why we started our Mekong Mini Movie Festival—to celebrate those inspiring and stunning Mekong moments. We appreciate our partnership with ITB as well as PATA to give us a platform to further our mandate to drive sustainable and inclusive tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion,” he said.
MTF@ITB will open with speaker spotlights sessions from each of the aforementioned guest speakers as well as Mr. Thraenhart, highlighting the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign and the Mekong Moments visual storytelling platform. Drawn from his experience working with BBC Worldwide, Mr. John Williams will speak about ‘Visual Storytelling in the Digital Age’, an overarching topic that captures the MTCO’s current and future initiatives.
Mr. Rob Holmes will showcase best practice examples of visual storytelling in travel and tourism and how visual storytelling has successfully driven sustainable tourism. Mr. Nick Ray will also present case studies regarding film tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion including a feature about ‘Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’ starring Angelina Jolie. To close the forum’s first leg, Dr. Mario Hardy will moderate a panel discussion which is aimed to dig deeper on the trends and impact of destination storytelling.
“The Mekong Mini Movie Festival is a brilliant initiative to help feature the Mekong region as its best,” said Dr. Hardy. “People who are passionate about the Mekong can share their personal experiences and inspire others to come and discover this beautiful region.”
In 2018, PATA – along with the Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and the UNWTO – had recognised Mekong Tourism for its digital marketing excellence displayed in its destination social media aggregation platform Mekong Moments, an engine that facilitated one of the MTCO’s most prominent visual storytelling campaigns to date – the 2018 Mekong Mini Movie Festival. The award-winning festival was targeted to attract amateur and professional moviemakers and create a large amount of content for the Great Mekong Subregion. The contest campaign resulted in over 500 video submissions, which earned a collective viewership of over 7 million people globally.
To conclude MTF@ITB 2019, the MTCO will air a select number of winning films from the 2018 mini movie festival in addition to officially announcing its 2019 successor. For more information on the 2019 Mekong Mini Movie Festival, please visit www.mekongminis.com.
The 2019 Mekong Tourism Forum will take place on March 6 at the Cube Club/City Cube in Berlin and is scheduled from 3pm to 3:45pm local time.