Village Sessions

Download the MTF 2018 Program Guide

The MTF 2018 Thematic Village Experience

Tai Ka Lerng Community

Session 1: Organic Tourism

Organic tourism based on agriculture and carries similarities with agritourism. Agritourism helps preserve sustainable nature and rural lifestyles. Organic agriculture is a cultural evolution that finds its origins in an environmentalist culture. Furthermore, the focus on these products is due to demand on healthy foods with high quality standard limiting chemical substances usage. With a growth in tourists in the GMS, organic tourism and organic farming is increasingly becoming more important in order to drive long-term holistic sustainability.

Traditional Village

Tai Ka Lerng – Tai Ga Lerng is the ancestors of Ban NongSang community, in Nong Sang subdistrict, Na Khae district, Nakhon Phanom province in Thailand, originated from Savannakhet province in Lao.

Session 2: Adventure Tourism

In 2014, a report by the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA) revealed that the adventure tourism market, defined as a trip that “includes at least two of three elements: physical activity, natural environment, and cultural immersion”, had become a US$263 billion market, growing an average 65% annually since 2009.

Tai Kha Community

With its contrasting landscapes and diverse anthropological make-up, the GMS is ideal for adventure. This session will debate how the GMS can be further developed and positioned as a premier adventure travel destination.

Traditional Village

Tai Kha – Tai Kha is one of the significant ethnic groups in Nakhon Phanom province. Tai Kha people originated from Savannakhet province, Salavan province, Attapeu province.  Generally, the anthropologists consider Tai Kha as one of the original tribe in the Mekong Delta. They believe that there is a high possibility that Tai Kha people are the ancient khmer descendant from Chenla kingdom which later on is changed to the Khmer empire and Srikhotraboon kingdom

Session 3: Wellness Tourism

Wellness tourism is travel associated with the pursuit of maintaining or enhancing one’s physical and emotional wellbeing. It is based on relaxation and the proactive prevention of illnesses. Physical wellness tourism includes visits to a spa and a variety of treatments, such as beauty treatments, massages, detoxification, Ayurveda treatments and thalassotherapy.

Tai So Community

Emotional wellness includes yoga, meditation and mindfulness. The Mekong Region, especially Thailand, is known for world spas, which can be leveraged to position the region as a wellness destination.

Traditional Village

Tai So – Tai So is one of the ethnic groups in Nakhon Phanom province that has a long history. Phon Chan people believe that their ancestors emigrated from the left side of the Mekhong River to settled down around the upstream area called “Kud Yang”. The name Phon Chan derives from the characteristics of this landscape; in dialect, people called this area “Phon” as it is on the hill and called this area “Chan” as there are several “Chan” trees.


Session 4: Religious Tourism

Phu Tai Community

The Asia-Pacific region is considered the world’s religious core with the greatest number of pilgrims and travellers for religious events, for both international and domestic tourism. It is estimated that there are approximately six hundred million national and international religious and spiritual voyages in the world, of which 40% take place in Europe and over half in Asia. According to UNESCO, 60% of the world’s population practises a religion and these believers form the demographic base of religious tourism. The Mekong Region has tremendous potential to position itself as a religious tourism destination.

Traditional Village

Phu Thai – Phu Thai tribe is one of the tribe in Nakhon Phanom lived in Renu disrict, Nakae district, Tat Phanoom district, and Nawa district. Originally the tribe settled in Sib Song Chu Thai Kingdom (the northwest Vietnam) and Sipsong Panna Kingdom. Later in 2369 BE, during the reign of King Rama III, Phu Thai emigrated from the left side of the Mekong to Thailand.

Session 5: Festival Tourism

The Mekong Region has a wealth of local festivals, some of which are actively promoted to visitors, inviting them to experience local culture through participation. Many festivals, however, remain disconnected to tourism. This session will consider how the tourism industry can leverage the attraction of festivals while maintaining their integrity.

Tai Guan community

Traditional Village

Tai Guan – Tai Guan tribe, at Ban Na Ton village, Na Ton subdistrict, Tat Phanom district, Nakhon Phanom province, has a long history starting from Sib-Song-Chu-Thai kingdom. Khun Borom is the founder of Tang city since the 12th century. Villagers called this type of location as “Guan” meaning the plain surrounded by mountains.



Session 6: Heritage Tourism

Culture & heritage tourism promotes “travelling to experience the places and activities that authentically represent the stories and people of the past and present”. The GMS has a lot to offer when it comes to cultural and heritage tourism.  One of the principal motivations to travel, for many, is to engage with new cultures and to experience the performing arts, handicrafts, rituals, and cuisines of a place. The interaction spurred by such encounters prompts dialogue, builds understanding, fosters tolerance and peace, and nurtures a sense of pride among communities. Through

Tai Nyaw community

tourism it can also be a source of income. This session looks at how to protect the culture and heritage of the Mekong region, while developing products and experiences to allow for responsible and sustainable tourism development.

Traditional Village

Tai Nyaw – The Thai Nyaw people are predominantly from Hongsa city and Sainyaburi, provinces in Laos. Most of the Nyaw people migrated and settled down in Shaiyaburi at the estuary of the Songkram river, Mekong Riverside, presently known as Shaiyaburi sub-district, Tha Uthen district, and Nakhon Phanom province of Thailand.

Session 7: Eco Tourism

Ecotourism is a form of nature-based tourism that strives to be ecologically, socio-culturally, and economically sustainable while providing opportunities for appreciating and learning about the natural environment or specific elements thereof. This session will debate how the GMS can further be positioned to ecotourism consumers, and develop experience that positions the GMS as a responsible and inclusive destination.

Traditional Village

Tai Seak – The Saek people originally resided in Muang Rong, which is under Hue City, located in the middle of Vietnam and China.

Tai Seak community

The Seak people are eminent as a sedulous group, adhering to unification when they found out that their own land was unsuitable for life, they united the group and migrated along the Mekong River to a temporary settlement in the middle of Vietnam and China.




Session 8: Food Tourism

Food has always been central to the travel experience, offering not only interesting new flavours but also insights into the customs and traditions of a place. In recent years food tourism has grown considerably and become one of the most dynamic and creative segments. And there is a growing number of travellers for whom food is the primary reason for travel. This session will debate the opportunities and challenges facing the GMS as a food tourism destination, including experience development, sourcing, hygiene, waste, and safety.

Tai Isan community

Traditional Village

Tai Isan – Thai Isan is a large group in this region. They speak Thai-Lao, and the Isan language. They are a leader of culture in the Isan region such as Heet Kong, Legendary, linguistic, traditions. The Isan people generally settle in a group on a hill area which is known as ‘Non’ in their local language, and have spread over the Isan region.



Please Note: Pairings of villages and session topics are not final and may change based on registration numbers for sessions.