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: