Marketing Featured ANZ

New Zealand’s tourism marketer touch bases with Aussie visitors in new campaign

New Zealand – Tourism New Zealand, the organization tasked to promote the country’s tourism around the world, has recently launched a new campaign targeted at its regional neighbor – Australia – to encourage the country’s locals who happen to be the country’s largest former international visitor market, to come explore and renew their wanderlust towards New Zealand. 

Done in partnership with creative agency Special Group Australia, the campaign titled ‘Stop Dreaming about New Zealand and Go’ takes a quirky turn with a depiction of an Australian dreaming about New Zealand from his sleep, and is then is then taken through a range of the country’s popular attractions including National Parks and even stargazing with a surreal giant Kiwi.

According to research by Tourism New Zealand, about 77% of Australians are actively considering traveling to the country on holiday, followed by 27% who want to visit their family, with 15% to visit friends.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive René de Monchy shared that despite record numbers of Kiwis ‘doing something new’ and traveling domestically, there is an estimated $12.9B annual gap from the loss of international visitors, and the return of Australian visitors is projected to help reduce this gap with both domestic tourists and international visits making up 70% the pre-COVID visitor market.

“The campaign is designed to tap into people’s renewed desire to explore and showcases New Zealand’s natural environment, experiences, and the warm welcome of our people. We are seeing longer itineraries being booked by Australians which helps support travel to more remote locations within New Zealand,” said Monchy.

According to Ann Lockhart, the interim chief executive of Destination Queenstown, Australia is likewise a hugely important visitor market for Queenstown, particularly over winter when Australian visitors previously made up around 50% of all of our international visits.

“The ability to welcome them here is a huge boost for Queenstown and we are delighted the trans-Tasman bubble is open and our tourism operators are open and ready to welcome our Australian friends back,” said Lockhart.

In line with the campaign, Tourism New Zealand has also released a toolkit for interested partners who want to adopt and integrate with the campaign. The kit provides an overview of the campaign, the creative assets, and details on how partners can get involved through their own channels. The kit is available for download through its website.

Marketing Featured ANZ

Cruise operator Hurtigruten taps Aussie creative agency to debut ‘immersive’ digital magazine

Sydney, Australia – Norwegian sustainable cruise operator Hurtigruten has tapped the creative talents of Australia-based publishing agency Grin Creative in launching its first-ever ‘immersive’ digital magazine, initially set to roll out in Australia.

Hurtigruten is known for their cruise routes locally in Norway and through the Arctic region, such as Svalbard, Alaska, Iceland, as well as Antarctica, the Carribean, the British Isles and parts of Europe and North America. Hurtigruten Magazine is its first foray into publishing.

The new ‘immersive’ digital magazine will make full use of immersive videos and sound, the first issue of the magazine allows readers to tour Norway’s coastal kitchen with Danish food and travel blogger Anders Husa, embark on a visual journey to Antarctica with award-winning Australian travel photographer Dan Avila, and follow in the footsteps of Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen.

Hurtigruten’s digital magazine will also feature the cruise line’s mission for sustainability, showcasing stories about the first all-women team to overwinter in the Arctic, and discover how ice samples in Greenland are helping scientists to predict the future.

“Much like our hybrid ships, we’re embracing new technologies to keep our audiences’ travel dreams alive through an interactive and immersive experience that goes beyond brochures,” said Damian Perry, managing director of Hurtigruten Asia Pacific.

The digital magazine will be published quarterly and will be optimized for mobile phones, tablets and desktops.The creation of the digital magazine was spearheaded by Joel Victoria, head of marketing for Hurtigruten Asia Pacific, who believes that the magazine will serve as a ‘temporary escape’ and an inspiration for travel in future, still restricted by the ongoing global pandemic.

“We’re finding that cruises exploring remote destinations are performing exceptionally well at the moment for forward bookings; nearly 80% of bookings in the last quarter of 2020 were for Antarctica, fuelled by an ‘All-Inclusive’ marketing campaign. Svalbard, in the Norwegian Arctic, has also proven popular with Aussies,” Victoria stated.

