Mekong has its moment

BANGKOK, 20 September 2018: Mekong Tourism was highlighted alongside AirBnB and Grab in a new research report Data & Digital Platforms: Driving Tourism Growth in Asia Pacific’.

The Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office’s social media campaign platform, featured in research published by PATA and Tourism Economics, an Oxford Economics company, with the support of Google.

The Mekong Moments project was executed by a public private partnership known as Destination Mekong, and powered by Enwoke social commerce management system, developed by UNWTO affiliate member Chameleon Strategies.

The report showcases Mekong Moments as a social commerce platform that encourages people to share visual content and experiences. The more that visitors participate, the more content was created to promote Mekong tourism.

The campaign stood side-by-side with AirBnB and Grab initiatives, due to its ability to build digital capacity in less developed parts of the region driving tourism growth with a potential to encourage visitor dispersion, while reducing the threat of ‘overtourism’.

“The most powerful way to communicate the essence of a destination is by the experiences people have,” Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office executive director, Jens Thraenhart said. “And by creating a mosaic of the experiences people have shared, you create the brand. If we capture these experiences and inspire others to share them that drives more interest in the region.”

Over 9 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, the research claimed.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that organisations obtain a thorough understanding of current technologies to make smarter and more informed decisions to embrace the disruptive and technological changes occurring within the travel and tourism industry,” said PATA CEO  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 and facilitate cross-border data flows.”

With travellers increasingly using online platforms, the report highlights several policy recommendations to support the digital network and maximise growth opportunities.

The report’s conclusions:
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;
Avoid restrictive policy, such as data localisation policies.

The report can be downloaded from the PATA website at: