Critics of ASEAN’s cooperative efforts in tourism believe it may be better off focusing on ASEAN’s capacity for tourism growth — easing visa restrictions, deregulating the skies, and building tourism infrastructure — than on branding and marketing.
Its efforts at marketing ASEAN as a single yet diverse destination have been slipshod at best, writes Raini Hamdi for Skift.
“They were badly thought-out, with little forward planning,” says David Kevan of Chic Locations UK, a tour operator that sends luxury clients to Southeast Asia. “In most of Europe, the term ‘ASEAN’ is not widely used or known, especially with customers who are more familiar with ‘Southeast Asia’, so it has little publicity value and probably confuses more than assists.”
Another problem is a lack of marketing dollars despite tourism contributing a lot to ASEAN’s economy, writes Ms Hamdi.
ASEAN may be better off leaving marketing to the private sector. Or it should come up with a respectable marketing budget that tourism deserves and employ real professionals to deal with issues such as branding and marketing for the long term.