The Bangkok-based Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) seeks an Executive Director to lead overall management of the organization and initiate/coordinate regional public and private tourism marketing and development initiatives in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). For more information about MTCO visit www.mekongtourism.org.
Applications will be accepted by email from all qualified candidates during 7 June to 30 June 2021 (deadline, 17:00 Bangkok time).
All nationalities of all genders will be considered. GMS citizens (Cambodia, PR China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam) and women are especially encouraged to apply. The position is a two-year fixed term appointment extendable for an additional two years.

Established in 2006, MTCO is the Secretariat of the GMS Tourism Working Group (TWG), principally comprising the National Tourism Organizations of Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam; and the People’s Republic of China, representing Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.

Lifestyle at Mekong River Nakhon Phanom

MTCO is hosted by Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports and is staffed by a full-time Executive Director and Operations Manager. The MTCO Executive Director reports to the MTCO Board, made up of senior tourism officials representing each of the six GMS-member countries. The TWG meets twice-yearly, with participation customarily up to Director General-level or equivalent. As of May 2021, the TWG has met 46 times, rotating among each GMS country. MTCO’s annual workplans align with the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy, GMS Tourism Marketing Strategy and Action Plan, and other relevant public and private strategic planning documents.

The Executive Director’s primary objective is to provide specialized knowledge to support secretariat functions of the GMS TWG and MTCO Board, including organizing TWG/MTCO Board meetings and the annual Mekong Tourism Forum. The secondary objective is to coordinate and facilitate the implementation of GMS tourism sector strategies, GMS tourism marketing and communications plans, and other regional tourism initiatives as directed by the MTCO Board.

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

MTCO Administration
•Provide secretarial and administrative support to the GMS Tourism Working Group and MTCO Board of Directors.
•Archive documents to the cloud and make use of digital tools, services, and platforms to cost efficiently manage a paper-less and “green” office, and manage virtual meetings
•Frequently liaise with MTCO Board members and other GMS tourism officials.
•Supervise the MTCO Operations Manager and other MTCO employees, interns, consultants, and advisors.
•Closely coordinate with officials of Thailand’s Ministry of Tourism and Sports regarding day-to-day MTCO administrative matters (e.g., office arrangements and hardware, telephone lines, Internet service, etc.).
•Oversee the management of MTCO finances. Prepare quarterly and annual financial reports in accordance with internationally accepted accounting standards. Arrange an annual external audit of MTCO’s financial statements.
•Represent the MTCO at TWG meetings, and at relevant travel trade events, and other tourism-related meetings and conferences.
•Prepare GMS TWG/MTCO Board Meeting summary of proceedings and reports on other meetings and events organized by the GMS TWG/MTCO.
•Prepare technical reports on events organized by the TWG/MTCO.

Mekong River Basin

Technical & Stakeholder Coordination
•Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and public and private destination marketing/management organizations to market and promote the GMS as a single destination, following the GMS tourism marketing plan and GMS TWG’s annual work plan.
•Coordinate with GMS National Tourism Organizations and other public and private development partners to identify resources to support the implementation of priority projects in the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy, with emphasis on mobilizing assistance for secondary destinations.
•Develop and maintain relationships with local, regional, and international travel media organization and individuals to support MTCO initiatives.
•Develop and maintain strong relationships with national, regional and international organizations, including UNWTO, WTTC, PATA, and ASEAN Centres, to promote MTCO initiatives, solicit investment, and seek support and cooperation.
•Engage with academic institutions, including teachers/professors and students, especially in the fields of tourism planning, management, and promotion to support MTCO initiatives.

•Supervise maintenance of the MTCO website and social media accounts, including security and content management; upload relevant documents to the online library, dissemination of announcements, travel advisories/crisis communications, social media engagement, newsletters, and press releases.
•Coordinate and support the respective host countries to organize the annual Mekong Tourism Forum and other GMS tourism knowledge events. Organize virtual events, and online webinars to communicate with shareholders and public and private sector stakeholders.
•Supervise and maintain MTCO databases (e.g., contacts database, publications inventory, image library, and all other electronic archives).

Post Coronavirus Pandemic Recovery: Tourism continues to be one of the sectors hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Executive Director will facilitate implementation of the Mekong Tourism Recovery Communications plan in cooperation with MTCO’s public and private partners.

University degree in tourism, marketing, or related specialized fields, preferably with a postgraduate degree.
Minimum of 5-years of relevant experience in tourism marketing and strategic planning/development, preferably in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
At least 3-years of relevant experience managing digital tourism assets. Demonstrated advanced social media and website development capabilities.
At least 3-years of relevant experience working with one or more national tourism organizations in the GMS.

•You have graduated from a recognized university or college, ideally with a master’s degree in Tourism and Marketing, Marketing, Business Administration, or relate field.
•You thrive working in the tourism industry with passion and a high level of understanding of the impact of tourism in the Greater Mekong Subregion.
•You have extensive experience supporting marketing campaigns, including digital social media, and web-based marketing, digital innovations, as well as expertise in the key tourism source markets of the GMS member countries.
•You have a fair understanding of the issues facing small businesses, start-ups, and entrepreneurs, and are familiar with innovation ecosystems and platforms.
•You are an expert user of Microsoft Office and Adobe products; and WordPress to publish website content, and post content on social media platform. You are able to design social media graphics and optimize and edit photos and videos for the web.
•You are familiar with tourism statistics and analytics, especially in GMS and ASEAN countries.
•You have experience interfacing with political leadership and tourism government officials in the GMS and/or ASEAN.
•You have experience managing staff and interns.
•You are a diplomatic communicator that naturally enjoys engaging with diverse stakeholders, including government, development partners, academia, civil society, private sector travel companies, as well as media including trade and consumer media.
•You have experience managing complex projects and events.
•You are familiar with the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office, its mandate, and activities.
•You have experience in handling official documents, and secretarial administration.
•You recognize that flexible work hours are required, including evenings and weekends and some travel will be required for meetings, conferences and events.
•You are familiar with the current COVID-19 situation and recovery plans in the GMS countries.
•You bring relationships, networks and new fresh ideas from your previous professional engagements to the position which helps to evolve and adapt the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office to new challenges and situations.

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

Shortlisted candidates will be invited to an online interview with the MTCO Board in August 2021. The successful candidate is expected to be appointed by mid-September 2021.

The successful candidate will be engaged as an independent consultant under a fixed-term two-year contract, extendable for an additional two years contingent on a performance evaluation by the MTCO Board prior to expiry of the initial two-year appointment. The total tenure is limited to two terms. The MTCO Executive Director is not an employee of any of the six governments and is responsible for paying his/her own tax obligations and insurance costs.


The MTCO Executive Director shall receive a monthly consulting fee of USD 4,000, plus work-related travel expenses.

All interested candidates are required to submit the following by email before 30 June 2021 to info@mekongtourism.org with copy to jens@tourismmekong.org:
•a signed expression of interest, detailing the applicant’s suitability for the position
•a CV (not longer than 5 pages) summarizing qualifications, skills, and experience relevant to the position.
•Three references (ideally combination of supervisor, peer, subordinate, partner/client).

The Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office will be selected by the MTCO Board, which is made up of senior government officials from the six member countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion.

Only candidates shortlisted for an interview will be contacted.


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