MTCO receives 2018 PATA Gold Marketing Industry Award for exemplary excellence showcased in its ‘Mekong Moments’ campaign

MTCO receives 2018 PATA Gold Marketing Industry Award for exemplary excellence showcased in its ‘Mekong Moments’ campaign

 

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) accepted one of 30 PATA Gold awards during this year’s PATA Travel Mart held in Langkawi, Malaysia on September 14.

 

BANGKOK, September 18, 2018 – The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Travel Mart 18, held in Langkawi, Malaysia on September 14, saw the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) receive reward for its exemplary work in tourism industry marketing for the Pacific Asia region.

Winning its second PATA Gold award, the MTCO was recognised for Mekong Moments, a consumer social marketing and travel inspiration platform. The web platform – powered by ENWOKE, a social commerce management solution operated by Chameleon Strategies (Thailand) – collaboratively promotes the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) as a single tourism destination in addition to driving direct business to individual business outlets through social commerce.

“Mekong Moments is a testament that true collaborative marketing is possible, and powerful to inspire people via shared experience to visit destinations,” said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the MTCO.

Working with the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has driven the esteemed initiative since Mekong Moments became public in 2017. Its booming user participation and successful supporting campaigns (i.e. the Mekong Mini Movie Festival – www.mekongminis.com) has resulted in the MTCO receiving its award for industry marketing excellence, a great honour for all people and organisations involved said Thraenhart.

“We thank our member countries and the private sector for embracing this new and innovative concept and approach,” he added. “Mekong Moments is an effective catalyst to drive visitor dispersion and as such drive sustainable tourism development by improving destination management and avoiding over-tourism.”

The MTCO was on the winning shortlist gleaned from over 200 entries from 87 separate organisations and individuals worldwide. All winners were carefully selected by an independent judging committee consisting of 14 senior executives from the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors.

“[The Mekong Moments platform] exemplifies the true values of our Association in working towards a more responsible travel and tourism industry in the Asia Pacific region, said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy.

Maria Helena de Senna Fernandes, Director of the Macao Government Tourism Office (MGTO) said, “This year’s PATA Gold Awards winners present us with yet another wide array of remarkable accomplishments in the different branches of the tourism industry.”

For the MTCO, the award is yet another accolade earned for the work done on the Mekong Moments platform. The coordinating office also won the prestigious “Golden Citygate Award” for its Mekong Moments’ campaign video at the Internationale Tourismus-Börse (ITB) Berlin in 2017.

Additionally, Mekong Moments has been showcased by both the UNWTO and the European Travel Commission as an exemplary solution for destinations to engage and build capacity for local businesses as well as inspire travellers around the world. Just this week, PATA and Tourism Economics – an Oxford economics company, with the support of Google – published a new research report titled ‘Data & Digital Platforms: Driving Tourism Growth in Asia Pacific’, featuring Mekong Moments as a best-practice case study, among companies such as Airbnb, Grab, and Klook. A full report can be downloaded at www.pata.org/store/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Data-Digital-Platforms-Driving-Tourism-Growth-in-Asia-Pacific.pdf.

 

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Mekong Tourism featured in new tourism research report supported by Google alongside companies Airbnb and Grab

Mekong Tourism featured in new tourism research report supported by Google alongside companies Airbnb and Grab

 

The report features the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office as a leading force in an effort to drive sustainable tourism growth in the Asia Pacific region.

 

BANGKOK, September 24, 2018 – Amid showcasing its social inspirational campaign platform mekongmoments.com, the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) has been featured as a driving force for tourism growth in the Asia Pacific region in a Google supported report published by the Pacific Asia Tourism Association (PATA) and Oxford Economics company Tourism Economics.

Developed by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies, Mekong Moments is executed by a public-private partnership framework titled Destination Mekong, and powered by a cutting-edge social commerce management system ENWOKE.

The 88-page report showcases Mekong Moments as an effective social commerce platform that encourages travellers to share visual content and experiences by way of hash-tagged social media posts. Designed as a collaborative platform, a higher user participation rate will directly result in more content being created for the region.

One key reason why Mekong Moments was featured among companies such as Airbnb and Grab – as cited by the report – was the fact that the platform also helps to build digital capacity in lesser developed parts of the region, which in turn, enables inclusive growth, poverty alleviation, and visitor dispersion to lessen over-tourism. The platform also empowers businesses to create their own social media contests in addition to optimising their own web presence.

