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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Trip.com’s new social campaign celebrates travel in a snap

Singapore – Travel service provider Trip.com has launched a new interactive social campaign called ‘Just Like That’, which leverages the latest traveller preferences and insights to make it easier than ever for consumers to meet loved ones abroad and explore the world again as borders reopen and restrictions ease.

With many COVID-related travel constraints removed, Trip.com continues its journey to make reconnection and rediscovery a snap – especially with many avid travellers already setting out for their next adventure and exploring global destinations ‘Just Like That’.

As part of Trip.com’s first social campaign in Southeast Asia post-pandemic, the innovative travel service provider is collaborating with over 100 KOLs in markets across Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia to storytell the emotional aspects of travel, such as reconnecting with loved ones as well as showcasing the ease of using Trip.com for travel bookings. 

The KOLs include @adirasalahudi, @syarif.ig, @widsawaphatiew. The campaign will demonstrate how simple it is to book a fulfilling travel experience that fits each consumer’s needs, be it planning a romantic honeymoon in the Maldives, having an inspiring off-site meeting in Bali, or a culinary trip in Tokyo.

In addition, Trip.com will be running a #MyTripJustLikeThat giveaway on social media from now to 20 November 2022. Trip.com users from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand stand to win prizes worth up to S$1,200, MYR 4,200 and THB 35,000 respectively, including Trip coins, hotel vouchers, tickets and more.

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Marketing Featured APAC

Booking.com launches second edition of ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign

Singapore – Online travel agency and reservations company Booking.com has launched the second edition of its ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign, where it features more inspiring travel stories from leading personalities across Asia-Pacific.

This year’s campaign features five new personalities from Australia, India, South Korea, Vietnam and Japan. They include Former MasterChef Australia grand finalist Simon Toohey, upcoming Bollywood actor and Mumbai native Shanaya Kapoor, multidisciplinary artist MY Q, nature-loving lifestyle personality Tran Quang Dai, and Japanese supermodel Ai Tominaga.

Through this year’s Explorers, Booking.com aims to continue to celebrate the relentless spirit of travel, and their desire to keep experiencing and exploring all things new and familiar, whether it’s in their own backyards or around their home countries. 

“However, as much of the world seeks to travel again, we also recognise the need for sustainability: from avoiding single-use plastic and making smart, responsible choices when choosing stays, to transforming how and where we travel to so that we minimise our impact on the destinations we visit; and hopefully leave our destinations better than when we first arrived,” the company said.

Laura Houldsworth, managing director for Asia-Pacific at Booking.com, said, “As the world returns to travel with great enthusiasm, we want to inspire travellers in Asia Pacific through the rich stories of our explorers. They are truly inspirational with their desire to keep exploring despite the challenges faced — and now they invite us to dig deeper into the sights and cultures of the countries they call home and the destinations we likely have yet to discover. I hope these stories stir travellers everywhere to open their hearts and minds to new experiences and put sustainability at the forefront of all they do.”

The first ‘Booking Explorers’ campaign was first launched in August 2021.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thai tourism authority’s new ad takes tourists on a cinematic journey of its tourist spots

Bangkok, Thailand – With the tourism industry in Thailand reopening recently, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has launched a new campaign via BBDO Bangkok which depicts a trilogy of cinematic trailers, from adventure, to romance to an action-packed sci-fiction, where the viewer follows the different characters on their unique, but thrilling journeys through Thailand.

Knowing that tourists love to share their travel experiences on social media, BBDO Bangkok wanted to build on this and simply invite people to come to Thailand and “Write Their New Chapter” in cinematic style, as Thailand writes theirs.

This campaign is just the beginning of Tourism Authority of Thailand’s marketing push. Furthering the promotion of this new campaign, BBDO Bangkok is releasing thematic key visuals, Instagram filters in the style of movie release posters, and tour packages to encourage tourists to come to Thailand to create and share their new chapters using hashtags like #AmazingNewChapters and #AmazingThailand.

