Welcome to Luang Prabang. We hope that you will enjoy not only the rich content and the exciting new format of the Mekong Tourism Forum but also this beautiful city, the former Royal Capital of Laos and a unique blend of Laotian and French architecture. Luang Prabang is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1995.
Its relaxed, slow-moving pace of life, its religious traditions centered around two dozens of temples, its emerging culinary scene, its rich ethnic crafts, its outstanding hospitality with some of Southeast Asia most delightful boutique hotels make it a perfect destination to explore…
Luang Prabang is easily to reach by flight with daily or weekly connections from Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Vientiane. The airport is a mere 15- minute drive from Luang Prabang City. Most hotels provide transfers.
- Transfer from the airport
A MTF counter and also a special MTF immigration lane has been set up at the airport. Please go to the MTF counter to receive your bag with information regarding Luang Prabang, your badge and a free SIM Card (ETL) which will allow you to have data roaming. MTF staff at the airport will organize your transfers.
Wifi will be available at all the venues. Each delegate bag contains as well a SIM Card, complimentary of ETL telecom company. It has been charged with a couple of dollars but you will need to top-up to benefit of full high speed roaming during your entire stay. Expect to pay between US$5 and US$15 for top-up.
The Lao Kip is the national currency but many shops and services accept also US dollars and Thai Baht. Credit and Debit cards are accepted in many shops. ATM all over town.
Exchange rate (02/06/17)
1 US$ LAK 8,200
1 EUR LAK 9,350
1 THB LAK 244
- Visits of Luang Prabang major sightseeings
- National Museum (former Royal Palace) Open Daily 8:30-11:30 and 13:30-15:00. Price of LAK30,000. www.tourismluangprabang.org
NO PICTURES ALLOWED INSIDE THE NATIONAL MUSEUM!!!
- Wat Xieng Thong. Open daily until sunset. Price of LAK 20,000
- Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre, Museum and Arts Centre of ethnic Hilltribes traditional arts- Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Price of LAK 25,000. taeclaos.org
- Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden- Departure by boat from Ban Wat That every hour from 9:00 to 16:00. Open from 08:00 to 18:00. Price of US$25 including transfer.
- Transfer to Venues
Mini busses or cars will be provided each morning and each evening from Official Hotels. Timetable to be announced.
MTF 2017 QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
- Why is the MTF 2017 under the theme “Prosper with Purpose”?
As tourism is growing and travel businesses are flourishing, we are determined to affect positive and measurable socio-economic and environmental change in the Greater Mekong Subregion through responsible and sustainable travel and tourism. The theme couldn’t be more relevant in a time when tourism is growing in our region but we also need to be conscious in giving back to community and develop tourism in a responsible way.
- What does it mean when you say “MTF 2017 is inclusive”?
For MTF2017, we decided to be as inclusive as possible and include as many small businesses in being a host for the Mekong Tourism Forum, in order to make the destination the venue, and to make the conference as experiential as possible. That way, also the hosting is shared, and people are not constrained to being only in one conference venue of the period of the event. This approach could become model for other smaller towns without big conference facilities to host events by businesses partnering and forming a consortia.
- What is the “MTF 2017 Break-through Session Concept”?
There are 8 tracks with 2 sessions each, with a total of 16 sessions. We look at these sessions almost like an “un-conference” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconference). This means, these sessions are not organized in a traditional conference sense where panels are pre-planned and questions and answers prepped in advance. We want these sessions to be organic, highly interactive, and engaging. To ensure some consistency of all the sessions, we have developed a model that is aimed to position the GMS as a competitive tourism destination. The components of the model are: Positioning, Promotion, Product Development, Partnerships, and Policy. We aim to summarize each session in our Post MTF Report. We tested the model the first time in Danang, Vietnam at MTF2015. Feel free to download the report: http://www.mekongtourism.org/mekong-tourism-marketing-workshop-2015/. All sessions are listed at http://www.mekongtourismforum.org/index.php/sessions/ as well as the mobile app.
We want to recognize the most creative and engaging session by asking delegates to vote.