After its initial release in Australia, the printed edition of the magazine will roll out in the UK with translated editions also available in France, Germany and Norway and soon to roll out in Sweden, Switzerland and Denmark.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

New design of PH’s airport NAIA to don Banaue Rice Terraces-inspired steps

Manila, Philippines – Local-based construction conglomerate Megawide GMR has unveiled the new architectural design for Philippines’ primary international airport, Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), which takes inspiration from one of the country’s tourist attractions Banaue Rice Terraces.

In a Facebook post, the firm revealed the new project, aptly called “New NAIA Hagdan (Stairs)”, is an architectural design that gets direct inspiration from the terraces’ organized system that has stood the test of time, which was built 2,000 years ago, highlighting local innovation. 

Another concept image of the proposed Banaue Rice Terraces-inspired Terminal 1 of NAIA. (Courtesy of Megawide)

The new architectural design aims to not only promote tourism, but also raise awareness of the culture, continuity, and natural beauty of the actual site, which was built by the Ifugao tribe in the Philippines.

“As the first and last impression visitors will have of the Philippines, NAIA itself should deliver a positive, unforgettable experience that people can equate with their stay, something truly Filipino. We’re not just rehabilitating an airport – we’re creating a new symbol for the country,” said Louie Ferrer, Megawide executive director for infrastructure development.

The design was conceptualized by Hong Kong-based architectural firm Integrated Design Associates, the same architectural firm that conceptualized the local MCIA Terminal 2 and the new Clark International Airport new passenger terminal building in the Philippines. 

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Malaysia Airlines launches ‘Trips and Tours’ feature on booking platform

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – MHholidays, the tour operating arm of Malaysia Airlines, has launched a new product, “Trips and Tours”, an offering of a wide selection of activities, attractions, and experiences in addition to the existing flights and hotel packages.

The new product features more than 40,000 selections of travel experiences worldwide. These include trips, concerts, attractions, museums, and excursions across 1,000 international and domestic cities within and beyond the airline’s network. 

“Trips and Tours” is in support of the Malaysian government’s initiative of reviving domestic travel and tourism sectors. Through the government’s “Green Travel Bubble Initiative”, there are now over 100 new activities and attractions on offer across 12 domestic cities Malaysia Airlines flies to.

“The introduction of Trips and Tours further builds on MHholidays’ aim of making travel seamless by providing an all-in-one travel booking experience leveraging technology. Currently, MHholidays packages are only available for MH operated flights, and we are working towards expanding it to include Firefly codeshare flights in 2021. In line with our Fly Malaysia campaign, the MHholidays’ Trips and Tours highlights the amazing attractions we have across our nation while playing our part to support the revival of domestic tourism travel by curating safe, secure, and amazing experiences for all our customers,” said Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer Lau Yin May.

The product is now on offer on the MHholidays’ official website or through Malaysia Airlines’ official mobile, available on download at the Google Play Store or at the App Store.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

SG to anchor ‘catalytic’ dialogue on global tourism via new STB initiative

Singapore – As if the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) hasn’t made clear its strong intention to revive tourism, here comes a new initiative which seeks to provide a space for catalytic dialogue on tourism, not just to bring back to shape the country’s but the world’s as well.

Called SingapoReimagine, the platform aims to spark conversations, stories, and ideas to collectively shape the future of the country’s sector. The initiative will be kicked off by “Reimagine Travel – Global Conversations,” a series of forums on reactivating global travel. 

For a start, STB will be sharing its learnings on how the public and private sectors have come together to create new possibilities for the country’s visitors. As part of the forums, global partners will be invited to share knowledge and exchange ideas, with the first one in Singapore next year, before being hosted in other parts of the world.