Speaking about the ad concept, Thasorn Boonyanate, chief creative officer at BBDO Bangkok told TAT that they are not coming here to pitch against other agencies, but rather to pitch against other countries. For him, travellers need to revisit Thailand to see that nature, hotels, and restaurants have revived.

“People love to record special moments on their phones, whether it’s a story on Instagram or a video on Facebook. Just like movie genres, what they capture can be adventure, romance, or pure comedy. Drawing inspiration from our campaign, and using tools like our new filters, we want them to take on the role of film producers, create and tell their stories, and share this chapter of their lives with the world,” Boonyanate said.

Meanwhile, Yuthasak Supasorn, governor at TAT, commented, Representing film, this latest TVC is a new approach we are taking to communicate the ‘Amazing New Chapters’ message and to engage tourists around the world through a cinematic perspective to show them Thailand has a multitude of holiday possibilities in which there is something for all.” 

He added, “We want to inspire tourists to explore our wonderful country and to create their own amazing chapters during their stay and premier these films with not just friends and family, but the rest of the world.”

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Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

STB, Klook partner anew to drive travel recovery, promote SG as destination

Singapore –  Building on their marketing collaboration agreement last 2020, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) and travel booking platform Klook have partnered anew to drive travel recovery and promote Singapore as a destination, targeting travellers from key SEA markets including Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, as well as Thailand, and Vietnam 

The partnership was launched in June 2022, and since then, Klook has been partnering with over 20 in-market Influencers/KOLs and content partners to create engaging and immersive content that will be customised to each market. To complement this and further drive travel recovery from these markets, Klook will also be giving away more than $60,000 worth of deals, promotions and giveaways for visitors to Singapore till the end of December this year. 

For additional information on in-market campaigns, five unique landing pages on Klook have been created to enable visitors to discover and book their trips seamlessly. These pages will act as a central repository for travel-related information, content, precinct itineraries, experiences, events, accommodation, and promotions – enabling visitors to travel with ease by having all the information they need at the tips of their fingers.

Moreover, visitors will be able to select from more than five Klook-exclusive Multi-Passes that centre around the themes of attractions, wildlife, playgrounds, adventure, and wellness. The campaign will also showcase the lesser-known and unexpected sides of Singapore with specially curated experiences centred around Singapore’s cultural precincts, like Chinatown, Joo Chiat/Katong, and Kampong Gelam, as well as Little India.

Marcus Yong, Klook’s vice president of marketing for APAC, commented they are excited to partner with STB to drive travel interest and invite visitors to experience Singapore’s reimagined offerings. 

“As travel roars back, we want to continue to enable travellers in Southeast Asia to experience a sense of joy and wanderlust when they visit Singapore. As Asia-Pacific’s leading travel and leisure e-commerce platform, we are uniquely placed to help drive demand back to Singapore and lead travel recovery,” said Yong.

Meanwhile, John Gregory Conceicao, STB’s executive director for SEA, shared they have seen strong demand for travel to Singapore from SEA since they opened their borders to fully-vaccinated travellers without testing or quarantine. 

“Visitors from Southeast Asia accounted for nearly half of all international visitor arrivals in Singapore for the first six months of 2022 and continue to drive Singapore’s tourism recovery efforts. STB will continue to work with leading platforms like Klook to tap on new trends as we invite travellers to reimagine what Singapore has to offer,” said Conceicao.

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Thailand’s tourism authority launches collaborative initiative to promote stargazing tourism

Bangkok, Thailand – The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced a collaboration with the National Astronomical Research Institute of Thailand (NARIT) to launch a tourism initiative to promote dark sky tourism and raise awareness on light pollution and the preservation of quiet and dark skies.

The project, named ‘Amazing Dark Sky in Thailand’, will provide support on creating memorable astronomy travel experiences through stargazing tours based on user-friendly knowledge.