- What is the role of the “Session Facilitator”?
The goal of the facilitator is not to dominate the discussion but to stimulate discussions. A quick intro presentation that limits or completely avoids any sales pitches or company introductions is something we strongly encourage. Facilitators may invite subject matter experts to add some real life examples, to further stimulate discussion.
- How can I vote for the sessions?In the mobile app, each session has a link “PLEASE TAKE SURVEY”, under “Media”, in each session. The link takes you to our survey powered by Survey Monkey. Please be so kind to rate each session you attend (including MIST, Blogger Match-up, Morning Plenary Sessions on June 7 & 8), but especially the “Break-Through Sessions” in the afternoons of June 7 & 8. We look to recognize the most engaging and creative Break-Through Session, in addition to being interested in your feedback for future MTF planning. Thank you!
- How do I get to the Morning Venue (Luang Prabang Central Bank Building) on June 7th & June 8th?The host country will provide shuttle vans to transfer from/to the official hotels to/from the morning/evening venues. The transportation schedule of the vans will be posted in the lobby of the host hotels.
- What are the official hotels of MTF 2017?
There are 15 official hotels. Please see the complete list in the MTF 2017 Program Guide or at: http://www.mekongtourismforum.org/index.php/location/accommodation/
- Where can I register, and pick up my badge for MTF 2017?
Delegates can register for MTF 2017 at MTF counters at the Luang Prabang Airport (at arrival from June 4-6), Sanakeo Boutique Hotel (June 4-5), Luang Prabang View Hotel (June 5-6), Luang Prabang Tourism Department (June 4-6) and the Lao Central Bank Building (June 7-8).
- How do I register for the Break-through Sessions?
Apart from registering online at MekongTourismForum.org, you can also register for available sessions at the registration counter in front of Conference Hall of the Central Bank on Wednesday 7, 2017 from 8:30-11:30 am.
- How do I get to my Break-through session track I registered for?
The host country will provide transportation from the official hotels to the morning venue on June 7th and 8th (Central Bank Building), and colour-coded vans will transport delegates to the sessions, coordinated by Exo Travel. Delegates will receive coloured cards according for which track they registered. For example: Human Capital Development (Track 2) might be Green, while Culture & Heritage (Track 4) might be Blue. Delegates with a green card can get on the green van, while delegates with a blue card will be able to get on the blue van. Delegates can swop cards with other delegates as they wish, but need to have the right card to get on the matching van.
- I would like to change my Break-through session track. Is that possible?
Please check at the desks colour-coded with the colours of the respective tracks, if there is still availability for your track of choice. You do need to first pickup your coloured card of your registered track you originally registered for, and then exchange for a new coloured card. Alternatively, you can also swop cards with other delegates. However, please note that you can only get on a van if you have the matching card.
- Is it possible to attend sessions in two different tracks?
You need to attend both sessions in a specific track in a given afternoon, and cannot switch around. However, you have the chance to attend a different track the second afternoon, as all tracks are repeated the next day.
- Where is lunch served?Instead of having one big catered lunch, we decided to incorporate small little local restaurants, and let delegates experience the local cuisine. This in not also more experiential, but is also aligned to our mandate to be highly inclusive. On the way to first session venue, the vans will stop at selected local restaurants for a quick lunch. So please be sure that you will board your respective colour-coded van, matching your colour-coded card for your registered track.
- Where and when are the evening functions, and how do I get there?
Delegates will go straight from the second session to the evening function on June 7 & 8. If we were to drop delegates off at the various hotels, we would lose too much time, and the evening events would not be able to start on time. We do recognise that some people would like to go back to the hotels, to rest and refresh. Unfortunately, from a logistics standpoint, this is very challenging. However, delegates that do want to go back to their respective hotel to get changed or refreshed, are welcome to do so on their own.
