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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:
Title Photo: The web homepage of the award-winning and report-featured social commerce management platform ‘Mekong Moments’.
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About Mekong Moments
Mekong Moments is a globally unique and pioneering visual consumer marketing campaign and travel inspiration platform that collaboratively promotes the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) as a single tourism destination in addition to driving direct business to individual businesses through social commerce. Regardless of type and size, businesses have encouraged their guests, staff, and stakeholders to share their experiences via their own social media accounts by tagging #MekongMoments as well as the respective hashtag of the experience (hotel, restaurant, destination, attraction, event, tour, shop, etc.). All properly tagged user-generated content is aggregated to www.mekongmoments.com, which in effect, directs traffic to the corresponding websites of the experiences and/or businesses.
Mekong Moments has been carefully planned over two years to meet the requirements of a public-private partnership agreement between six tourism ministries and six companies including IHG, Small Luxury Hotels, Khiri Travel, and Odyssey Tours China with a purpose to create a sustainable and efficient tourism program for the GMS. The initiative is aligned with the Experience Mekong Tourism Marketing Strategy 2015-2020 and the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy 2016-2025. UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies used their web-development technology ENWOKE to build Mekong Moments platform and used significant input from the travel and tourism industry to refine its function and overall purpose.
Please visit www.mekongmoments.info for more information.
About the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office
The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), located in Bangkok, was set up with funding from the governments of the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries – Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam. The MTCO, which operates on annual financial contributions from each GMS country, acts as the secretariat for the GMS Tourism Working Group, comprising of senior officials of the six GMS countries’ National Tourism Organizations, to coordinate and facilitate sustainable tourism development of the GMS in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and promotion of the Mekong region as a single travel and tourism destination, in collaboration with the public and private sectors. The MTCO manages its award-winning MekongTourism.org digital platform as a one-stop platform to promote responsible and sustainable tourism in the region, as well as the annual Mekong Tourism Forum, whose hosting is rotated among GMS countries.
Please visit www.MekongTourism.org for more information.
About Destination Mekong
Destination Mekong was created in 2017 to promote the Mekong region, comprising of Cambodia, PR China (Provinces of Guangxi and Yunnan), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam as a single tourism destination to stimulate responsible and sustainable development and investment, and drive inclusive growth. Endorsed by the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office and aligned with the mandate of the regional collaborative tourism framework of the six-member governments of the Greater Mekong Subregion, Destination Mekong executes targeted projects and initiatives via public-private partnership investment structures, including Mekong Moments and Mekong Trends, led by UNWTO Affiliate Member Chameleon Strategies.
Please visit www.DestinationMekong.com for more information.
ENWOKE is a Software as a Service (SaaS) modules that enables collaborative social commerce. The first implementation of ENWOKE is in Mekong Moments, a public-private partnership with the governments of China, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam through the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO). Mekong Moments is a capacity building platform, allowing any tourism business or provider of services – regardless of size – to run social media campaigns, consolidate social content, have personalized websites, partake in knowledge exchange and build a collaborative content cloud to promote the region overall. For consumers, it is a travel-inspirational platform to find user-generated visual and authentic content about destinations and experiences, matching their personal traveller type. It helps them to find niche experiences, plan their trips and connect with friends and like-minded travellers.
Please visit www.enwoke.com for more information.
About Chameleon Strategies
Founded in 1999, Chameleon Strategies is an innovative strategy think tank incorporated in Bangkok, Vancouver, and Hong Kong. By leveraging leading technology and expertise, Chameleon Strategies can assist clients to adapt to a rapidly changing world while empowering them to garner high levels of customer engagement and service innovation.
The organisation’s principals have had senior engagements with national tourism organisations and hotel brands in the Asia Pacific, North America and Europe, as well as in the founding of travel technology and marketing ventures in China and Southeast Asia. Since 2008, Chameleon Strategies has been a proud UNWTO Affiliate Member.
Please visit www.chameleonstrategies.com for more information.