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 March 20, 2007
The Mekong Tourism Office (MTO) Establishes Office In North America

 The Mekong Tourism Office (MTO) has announced the establishment of an office in North America with the appointment of John A. Semone as Regional Director North America. For the first time since the establishment of the MTO in Bangkok, the office will have a local contact point in North America for the travel industry at large interested in the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) comprising Cambodia, Yunnan and Guangxi (China), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam.

Semone comes with over 35 years of experience in the tourism industry with management responsibilities at Air New Zealand in North America and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) in both Europe and North America. He'll head the new MTO representation office out of San Rafael, California. His goal will be to spearhead the mission to boost the MTO presence in North America and raise awareness of what is one of the world's most popular developing tourism destinations.

"We are very pleased to have John at the forefront of the Mekong Tourism presences in North America, a market we feel has much potential to grow significantly in both arrival figures and in terms of its contribution to the development of the GMS" said MTO executive director Stephen Yong. "We welcome John to the team."

Commenting on his new role, John added: "I have had the great pleasure and experience to have traveled to all of the GMS countries and to have had a close look at the infrastructure and the potential of tourism to the region. The destinations are exciting for the wealth of culture and heritage that will welcome any tourist to the Mekong Region. The history, geography and friendliness of the entire region will have a long and lasting impression for those who visit the GMS. Indeed a new frontier for the traveler seeking a rewarding cultural experience."