Coronavirus: Mekong Tourism Forum Postponed

Coronavirus, Mekong Tourism Forum, Mekong, PATA, MICE

While large MICE events are now cancelled all around the world, two important ASEAN tourism events, the Mekong Tourism Forum as well as the PATA Annual Summit are now affected as well by the COV-19 crisis. 

While tourism is being increasingly affected by the spreading of the coronavirus around the world, one of the most affected area to suffer is certainly MICE as large gathering of people are being banned by governments and local authorities for safety reasons.

First to announce a change in hosting, the coming Mekong Tourism Forum will not take place as originally planned by the end of April in Bagan. In a statement, Executive Director of the Mekong Coordinating Office Jens Thraenhart announced that the ITB Berlin cancellation had as a consequence the cancellation of the 4th MTF Session @ITB Berlin on 4 March at City Cube in Berlin, under the theme of Visual Storytelling. But also he announced that the 2020 Mekong Tourism Forum focusing on the theme of “Achieving Balanced Tourism” in Bagan, Myanmar, will be hosted by the Ministry of Hotels and Tourism of Myanmar on August 25-26, 2020. More information can be found at

Another important meeting to be cancelled is also the PATA Annual Summit. In an online message, PATA CEO Mario Hardy explained that “due to the evolving dynamics of the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and after much discussion and deliberation with the Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority (RAK TDA) and the PATA Executive Board, the PATA Annual Summit 2020 in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates from March 31-April 3 will no longer take place.”

” The safety and well-being of our members, industry colleagues, and local communities is fundamental in our mission in acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. We have been closely monitoring this continually developing situation and believe that it was best that we made this decision in a clear and timely manner.”

“All of us at PATA were excited to welcome all members and delegates to Ras Al Khaimah, and our discussions and meetings with the host ensured us that this would have been a successful event would it not have been for the current situation.

With this in mind, we are pleased to announce that RAK TDA has agreed to host the PATA Annual Summit 2021 and dates for next year’s event will be announced in due time,” he explained.

PATA CEO reminds all the industry to get information from reputable sources such as the World Health Organization (WHO) and local authorities. ” During times such as these, it is vital to gather all proper facts and information before measuring an appropriate and responsible response,” added Mario Hardy.