“The most powerful way to communicate the essence of a destination is by the experiences people have,” said Jens Thraenhart, Executive Director of the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office. “And by creating a mosaic of the experiences people have shared, you create this brand via shared experiences. If we capture these experiences and inspire others to share these experiences, that drives more interest in the region.”

Over nine million new jobs can be created within Asia Pacific destinations over the next five years by fully embracing digital platforms and data-driven innovation in the tourism sector, according to the report.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that organisations obtain a thorough understanding of current technologies and innovations to make smarter and more informed decisions to embrace the disruptive and technological changes occurring within the travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO Dr. Mario Hardy.

“At PATA, we believe that both the public and private sectors must adopt policies to support a thriving digital ecosystem and work in partnership to enhance access to digital products and services as well as facilitate cross-border data flows,” he said.

The MTCO, by showcasing Mekong Moments, was recently recognized as a PATA Gold Award winner this year, yet another reflection of the organisation’s innovative effort to driving sustainable tourism development in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

With travellers increasingly using online platforms before, during and after their trips, the report also highlights several policy recommendations that destinations and policymakers should embrace to support the digital ecosystem and maximise growth opportunities for their stakeholders, including:

– Continue to invest in digital infrastructure to improve competitiveness;

– Encourage widespread use of digital platforms, and promote data-driven innovation;

– Ensure skills shortages are addressed;

– Address digital use and skills in SMEs to ensure competitiveness in international markets; and

– Avoid restrictive policy, such as data localisation policies.

The full report can be downloaded from the PATA website at:

https://pata.org/store/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/Data-Digital-Platforms-Driving-Tourism-Growth-in-Asia-Pacific.pdf

 

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Mekong Tourism partners with TAT to feature nine new travel corridors on travel inspirational platform Mekong Moments

Mekong Tourism partners with TAT to feature nine new travel corridors on travel inspirational platform Mekong Moments

 

Together with TAT, Mekong Tourism has launched a new promotional campaign on Mekong Moments to shine light on regional tourism and thematic attractions in Thailand and the region to inspire tourism in the GMS.

 

BANGKOK, October 17, 2018 – Through collaborative efforts from the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) and the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), nine new travel corridors have been added to social commerce web platform Mekong Moments in an effort to help promote some of Thailand’s hidden treasures within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Developed by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies, Mekong Moments is executed by the public-private partnership framework Destination Mekong, and powered by the cutting-edge social commerce management system ENWOKE. By leveraging the phenomenon of social media sharing, the MTCO has effectively launched this visual consumer marketing campaign to promote each travel corridor (along with the over 100 experiences found within) on the TAT’s behalf. The routes are identified as follows:

Now live on www.mekongmoments.com, each of the corridors have a dedicated website, which provides visitors an in-depth impression of the overall journey as well as its linked experiences – many of which in Thailand. To help contribute to a larger tourism initiative that spans across all countries in the GMS, the TAT has worked with the MTCO to include several corridor experiences in each neighbouring country in the region (Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam, and China). The far-reaching route titled the ‘Mekong Tea Caravan Trail’, for example, features thematic experiences in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar, and China.

“Partnering with the [MTCO] and Destination Mekong to allow domestic and international travellers to share their experiences when travelling on multi-country thematic routes originating in Thailand, as well as visiting Thai Royal Projects not only is aligned with TAT’s efforts to promote secondary destinations, but Mekong Moments also allows for small businesses in these regions to build capacity and drive business,” said Mr. Kitsana Kaewtumrong, TAT’s Executive Director of the Advertising and Public Relations Department.

Upon visiting a corridor page, guests are welcomed by a lattice of aggregated social media posts featuring places and experiences relevant to the corridor. Each piece of media content (qualified by suitable hashtags) links to the connected experience pages on Mekong Moments, provides information about the experience as well as a link to booking channels.

Social media posts can also be filtered by eight different ‘Traveller Types’ – ACTIVE, CULTURAL, WELLNESS, FOODIE, NATURE, BUDGET, LUXURY, and FAMILY. By clicking one of these filters, visitors can find experiences that are best suited for their style of travel. Furthermore, the Mekong Moments platform also allows visitors to search more specifically by an interactive map marked with clickable pinpoints.