Closer to home, STB will also roll out “Reimagine Travel in Singapore,” a series of engagements with passionate members of the local community and tourism partners to co-create ideas and spur the renewal of Singapore tourism. This complements the SingapoRediscovers domestic campaign, which encourages locals to rediscover and reconnect with Singapore’s hidden gems and experiences. Both of the forums will be launched in 2021. 

COVID-19 is the biggest crisis we have ever faced in travel and tourism. But it also offers us an opportunity to reset and revive our industries in ways that we never imagined were possible a year ago. The journey to reimagine travel has already started in Singapore, and we want to continue this journey with those whose voices matter – our community in Singapore, and our partners here and around the world. We look forward to co-creating ideas and strategies with all of them, to make travel better.

Keith Tan, chief executive at STB

STB said SingapoReimagine will also about creating a new standard for travel. The initiative will be rolling out the following sub-initiatives:

Reimagine Safety – STB has been working closely with industry partners to elevate health and safety measures based on new national standards so that future visitors can enjoy the city’s refreshed experiences with added peace of mind. Such initiatives include the SG Clean Quality mark, which requires tourism establishments to adhere to stringent levels of hygiene and sanitization as well as Safe Management Measures (SMMs).

Reimagine Technology – Technology will be the heart of these efforts. From the use of contactless technology and cleaning robots, to the contact tracing app TraceTogether and token, the world’s first national digital contact tracing tool, Singapore aims to make travel safer, yet seamless and efficient. Virtual experiences, hybrid meeting venues and events, and even robot baristas are now offered, enabling new ways to delight visitors without compromising on safety.

Reimagine City & Nature – Looking further ahead, Singapore aims to be the world’s most sustainable urban destination. That is why the country is investing in new products and pilots that take into account the needs of the community and the environment, such as the ambition to transform Singapore into a “City In Nature” over the next decade, developing the Jurong Lake District Tourism Development to be a world-class lifestyle destination, and reimagining the Mandai Precinct as a world-class eco-themed nature cluster, with the introduction of new wildlife attractions as well as eco-friendly accommodation offerings 

The SingapoReimagine initiative will also be used as a platform for stories. As travel gradually resumes, the story of these new experiences – for both leisure and MICE – will be told through SingapoReimagine. STB will be working with international and in-market media key influencers as well as content and trade partners to engage audiences in key markets to drive the anticipation for travel in Singapore.

The move is with the aim of further marketing Singapore as a safe MICE destination, in order to rebuild short to mid-term consideration of Singapore among MICE event planners.

SME Featured Southeast Asia

STB’s “Made With Passion” initiative puts spotlight to local lifestyle products

Singapore – As a complementary part of the tourism board’s ongoing “SingapoRediscovers” campaign, the Singapore Tourism Board (STB) launched the “Made With Passion” campaign that puts focus on local lifestyle products in the country.

The campaign, made possible in partnership with the Singapore Brand Office and support from Enterprise Singapore, will feature local products from these categories: beauty & wellness, fashion & accessories, homeware & décor, and packaged food and beverage (F&B).

Initial stages of the marketing campaign will include a new brand mark for the partner local brands, whether in product packaging, in-store, and online. This then ensures brands show a strong connection with the Singaporean local community.

“Passion is at the heart of our Singapore story. We are also home to a host of innovative and iconic brands that have been created with passion.  By sharing the stories behind both established and up-coming brands, we hope that more people will be able to rediscover well-loved brands and be wowed by the myriad of brands that speak of our passion and creativity,” stated Lynette Pang, advisor to the Singapore Brand Office and assistant chief executive (Marketing Group) of STB. 

Local trade association support will also be also seen within this initiative, with support coming from the Association for Small Medium Enterprises (ASME), Restaurant Association of Singapore, Singapore Food Manufacturers’ Association, Singapore Furniture Industries Council, Singapore Retailers Association, and Textile and Fashion Federation.

