Dear Mekong Travel and Tourism Colleagues.

We are delighted to introduce the first of a planned series of “Mekong Trends” snapshots. Mekong Trends is a new public-private partnership where we hope to deliver valuable industry intelligence on specific and relevant topics. Mekong Trends is owned and operated by CEN International, and published for the industry, on behalf of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and the National Tourism Organizations of the six member governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) (Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam).

Tourism is one of the key components of many GMS economies. Greater regional connectivity will provide the sector with a big boost, which in turn will catalyze job creation and economic growth.

Tourism in the GMS region has been transformed over the last decade or so, owing largely to a significant rise in disposable income and also due to the proliferation of of low cost carriers (LCCs) and a large number of new flight routes, making travel easier and more affordable.

As ASEAN pursues greater regional integration and the development of a single economic community, advancements in the region’s aviation industry are essential to boost economic connectivity and tourism. Half the world’s population live within five hours of ASEAN, making it a natural transportation hub for visiting the region’s sunny beaches, accessing growing economic opportunities.

Therefore, it is fitting that our first Mekong Trends Snapshot covers GMS Aviation. This edition provides a quick overview and some key insights on important developments and trends.

I would like to thank Mr. Luc Citrinot for preparing this report as well as Mr. David Gillbanks for editing, and our editorial advisors, Mr. Peter Wiesner and Mr. Don Ross.

Please enjoy this first Mekong Trends edition, and please feel free to share it with your friends and colleagues.

Kind regards,

Jens Thraenhart

Executive Director

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)