People On The MoveNot only is Suvimol MTCO's first female executive director, she's also the first head with GMS nationality in the organisation’s 16-year history.

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office's first woman chief takes over

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Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office's new executive director Suvimol Thanasarakij.
Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office's new executive director Suvimol Thanasarakij.

Suvimol Thanasarakij, who is better known as Dee in the industry, has been appointed executive director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) effective 15 March 2022. She succeeds Jens Thraenhart, who left the post a year ago.

The appointment was officially agreed by the NTOs of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries at the Special MTCO Board Meeting.

“We are happy to welcome Suvimol to our GMS tourism family, particularly as she is the first female executive director, and the first one with GMS nationality in MTCO’s 16-year history,” said Somxay Sipaseuth, deputy director general of Tourism Development Department from the Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism Lao PDR, which is also chair of the upcoming 49th GMS Tourism Working Group Meeting.

He added: “Suvimol brings to MCTO her extensive experience in tourism industry and an in-depth expertise in international cooperation and project management. With her proven capacity to build strategic international partnerships and bolster support for various programs, we are confident that she will be a force in driving GMS tourism cooperation forward in this exciting, but also challenging time.”

Commenting on her designation, Suvimol added, "I look forward to working closely with the MTCO Board, international organisations, development partners, other travel and tourism stakeholders in promoting GMS countries as a single destination and supporting regional tourism development for a sustainable and inclusive recovery.”

Suvimol is a planning and coordination expert with 23 years’ of experience delivering high-level multilateral programs and events for institutions such as ASEAN and the U.S. Department of State.

Prior to joining MTCO, she worked for Strategic Capacity Group, where she implemented multilateral programs on behalf of the U.S. government across Southeast Asia. She spent more than eight years managing tourism marketing projects for ASEAN. She also worked for the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), Shangri-La Hotel Bangkok and Centara Hotels & Resorts.

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