In addition, ‘The Amazing Dark Sky’ in Thailand project has thus far listed 12 locations up and down the country that pass the criteria to achieve a dark sky conservation area status. TAT has also launched a travel guide with recommended stargazing travel routes and all need-to-know astronomical knowledge in an easy-to-understand format.

Yuthasak Supasorn, governor at TAT, said, “We are promoting astronomy tourism or dark sky tourism as another new tourist experience, that is in line with the ‘Visit Thailand Year 2022-2023: Amazing New Chapters’ campaign. Tourists who are fond of watching the stars, and astronomical phenomena like meteor showers and eclipses when they occur, can do so and combine this with other tourism attractions and activities at different locations around Thailand.”

Meanwhile, Saran Poshyachinda, executive director at NARIT, commented, “A dark sky conservation area needed to be an open space where the surrounding sky could be observed freely enough from light pollution, and where prominent celestial objects were visible to the naked eye. There must be personnel in the area able to provide tourists with basic astronomical knowledge, as well as facilities like restrooms, restaurants, and accommodation.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Trip.com, STB bolster partnership to promote Singapore tourism

Singapore – Extending their three-year MOU signed in late 2020, Trip.com Group and Singapore Tourism Board (STB) will deepen their collaboration across key markets including Thailand, South Korea and Hong Kong, while expanding their partnership to include new markets Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

With pent-up demand being one of the main drivers of the travel recovery, Trip.com Group will accelerate its collaboration with STB to promote Singapore to travellers from key markets through a series of initiatives, including marketing campaigns, public relations activities, KOLs’ reviews, and promotions through Trip.com Group’s brands including Trip.com and Ctrip.

Amongst various initiatives, Trip.com Group and STB will also curate and deliver engaging content via Trip.com’s app and website to showcase the Singapore destination story and position the city-state as a safe and compelling destination of choice for travellers.

Going forward, Trip.com Group and STB will also continue to identify and launch targeted programmes to promote and position Singapore as an ideal destination for various activities, including as a sanctuary for sustainability, a haven for urban wellness, a paradise of evolving flavours and a world of possibilities for travellers to experience Singapore in new and unexpected ways.

Sun Bo, Trip.com’s group CMO, shared that the past two years have been challenging for the tourism industry across Asia, but they are deeply encouraged and appreciative of Singapore’s support for local tourism businesses, which includes the launch of the SingapoRediscovers Vouchers campaign which Trip.com was part of, as well as the timely announcements relating to the reopening of borders such as the previous Vaccinated Travel Lane scheme and the current Vaccinated Travel Framework.

“Trip.com Group is excited to deepen our strong relationship and collaboration with STB to further facilitate and promote travel to Singapore. This is a beautiful country which offers different unique experiences for various groups of tourists, and Trip.com Group will launch specific campaigns and initiatives in the coming months across the key markets where there exists a strong demand for travel,” said Bo.

Meanwhile, Juliana Kua, STB’s assistant chief executive of the international group, noted that they have worked closely with Trip.com Group especially over the last two years during the pandemic to maintain Singapore’s mindshare amongst regional travellers. 

“With the resumption of travel, we are delighted to deepen our partnership with Trip.com Group, which has a growing network of services, users and data. We will tap on these to showcase Singapore’s refreshed destination offerings, and encourage travellers to reimagine travel to Singapore as part of our SingapoReimagine global marketing campaign,” said Kua.

In addition, consumers in various markets can also look forward to attractive travel promotions. These will be rolled out in phases after taking into consideration the respective market’s readiness to travel and prevailing travel policies. For a start, joint campaigns to promote Singapore as an attractive travel destination will be launched in South Korea, Thailand, and the Philippines over the next week, including attractive deals and collaborations with travel KOLs such as travel_bellauri and im0gil from South Korea and CHAILAIBACKPACKER from Thailand who will share their insights and recommendations on exciting and unexpected itineraries that visitors can experience in Singapore.

