Mastercard warms up ASEAN promotions

BANGKOK 26 July 2019: Mastercard and national tourism organisations in Southeast Asia are joining forces to revive the region’s “Feel the Warmth” campaign.

ASEAN’s 10 member countries launched the campaign in February 2010 but with little to show in building awareness at both travel trade and consumer levels probably due to a limited budget that forced the group to rely on free social media distribution.

Southeast Asia has the distinction of being home to six of the top 10 travel destinations in the world[1], but outside of the national tourism budgets, the region’s promotional funding is meagre.  

The ASEAN campaign attempted to build consumer travel awareness to drive multi-destination itineraries in the region.  It focused mainly on the region’s famous landmarks, local food, adventure travel and shopping.

Now it should gain a lift from Mastercard’s broad network of partners and merchants to generate travel from key source markets such as China, India and Australia, as well as promote tourism within the ASEAN region itself.

“This is a great opportunity for our 10 member states to celebrate Southeast Asia as the world’s fastest-growing tourism destination,” said Philippines Department of Tourism Undersecretary Benito Bengzon, who is also chair of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Partnership Working Group.

“By partnering with Mastercard and featuring convenient and secure ways to pay cross-border, we’re delivering on our vision of creating a cohesive ASEAN economy and sharing the vast array of exciting experiences with travellers from every corner of the world.”

Mastercard’s Priceless Cities programme will be an integral part of the campaign, offering travel dining and shopping experiences in top cities.

“Mastercard’s broad acceptance in digital payments means travellers have a frictionless way to pay for their experiences,” said Mastercard vice president, marketing and communications, Southeast Asia, Audrey Yeo.

For example, Mastercard contactless credit, debit and prepaid cards can be used to pay for buses and trains in Singapore, as well as e-payments at convenience stories in Thailand and taxi apps across Southeast Asia.

Mastercard’s partnership with ASEAN NTOs builds on an earlier collaboration that promoted the Visit ASEAN@50: Golden Celebration to mark the bloc’s 50th anniversary.

ASEAN National Tourism Organizations (ASEAN NTOs) are the national tourism organisations of 10 member states of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. The 10 members are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

[1] Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index 2018

(Source; Mastercard)