Trade push for new Southeast Asia website


Travel suppliers are being asked to submit content to a website dedicated to southeast Asia that will underpin a new destination marketing campaign.



SoutheastAsia.org is due to launch on January 25 and will offer a trade section designed for travel agents to use.



It will offer search, planning and booking capability for 10 member countries in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). 



SoutheastAsia.org is the result of a three-way alliance signed on December 9 between Singapore-based Wego Pte, the ASEAN Tourism Association, and the Bangkok-based ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement (ACE) Project.



The ACE Project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Regional Development Mission Asia and aims to integrate travel and tourism sectors.



ACE project director, R J Gurley, said: “One of our strategies for enhancing the competitiveness of ASEAN tourism is to encourage more travel suppliers to participate online to take better advantage of regional integration and marketing efforts.”



As well as content-rich meta search SoutheastAsia.org will feature interactive maps and a trip planner tool devised by Wego.



Martin Symes, Wego chief executive, said: “The trip planner will draw upon the great variety of bookable flights, hotels and innovative itineraries that are available in the region.



“With Wego’s distribution channel and supplier-neutral business model, our technology is perfectly suited to serve a multi-stakeholder project such as this.”



Wego will host the new website in a revenue share deal with ASEANTA, and is sharing the development and integration costs with ACE. 



SoutheastAsia.org will seek the raise awareness of the region among international travellers, in particular those with an interest in culture, adventure, ecotourism, trekking, train travel and cruise.



Content will highlight these niche themes and travellers will be encouraged to book multi-centre trips and to spend more time in the region.



Felix Cruz, ASEANTA’s chairman and vice president of marketing support for Philippine Airlines said:



“We want SoutheastAsia.org to be the new go-to site of choice for anyone interested in travel to Southeast Asia.



“It is part of our strategy to raise awareness of southeast Asia as a desirable regional destination relative to Europe, the South Pacific, and the Caribbean.” 



SoutheastAsia.org will have a soft launch during the ASEAN Tourism Forum, in Brunei on January 21-28.


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