Mekong Tourism Forum to feature inaugural food summit

Cambodian “Master Chef” Luu Meng
Cambodian “Master Chef” Luu Meng

The 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum, which takes place in Cambodia next month, will feature a half-day summit dedicated to food tourism.

The inaugural Mekong Food Tourism Summit is being launched in collaboration with the College of Innovation of Bangkok’s Thammasat University and UNWTO member Chameleon Strategies.

The event will provide an overview of food tourism and how it can be used in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). An expert panel will also discuss food tourism in the region, especially in Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam.

Cambodian “Master Chef” Luu Meng will also be on hand to provide an insight into Khmer culture and cuisine. He has previously worked with Anthony Bourdaine and appeared in an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Great Escape’.

“The Mekong region couldn’t be better placed to satisfy the need, and position the region as a multi-country, must-visit tourism destination. Especially due to the fact that agriculture and tourism are vital pillars of the region’s economy, from local street food to rising celebrity chefs, from bustling markets to picturous rice fields,” said Jens Thraenhart, executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office.

“Against this background, food tourism has gained increasing attention over the past years. Tourists are attracted to local produce and the many destinations are centring their product development and marketing accordingly. With food so deeply connected to its origin, this focus allows the GMS to market itself as truly unique, appealing to those travellers who look to feel part of the destination through its flavours.

“As identified in the 2015-2020 Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy & Action Plan, we already see that food is one of the main motivators for tourists to visit the GMS member countries, and is closely linked to developing authentic experiences in the Mekong Region,” he added.

The 2016 Mekong Tourism Forum will be held at the Sokha Beach Resort in Sihanoukville from 5-7 July.

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