SINGAPORE, 10 November 2016: Fifty specially chosen cross border travel products will help to attract more visitors to Southeast Asia during the 50th anniversary celebrations of ASEAN’s founding.
The VISIT ASEAN@50 Golden Celebration 2017 campaign focuses on 50 cross-border travel experiences in Southeast Asia that will showcase the region’s rich diversity.
This will contribute to raising international tourist arrivals to the region from 109 million in 2015 to 121 million by 2017, officials say.
The increase in tourist arrivals is likely to take place with or without the campaign, if regional tourism forecasts are to be believed.
But ASEAN’s tourism officials are keen to broaden the appeal of the region beyond urban and beach centres to spread the benefits of tourism. In that regard the campaign highlights some of the options to create tour packages that offer a different perspective or experience.
The campaign, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), is being supported by Mastercard and AirAsia, two key players who can make up for the shortfall in budget support for ASEAN joint tourism marketing.
The travel experiences, range from two to 26 nights are being offered by tour operators and cruise lines in Southeast Asia.
Sample trips include a eight-day/seven-night tour to Bagan, Inle, Pattaya and Bangkok; a 13-day/12-night cruise from Singapore to Yangon; a six-day/five-night tour from Bali to Kuala Lumpur and the Genting Highlands; a four-day/five-night tour from Brunei to Miri in Sarawak; a 12-day/11-night Coastal Paths tour from Myanmar to Thailand; and a 12-day/11-night Wellness and Nature trip to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, Ipoh, Penang and Langkawi.
AirAsia says it will back the project with an awareness campaign across all its operating markets and include the VISIT ASEAN@50 logo in multiple marketing campaigns. The start-up date for the airline’s campaign was not confirmed.
AirAsia will also promote its ASEAN Pass, which allows passengers to book flights at fixed fares to more than one ASEAN destinations. It has over 100 routes across the region. AirAsia says it will also run monthly tactical campaigns with special low lead-in prices.
Mastercard is running a Priceless Cities programme to promote travel to consumers across different countries, languages and cultures. Mastercard will work with issuers and merchant partners to amplify the campaign globally and will use its Priceless.com platform to drive travel to and within the ASEAN region.
Speaking at a press conference at the World Travel Market in London earlier this week to announce the tour packages, the chairperson of the VISIT ASEAN@50 campaign, Wardi bin Haji Mohammad Ali, said that no collection of 50 trips could definitively represent Southeast Asia, but the 50 chosen by ASEAN’s national tourism organisations were a “very good start”.
“Together, they selected 50 experiences that were cross-border, accessible to mainstream tourists, were culturally respectful and represented core themes that the tourist offices were pleased to be associated with. All 10 ASEAN member states have been included,” He emphasised.
The 10 ASEAN members include Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
The 50 tours include cruise, a hassle-free and value-for-money holiday option to visit multiple ASEAN countries on a single trip. Special cruise packages were created by cruise lines for VISIT ASEAN@50. These packages include exclusive promotions on sailings to discover a wide variety of destinations such as Singapore, Kuala Lumpur (Port Klang), Penang, Langkawi, Phuket, Bangkok, Yangon and many more.
The cruises lines participating include Royal Caribbean International, Star Cruises and Coral Expeditions.
A 114-page online brochure outlining the 50 VISIT ASEAN@50 packages can be downloaded here. The 50 packages are also on www.visitASEAN50.com.
VISIT ASEAN@50 will be officially launched at the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Singapore on 18 January and will run until 31 December 2017.