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5 May, 2014

Applicants sought to head Mekong Tourism office

The Bangkok-based Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office is inviting applications for Executive Director position to replace Mr Mason Florence who is moving on at the end of a successful six-year term. Citizens of the Greater Mekong Subregion countries and women are especially being encouraged to apply. The initial contract will be for two years. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience.

The MTCO is a collaborative effort between the national tourism organisations of Cambodia, China (Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Full details of the terms of reference are as follows:


Name: Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office Position: Executive Director

Closing Date for Applications: 12 May 2014 (17.00pm Bangkok Time)


Established in early 2006, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is a collaborative effort between the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): Cambodia, The People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), The Lao People’s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. The mission of the MTCO is to help GMS National Tourism Organizations develop and promote the Mekong as a single destination, offering a diversity of good quality and high-yielding sub-regional products that help to distribute the benefits of tourism more widely; add to the tourism development efforts of each GMS destination; contribute to poverty reduction, gender equality and empowerment of women; and minimize any adverse impacts of tourism through the development of a sustainable industry.

The MTCO acts as the secretariat for, and reports to, the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG), which is made up of representatives from the respective National Tourism Organizations (NTOs) of each of the six Mekong countries. There are focal points from each country and representation at twice-yearly TWG Meetings; participation is customarily up to the Director General level. Reporting on sub-regional tourism issues and progress is also made to Tourism Ministers at periodic GMS Ministers’ Meetings. As of December 2013, the GMS Tourism Working Group has met 32 times, with the twice-yearly gatherings rotating around to each of the GMS Member States on an alphabetical basis.

The MTCO offices are currently located in the Department of Tourism building (near National Stadium BTS Sky Train station) in Bangkok, Thailand.


The primary objective of the Executive Director is to provide support and specialized knowledge to the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG) Board, and to execute all secretariat functions for the TWG meetings and conferences. The secondary objective is to support implementation of the regional Explore Mekong Marketing Strategy, in conjunction with all relevant stakeholders, to including regular updating of the strategy and related work plans to respond to changing market demand/needs.


The MTCO Executive Director shall undertake the following tasks in under the supervision of and in close cooperation with the GMS Tourism Working Group Board:

(+) Provide secretarial and administrative support to the GMS Tourism Working Group, and MTCO Board of Directors.1

(+) Supervise the MTCO Office Manager, other employees, interns, consultants, and other advisors and persons engaged by MTCO, etc.

(+) Oversee the management of MTCO accounts and finances, and prepare quarterly and annual Financial reports in accordance with internationally accepted accounting standards

(+) Prepare the summary of proceedings of semi-annual GMS Tourism Working group Meetings and other meetings and events organized by the TWG/MTCO.

(+) Prepare technical reports on events organized by the TWG/MTCO.

(+) Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and partners on the marketing and promotion of the GMS as a single destination in accordance with the Explore Mekong subregional marketing plan and its annual strategic action plan.

(+) Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and other partners to identify resources to support implementation of priority projects in the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy, with emphasis on mobilizing assistance for secondary destinations.

(+) Coordinate with public and private GMS tourism stakeholders with a view to catalyse technical and financial assistance to support, maintain and develop relationships with private sector stakeholders to in order to strengthen MTCO marketing activities.

(+) Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional and international travel press, including both trade/industry and consumer travel media.

(+) Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional and international academic institutions, teachers and students, especially in the fields of tourism planning, management and promotion.

(+) Frequently liaise with the Board of Directors of the MTCO and other NTO personnel.

(+) Represent the MTCO at Tourism Working Group (TWG) meetings, and at Travel Trade Events, and other tourism-related meetings and conferences.

(+) Manage and appropriately archive telephone, fax and email correspondence for the MTCO.

(+) Supervise maintenance of the MTCO website including information management of content, announcements, newsletters, press releases; and regular uploading and dissemination of information of the websites-web-based knowledge centre.

(+) Review, and in consultation with the MTCO Board, update the website strategy as needed.

(+) Closely coordinate with officials of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports, Department of Tourism, in regard to day-to-day administrative matters of the MTCO (e.g. office arrangements and hardware, telephone lines, Internet service, etc.).

(+) Supervise and contribute to the maintenance and updating the MTCO databases (contacts database, MTCO Library, MTCO publications inventory, MTCO photo library, and all other electronic archives.).


Education Requirements: a University degree in tourism or related specialized fields, preferably at post-graduate level

Relevant Work Experience: at least five years relevant experience in tourism planning, development and/or marketing in the Greater Mekong Subregion

Age: 28 to 55

Profile: All nationalities will be considered. GMS nationals (Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam) and women are especially encouraged to apply.


The MTCO Executive Director shall report to the MTCO Board. Regular reports to be provide to the Board include but are not limited to: (i) MTCOs quarterly/annual financial statements; (ii) brief quarterly reports on MTCO operations, in a format agreed with the MTCO Board; (iii) and annual report on MTCO operations in a format agreed with the MTCO Board.


The duration of this engagement is two years, from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2016. It is understood that the MTCO Executive Director will be engaged as an independent consultant and that the MTCO is not responsible for paying any related taxes and benefits such as income taxes or social security. Following satisfactory annual performance appraisals and agreement from the MTCO Board of Directors, the MTCO Executive Director may be offered a contract extension for a period to be mutually agreed by the MTCO Board and incumbent MTCO Executive Director

In the case that the Executive Director needs to terminate the contract before the above specified engagement period, at least one month prior notice must be given in advance to the Board of Directors.


The MTCO Executive Director shall receive a monthly consulting fee that is commensurate with his/her experience. This amount shall be paid from the MTCO account on the last working day of each month.


By the closing date all candidates are required to submit by email to info@mekongtourism.org the following:

* a signed cover letter describing why the applicant is suitable for the assignment

* a CV (not longer than 5 pages) summarizing experience, skills and qualifications relevant to the assignment.

The top three candidates selected in pre-screening will be invited (travel costs covered) to Mandalay, Myanmar for a face-to-face interview with members of the MTCO Board documents on 10 June 2014, the day before the Mekong Tourism Forum 2014. The job will be formally offered to the leading candidate on the same day.

The MTCO Board of Directors is composed of senior officials from each GMS National Tourism Organization. ADB acts as the regional advisor to the GMS TWG and MTCO Board of Directors.