- What is the dress code?For the Morning and Afternoon sessions, we recommend comfortable “Light Business Casual”. While the temperature is expected to be quite warm, we do not recommend going as “light” as tank-tops and flip-flops, especially as the Gala Dinner, which is a bit more formal is just following the Break-Through Sessions. The
- Where can I get water?This year, we have joined the “Refill Not Landfill” campaign to reduce the plastic waste in the region. Every delegate will receive a voucher to pick up a ‘MTF 2017 limited edition’ refillable aluminum water bottle, sponsored by GIZ. You can refill the bottle at all session venues, the Central Bank Building, your official hotels, and the Luang Prabang Visitor Center. Please refrain from using any plastic water bottles, and make a difference.
- Is there WIFI available?WIFI is provided at most of the session venues, and all the official hotels. However, the best way is to get a local SIM Card. Internet is usually faster and more reliable via a local SIM card.
- How and where can I get a local SIM card?
At arrival at the Luang Prabang Airport, there will be a desk from Lao Telecom, giving out free pre-loaded SIM Cards for MTF 2017 delegates. Additional top-ups are at your won expense. If you would like to choose another Telecom provider, you are free to do so at your own expense.
- How do I download the MTF 2017 Mobile App?We have developed our own Mekong Tourism Forum App. When people arrive at the airport in Luang Prabang, it is easy to get your own SIM Card from various providers, such as Lao Telecom. Anybody who has registered on mekongtourismforum.orgvia eventbrite can download the app and login with his or her respective credentials from the registration. You will get an email, but just in case:
- Search Apple or Android App store for “Presdo Match”, and download the app
Android (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.presdo.match.freemium) and Apple iOS (https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/presdo-match/id1041517753?mt=8)
- Open app and search for “Mekong Tourism Forum”
- Enter “Mekong Tourism Forum” and login with your credentials by visiting your profile (via top left menu)
- Update your profile by adding your photo, bio, etc.
- Explore the app by checking out the agenda, sponsors, as well as connect with other delegates (via People)
- Can I join a MTF 2017 Post Tour if I haven’t registered previously?
Please check on www.MekongTourismForum.org under Post Tours about the availability, and register directly online. There will also be tour desks the mornings of June 7th and 8th from 8:30-11:30 am at the Central Bank to assist you. There are a total of nine tours that are available for MTF 2017 delegates. Information is also available in the MTF 2017 Guide and the MTF 2017 Mobile App.
- Will there be airport transfers back to LPQ Airport, and if yes at what time and from where?
There will be a schedule that will pick up MTF 2017 delegates from official hotels and Luang Prabang Visitor Center at set times on June 9th and 10th.
- What is the #hashtag to MTF 2017 to share my photos, videos, and posts on social media?
We have also developed an entire page on Luang Prabang on MekongMoments.com, listing over 300 businesses including all the MTF venues. MTF 2017 is set-up as an Experience. Please tag @MekongMoments on the various social media platforms (Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, WeChat), and add the official hashtag for MTF which is #MekongTourismForum.
- Are there MTF 2017 web banners I can add to my website and blog?
You can download banners at http://www.mekongtourismforum.org/index.php/2017/04/26/mtf-2017-web-banners/
- What is the Mekong Tourism Contributor Program, and how can I join?Passionate tourism experts active in the GMS can join our new Mekong Tourism Contributor program to contribute articles as well as documents for our e-library. Contributors receive a dedicated personal page with their bio, links to their website and social media, and collection of their contributed content. As part of our new Mekong Tourism Contributor Program, which consists of individual Mekong Tourism Experts and Mekong Travel Storytellers, as well as Mekong Tourism Partners (organizations), we also would like to establish Expert Groups in various subject matters – from Food Tourism, River Cruise Tourism, Adventure Tourism, Aviation, Hotel Investment, etc. The Break-through sessions at MTF2017 are a wonderful opportunity for passionate experts to create these experts groups to communicate and collaborate. More information and application is at: http://www.mekongtourism.org/contributors/
- How can I get engaged with Mekong Tourism initiatives and programs and stay up-to-date?
Easiest is to regularly visit MekongTourism.org. Please sign up to our weekly e-newsletter at http://www.mekongtourism.org/e-newsletter/and follow us on social media (@TourismMekong).