“The Made With Passion initiative is most timely. ASME is very pleased to support this initiative as we recognise that it takes great passion and commitment to build, nurture and grow a brand. The launch of Made With Passion also reflects a maturing of our market in appreciating homegrown brands.  We can be proud of local brands and help them flourish,” said Chew Lee Ching, vice-president for awards and special projects at the (ASME).

Dilys Boey, assistant chief executive officer at enterprise Singapore commented, “The Made With Passion initiative is a gateway for Singaporeans to discover more of our local brands. With greater awareness and interest, Made With Passion will be able to amplify positive brand attributes of our Singapore brands across the wider lifestyle sector. We hope that Made With Passion will elevate Singapore brands collectively and help them achieve greater success.”

The campaign will be amplified online via the campaign’s upcoming website and social media pages.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Next on SingapoRediscovers campaign: holiday bundles on ten key destinations

Singapore – Since the inception of the SingapoRediscovers campaign by Singapore tourism agencies in July, the Singapore Tourism Board has been amplifying its efforts to introduce programs to encourage locals to explore the country. The latest on its lineup? A holiday bundle promo among ten precincts.

Included in the precinct roster are Civic District, Joo Chiat/Katong, Kampong Gelam, and Sentosa. Dubbed as taking a “Singapoholiday,” each precinct is chosen for its rich history and culture, and its suite of experiences that locals can enjoy. 

Hotels, attractions, tour operators as well as retail and dining establishments have come together to offer bundled promotions for each precinct.

STB Chief Executive Keith Tan said the board is heartened by the response from industry partners who have come up with innovative products and partnerships to appeal to locals.

“We would like to thank locals for supporting our local businesses and rediscovering our city over the past few months. As the holiday season draws near, we hope they can take a Singapoliday too. There is so much to explore and do in our vibrant precincts. Each has a unique story to tell and homegrown businesses that need our support,” he said.

There are around 50 bundled promotions housed on the SingapoRediscovers microsite and the VisitSingapore app. Bundled promotions for each precinct will feature a combination of various products, including staycations, attractions, tours, as well as retail and dining offers.

For example, in Marina Bay, travel agent The Traveller DMC curated a staycation-attraction package with Mandarin Oriental, Singapore, and Gardens by the Bay. Meanwhile, in Kampong Gelam, boutique hotel The Sultan and local tours coordinator Tribe Tours paired up to offer a promotion for a staycation and an Instagram photography tour, taking guests to explore different areas of the precinct, including Bugis and Waterloo Street. STB said more bundled promotions will be introduced in the coming months.

In addition, STB has designed Singapoliday itineraries across the 10 precincts, which can be customized to help locals plan mini-holidays of up to three days within each precinct. Each itinerary will feature recommended hotels, attractions, tours, as well as retail and dining establishments. 

To further encourage locals to take a Singapoholiday, STB will be releasing a 10-episode video series called S.P.I.E.S, highlighting each of the precincts included in the program.

An acronym which stands for Secret Places in Exciting Singapore, episodes will spotlight lesser-known fun facts and discoveries of each precinct, where each episode will be hosted by a Singapore celebrity and shown on STB’s YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram platforms.

To be launched in November, the pilot will feature actor Tosh Zhang visiting Little India to explore its hidden interesting spots such as a vintage garment shop and a hotel filled with artworks and sculptures. In tandem with the continuous rollout of holiday bundles, STB will be releasing more content in the coming months including a video series titled “How to not waste your annual leave,” hosted by actors Chua Enlai and Michelle Chia.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

Vietnam-based Luxury Travel rebrands to LUX Travel DMC

Hanoi, Vietnam – Luxury Travel, a Vietnam-based destination management company, has recently rebranded to LUX Travel DMC, signaling a change towards its tourist marketing strategy.

The company, founded in 2005, has shifted to luxury domestic tourism for growth as COVID-19 travel restrictions are implemented globally. With a 30% growth in revenue and 10,000 guest accommodations in 2019, the company hopes that its new line of luxury travel services fares in the longer run.

