In 2014, the six tourism ministries of Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and China (Yunnan and Guanxi Provinces) appointed Jens Thraenhart to head the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) as its Executive Director. The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) is an inter-governmental body to promote the Mekong region as a single tourism destination, and foster responsible tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). In his tenure, which the governments extended for two additional terms, he digitised the organization, introduced new programs and initiatives to drive engagement with industry stakeholders, organized the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, and was recognised with various prestigious awards for innovation and design for the new website MekongTourism.org, as well as the MekongMoments.com collaborative marketing platform, as well as the Mekong Mini Movie Festival campaign. He created the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong, which operates various initiatives, including the collaborative social commerce platform Mekong Moments, the Experience Mekong Collection curating responsible travel experiences, and the Mekong Innovative Startups in Tourism (MIST) accelerator program.
In 2009, he co-founded award-winning China digital marketing and social media agency Dragon Trail, based in Beijing/PR China, helping companies all over the world to reach affluent Chinese consumers. Prior he has led marketing, CRM, and digital strategy teams at the Canadian Tourism Commission based in Vancouver/Canada, and at Fairmont Hotels & Resorts based in Toronto/Canada.
In 1999, he founded his consulting firm Chameleon Strategies, an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), incorporated in Bangkok, Hong Kong and Vancouver. He has personally assisted many global companies with their digital transformation over the past twenty years. In 2016, Chameleon Strategies moved its main office to Bangkok/Thailand, offering services from strategic consulting, social technology development, communications, content creation, branding, marketing services, and creative design.
Educated at Cornell University with a Masters of Management in Hospitality, Mr. Thraenhart was recognized as one of the travel industry’s top 100 rising stars by Travel Agent Magazine in 2003, was listed as one of HSMAI’s 25 Most Extraordinary Sales and Marketing Minds in Hospitality and Travel in 2004 and 2005, and named as one of the Top 20 Extraordinary Minds in European Travel and Hospitality in 2014. A member of the UNWTO Global Panel of Experts, and PATA Board Member, he also served as past executive global board member of HSMAI (Hospitality Sales Marketing Association International), and was the past Chair of PATA China. A dual citizen of Germany and Canada, he now lives in Bangkok/Thailand.
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO)
City Cube Club
City Cube, Saal A3