ASEAN rolls out campaign to boost intra-regional travel

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has launched a new social media campaign on World Tourism Day, September 27, which focuses on promoting intra-ASEAN travel as a key Covid-19 recovery initiative to revitalise the tourism industry.

This campaign, hosted on Meta, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and TikTok, is part of an initiative supported by Global Affairs Canada under the Canadian Trade and Investment Facility for Development. It was developed by the UK-based creative agency MDSG in collaboration with the ASEAN Secretariat.

ASEAN’s new campaign hopes to encourage travellers in South-east Asia to travel around the region

Its theme, Your Dream Holiday, Closer Than You Think, highlights the region’s unique features, including its warm and welcoming people, ecotourism and adventure opportunities, and the diverse and flavourful cuisine found throughout the region.

Targeted primarily at South-east Asian travellers, the campaign aims to encourage residents and travellers within the region to explore the cultural, natural, and historical wonders right in their own backyard. Kanchana Wanichkorn, director of sectoral development at the ASEAN Secretariat, shared this objective during a recent multi-stakeholder webinar on the Intra-ASEAN Tourism Recovery campaign, jointly organised by Global Affairs Canada, MDSG, and ASEAN Secretariat.

The campaign spans six weeks and employs a combination of Stories and Newsfeed placements to specifically reach travel enthusiasts residing in South-east Asian countries while generating engagement and driving consumer interest to the website.

James Bailey, managing director, MDSG, revealed that the campaign targets individuals aged 18 to 55 residing in South-east Asia who have an interest in travel, culture, sports, nature, and ecotourism. He also mentioned that MDSG would share data collected from the campaign, including information about the most engaged users and the most popular themes. This data will enable retargeting for future campaigns and promotions.

Hannah Pearson, founder of Pear Anderson, emphasised the significance of the campaign, noting that before Covid-19, intra-ASEAN travel represented a third of all travellers originating from the region. She stressed the importance of maintaining momentum and energy in the tourism sector.

She opined: “Many tourists (from South-east Asia) have already explored the capital cities and are now looking for secondary and tertiary destinations, which can also benefit the local communities in those areas.”

Thus, this campaign provides an opportunity for governments in the region to promote less-explored destinations and further diversify their tourism offerings.

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