Bo said, “Trip.com Group looks forward to working closely with STB and our local partners to present the beauty of Singapore and its uniquely local experiences to the global community in the coming months.”

Categories
Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Changi Airport launches interactive gallery to promote Changi tourist attractions

Singapore – Changi Airport has launched its newest initiative called ‘Hello, Changi Precinct’ that involves an interactive gallery and a curated district tour of Changi to promote the local district’s tourist attractions to airport visitors.

A newly curated tour of Changi Airport traces the development of the airport from humble origins through the stories of airport staff and visitors. The tour begins in Terminal 1 and guides participants to discover the airport’s recreational spaces, artwork installations, designs, and heritage businesses. 

Participants will also gain a deeper understanding of the airport while exchanging stories with airport staff they meet along the tour, giving them a peek into behind-the-scenes operations that keep Changi Airport running, as well as anecdotes of people who have worked and visited Changi Airport from the past to the present.

In addition to the two new tours, visitors can also sign up for six other tours running till October, each exploring a key area of the Changi Precinct such as Bedok, Pulau Ubin and Pasir Ris. For a more hands-on experience, look forward to curated specialty and craft workshops during the September school holidays, where participants get to meet and learn traditional skills from craftsmen within the precinct.

Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s Managing Director of Air Hub Development, said, “Many of the travellers who fly to Changi Airport are interested to venture beyond the airport to explore the Changi Precinct, which is rich with local history and culture. Hence, Changi Airport Group has been working with various partners around Changi Airport over the last two years to promote appreciation of the many hidden gems of the eastern part of Singapore.” 

He added, “We invite local residents and travellers to kickstart their journey of exploring the charms of Singapore’s East through the “Hello, Changi Precinct” gallery. We hope this allows them to understand the Changi Precinct deeper and encourage exploration of lesser-known spots in Singapore.” 

The ‘Hello, Changi Precinct’ gallery will run till 23 October 2022 at T3 Departure Hall. Admission is free. Meanwhile, precinct tour prices start from S$20 per person.

Categories
Main Feature Marketing Southeast Asia

Rebuilding tourism after the pandemic: How the travel industry in PH is crafting its marketing recovery plan

Travel and tourism marketing has taken a different turn due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The major tourism industries have ceased activities in response to travel restrictions, which include the closing of airports, hotels, and travel agencies, as well as restrictions on mass gatherings worldwide, amongst others. This inevitably spills over to consumption behaviour where tourists have drastically shifted their lifestyles, coming to realise the risk and safety of the global health crisis.

Two years after the pandemic outbreak, travel restrictions and quarantines are now being lifted around the world. Many countries have started various marketing and promotional tourism campaigns to support travel recovery. For instance, the tourism marketing agencies of Maldives and Malaysia have recently announced their efforts in boosting inbound travel. Thailand has also launched many travel campaigns this year, like the recent partnership of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and Thai AirAsia, jointly promoting travel to Thailand in key ASEAN and South Asian markets by utilising the airline’s increasing regional flight network.

Meanwhile, in the Philippines, the country’s Department of Tourism (DOT) has recently unveiled its new campaign called ‘It’s More Fun for All’, aimed at promoting inclusiveness and accessibility in the tourism sector. Moreover, DOT has launched a special playlist on Spotify, ‘Sounds More Fun in the Philippines’, which is a compilation of specially selected Filipino music that aims to welcome listeners back to the Philippine destinations they love, letting them relive epic travel memories. 

Another interesting campaign from DOT is the ‘ASMR Experience the Philippines‘ project, which seeks to bring people to certain destinations through ASMR videos that explore the natural sounds of a place, allowing one to tune into nature and be fully present in the moment.