As a result of launching this campaign, nearly 130 more individual experiences in total have been added to Mekong Moments’ rich 10,000-experience platform thus far. Experiences like the ‘King Taskin Shrine’ (Southern Coastal Corridor), ‘Angkhang Nature Resort’ (The Royal Projects), and Sukhothai Historical Park (The Middle Path of Lord Buddha) are viewable, providing more details about the experience in addition to any related aggerated social media content. Every experience is labelled by one of five filterable experience categories – DO, MOVE, STAY, SHOP, and TASTE.

“We are pleased to cooperate with the Tourism Authority of Thailand [TAT] in showcasing thematic multi-country routes in the Mekong Region, originating in Thailand,” said MTCO executive director Jens Thraenhart.

“With TAT’s foresight in visitor dispersion to react to over tourism by featuring secondary destinations, we are happy to support the strategy with our Mekong Moments travel inspiration platform to drive business to small sustainable travel operators powered by an innovative social commerce technology ENWOKE.”

 

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Tourism Laos partners with Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office to launch new digital travel inspiration platform ‘Inspiring Laos’

Tourism Laos partners with Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office to launch new digital travel inspiration platform ‘Inspiring Laos’

 

The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism of Lao PDR has launched their new travel inspirational platform ‘Inspiring Laos’ to provide capacity building for the industry and inspire travellers with user-generated content.

 

BANGKOK, October 17, 2018 – The Ministry of Information, Culture, and Tourism of Lao PDR (Tourism Laos) and the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) have worked together to launch ‘Inspiring Laos’, a new social commerce web platform that aims to inspire tourism across all regions of Lao PDR and in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS).

Developed by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies, Inspiring Laos was built upon a six-month working partnership between Tourism Laos and the MTCO, and driven by cutting-edge social commerce management system ENWOKE.

By using the ENWOKE technology, Inspiring Laos encourages residents and travellers to share visual experiences on their own social media accounts, including Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest by tagging their photos and videos with relevant experience hashtags in Laos.

Following the example of Mekong Tourism’s Mekong Moments campaign, which is also part of the ENWOKE network of platforms, Inspiring Laos can effectively promote new destinations and experiences as well as drive exposure and bookings to existing businesses, especially for smaller travel operators.

“We recognise that our exciting travel experiences are only possible due to the hard work of the many small and medium-sized enterprises, from accommodation providers, restaurants, tour operators, shops, and attractions,” said Mr. Sounh Manivong, Director General of the Tourism Marketing Department with Tourism Laos.

One of Tourism Laos’ key mandates as a new high-season approaches, Director General Manivong adds, is stimulating inclusive growth to help spread tourism wealth to secondary destinations, which he noted is hoped to mitigate the risk of over tourism in prime areas. Inspiring Laos was built to assist this effort by encouraging travellers to quickly and easily share experiences of second-tier destinations and experiences on their own social media channels and inspire other travellers to explore less well-known regions of Laos.

“We are pleased to cooperate with the Tourism Laos in launching the travel inspiration platform Inspiring Laos,” said MTCO executive director Jens Thraenhart.

“Being in line with the Visit Laos Year 2018 tourism initiative, we were eager to support Tourism Laos’ goals by sharing our experience with collaborative social commerce platforms such as Mekong Moments. We believe this will drive business to smaller, lesser-known sustainable travel destinations, which will effectively shed light on new and soon-to-be popular treasures for tourists.”

Visitors of Inspiring Laos will be able to map out their entire trip to Laos as the platform offers all the necessary fundamental planning information in addition to its lattice of user-generated content. Interested travellers will also be able to search for destinations and experiences by ‘region’ and ‘area of interest’ (e.g. Luang Prabang, Vientiane, Pakbeng, Savannakhet, etc.) enabling a completely custom and shared experience.

Furthermore, the Inspiring Laos platform also allows visitors to search more specifically by using an interactive map marked with clickable pinpoints. Destinations and experiences can be filtered by eight different ‘Traveller Types’ – ADVENTURE, HERITAGE, WELLNESS, FOOD, NATURE, BUDGET, LUXURY, and FAMILY. By clicking one of these filters, visitors can find experiences that are best suited for their style of travel.

Inspiring Laos was officially unveiled to the public on October 18 during an invite-only media event held at ITB Asia 18 in Singapore.

 

Published by affiliate partner Flame.asia

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