“We refreshed the current products and created new products, trained our team, and rebranded our brands. We are pleased to inform you that Luxury Travel Vietnam has been rebranded to Lux Travel DMC for inbound department and we expand to Asia destinations. Luxury Travel is now for domestic and outbound departments. We have our fleet of 10 luxury vehicles for our guests under the LuxTransCo Brand and we both ready to bounce back with our innovative and trendy tourism products and our core values: Private touring. Only the best hotels. Our world of expertise,” Pham Ha, LUX Travel DMC CEO and founder stated.

LUX Travel DMC will continue to provide concierge travel services such as private jet planes, yachts, islands, restaurants, and villas.

Despite the ongoing changes, Ha notes that the company will still keep its company core values.

“Lux DMC Travel always commits to operating the highest standards of services. Our Lux team is dedicated to working closely with agents and tour operators and ensures to deliver for their customers authentic and unique luxury travel and SOLUX experiences by using their expertise, know-how, and solid infrastructure,” Ha added.

Platforms East Asia

Consumer travel spending among Chinese on uptick in mid-year, says study

Hong Kong, China – Consumer travel spending among the Chinese has been on an upward trend during the first half of the year, according to a study by iClick. 

Duty-free products in Hainan province saw RMB 1.07 billion (US$167 million) in sales from July 1 to 15, with daily sales hitting RMB 71 million (US$10.3 million), a 30 percent rise over daily sales in June. iClick said the boost was helped by an increase in the tax free shopping quota in Hainan from RMB 28,000 (US$4,261) to RMB 100,000 (US$14,451) per person each year.

When the coronavirus pandemic took its toll early this year, the situation has dampened the confidence of many Chinese consumers at the onset.  During the pandemic, surveys were conducted to find out how consumers feel about the situation.

In February, 49% of consumers expressed their optimism that the economy will recover in 2-3 months, while another 49% believes that the adverse impact of the pandemic will last 6-12 months or longer. As the signs of economic rebound began to manifest, optimism among the Chinese consumers gradually improved to 53% while pessimism fell to 40%.

Although more people are travelling with daily flights returning to nearly 80% of pre-epidemic volume in China in the month of July, there are still those that are staying on-ground and spending their money on local purchases. 

The 6.18 midyear shopping festival brought in a reported RMB 1 trillion (US$144.5 billion) with Tmall Global direct reporting a GMV growth of 199% year-on-year and JD International enjoying a 110% boost over last year’s sales.

Marketing Featured Southeast Asia

AirAsia partners with local hotels in Philippines to offer promo deals on new platform SNAP

Manila, Philippines – In its efforts to boost domestic tourism in the Philippines, AirAsia has partnered with local hotels in the country to launch SNAP, a new flight and hotel platform on which offers convenient fly and stay packages.  

The airline will be offering an introductory SNAP promotion of up to 50% off on flights when consumers book a flight and hotel via the platform. This special promotional fare will be available on from 21 to 27 September 2020, for travel from 21 September 2020 to 25 March 2021.

The airline assures in its press statement that it will be complying with advice and regulations from the local government, civil aviation authorities,  and global and local health agencies, including the World Health Organization. 

The company said that guests can expect enhanced safety measures throughout the entire journey, including pre-flight, in-flight, and arrival processes. These include the mandatory wearing of face masks to be permitted to travel, among others. Guests will also be advised to check and comply with measures implemented by local airport authorities for a smooth travel experience.

AirAsia Philippines CEO Ricky Isla said, “We are pleased to launch SNAP in the Philippines to be able to provide new and affordable offerings on, especially for business travelers and those planning for their future getaways once leisure travel is permitted.”

Isla added, “Aside from developing as Asia’s fastest-growing super app, this initiative has opened up opportunities to work with partner hotels, as we start to recover from the effects of the pandemic which have devastated the travel and tourism industry. We look forward to forming more partnerships with more hotels in the future.”