As tourism in the Philippines has shown signs of bouncing back now that we are in the new normal, MARKETECH APAC’s The Inner State spoke with Maria Anthonette Velasco-Allones, Tourism Promotions Board Philippines’ (TPB) chief operating officer, and June Allenie Caccam, AirAsia’s head of marketing for the Philippines, to learn more about the marketing and promotional efforts of the travel and tourism industry today in the country.

Marketing and brand strategy of the Philippines’ tourism sector

While the pandemic has given the travel industry some pressing challenges, it also presented unique opportunities. According to Velasco-Allones of TPB, physical events and out-of-home advertising, which were very strong avenues for MICE and business travel promotions in the Philippines, were rendered moot at the height of the pandemic. However, the lockdown became an opportunity for the destinations to recuperate and recover from over-tourism.

At the same time, the Philippines took this time to rebuild a greener and more sustainable tourism industry. This allowed them to revitalise the tourism products they were going to market as soon as borders reopened.

“We increased our support to community-based tourism sites, providing various assistance in terms of enhancing capacities, particularly retooling skills in areas like digital marketing and leveraging the use of social media. Coincidentally, the pandemic made more tourists aware of the carbon footprint they leave when travelling; they now prefer less crowded destinations and those that support local communities,” said Velasco-Allones. 

Meanwhile, for airlines, Caccam listed some of the challenges they faced during the outbreak. This includes questions on safety, the uncertainty of lockdowns, changing intercity travel protocols, and emerging new COVID-19 variants, as well as the expenses to travel due to testing protocols and quarantine requirements.

“Along with the challenges came opportunities because people were forced to learn to adapt to new technologies and be more present online. Most brands fast-tracked their digital pivot to address the changing customer habits,” said Caccam.

In terms of the influence and marketing strategy reorientation in reigniting travel, TPB has developed new avenues to reach its stakeholders in the digital space.

“The pandemic [also] allowed us to strengthen our domestic tourism program. We were able to promote lesser-known destinations, and, through intensive policy implementation on health and safety protocols, we were able to reopen particular destinations and curate more exclusive experiences,” said Velasco-Allones.

For AirAsia, Caccam said they had to go back to the drawing board and identify the new pain points of its customers and the additional steps needed to include in their booking and travel journey. The airline has maximised all its digital assets to push relevant content to alleviate customers’ uncertainty like disseminating information about the different travel requirements and reminding them of the travel protocols a few days before their flight. 

“We also leveraged on ‘collaborative tourism’ and strengthened our partnerships with different stakeholders in the tourism industry such as the Department of Tourism, local tours and restaurants, and hotel and resort partners,” she added.

As the pandemic-related travel restrictions are now being eased, there are factors the tourism sector considers when creating tourism campaigns during the new normal. For TPB, the imperatives in creating tourism campaigns post-pandemic are revisiting the new avenues where the audience consumes content, redirecting its efforts in building travel confidence, and making sure that its tourism products and services are both sustainable and inclusive for this discerning market of travellers. While for AirAsia, the campaigns are now more personalised based on the segment, destination, and travel behaviour.

Future of tourism in the Philippines

Technology in the tourism sector will primarily be adopted in its marketing and business engagement from the point of sale to the collection of feedback, according to TPB.

Velasco-Allones noted, “Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and the Metaverse are just new platforms by which we intend to engage our current and potential consumers. The unique virtual environments will allow for availment, enjoyment, and sharing of tourism experiences in a broader more visually immersive digital world.”

Meanwhile, Caccam shared, “These technologies such as AR/VR and meta verse are innovative and creative channels that can help brands acquire new customers, provide a wider reach and upsell new products by bringing to their homes the brand experience.”

And now that the Philippines’ borders are open to international tourists, the tourism sector is working continuously on improving the systems to ensure that visitors will have a seamless and still fun experience for the duration of their stay in the country. 

Velasco-Allones said, “One of our approaches is keeping our tourists up-to-date with the latest travel advisories and health requirements for local destinations through digital innovations. The TPB also continues to enhance its digital content development and distribution to make sure we are able to promote the Philippines on all relevant platforms.”

Caccam also shared, “AirAsia is a digital and lifestyle platform for everyone and we aim to be our customer’s everyday app. We are more than just an airline, we are a one-stop-shop for all your travel and lifestyle needs.”

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

DOT’s first podcast takes listeners on an adventure through The Pearl Of The Orient Sea

Philippines — The Department of Tourism (DOT) presents its first podcast entitled ‘Escape: Stories from the Road,’ showcasing the best destinations in the Philippines through stories from different personalities. The podcast will be available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and other platforms.

This five-episode ‘podumentary’, a combination of podcast and documentary, infuses an element of storytelling, veering away from the usual question-and-answer formats of podcasts. Through these stories, the DOT hopes to reach out to the various audiences and inspire them to participate in meaningful tourism through unique experiences and local interactions.

Each episode follows a theme, such as adventure, identity, fiestas, music and food. Among the notable individuals interviewed for this podcast are National Artist Kidlat Tahimik; Dr Felicidad Prudente, who is one of the leading Filipino ethnomusicologists in the country today; and former tourism secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat.

The first episode on adventure features some of the best outdoor experiences in Nueva Vizcaya, Kalinga, and Camotes Island; while the identity episode brings the audience from Baguio to Davao to share stories of people who, in finding the path to gain their identity, found the path to greatness.

The episode on music explores the sounds of the islands, from the city to the remote forests of the Philippines, emphasizing that music not only serves to entertain but to preserve history in our soundscape. The fiesta episode discusses how Filipino festivals have evolved from honouring patron saints to highlighting the best of the towns and provinces.

For the food episode that was recorded in May, ex-tourism secretary Puyat shared her advocacy in supporting local farmers and how this led to further development of food and farm tourism in the country.

DOT’s ‘Escape: Stories from the Road’ podcast is hosted by travel filmmaker and photographer Aaron Palabyab along with guest co-hosts, national athlete Maureen Schrijvers; designer, musician, and filmmaker Kate Torralba; and the sports broadcaster and podcaster Cesca Litton. 

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Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

APAC travellers prefer group over solo vacations: report

Singapore — New preferences are surfacing as travellers start to emerge from the thick of the COVID pandemic over the past two years. Outbound bookings grew four times in May in APAC compared to earlier this year, signalling that the travel bug is stronger than ever, with overseas travel firmly back on the table, according to a report by travel and leisure e-commerce platform, Klook.

According to the latest traveller trends research, users in APAC prefer travelling with friends, with only 30% expressing interest in taking a spontaneous solo vacation. This is a far cry from pre-pandemic days when 79% of millennials polled were more eager to embark on a solo trip. The insights reveal that travellers are craving shared experiences, especially after the pandemic.

The insights also showed that users in the region want to be pampered. 60% would rather indulge in a luxurious trip than embark on a backpacking holiday. Concurrently, they are also keen on taking slower vacations. 7 in 10 seek a laid-back trip over a rugged budget adventure – Singapore users come in above this average at 80%.

The pandemic has undoubtedly challenged many people, and travellers increasingly seek travel moments that help them unwind and relax to the fullest. In Singapore, 60% of users expressed their preference to relax in the most pampered way possible – starting off with breakfast in bed followed by a relaxing spa day.

Locally in Singapore, research also shows that 60% of users are seeking to escape the sweltering heat with a preference for visiting a cooler destination, compared to the 40% of users who said they prefer a tropical one for their next vacation. Interestingly, Klook’s insights also reveal that 6 out of 10 Singapore users also have a preference to splurge and indulge in luxury.

Sarah Wan, GM of Klook Singapore, said, “Travelling now is more than just taking a mental break. It’s about discovering what brings them joy and reconnecting with loved ones. With travel back on everyone’s agenda, we are excited to bring back the wonders of travel through our wide variety of experiences anytime, anywhere.”