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ASEAN packaging cross border travel

July 20, 2013 Destination Thailand, Headline News No Comments Email Email

Hegtmedia59eralding the dawn of a new era in ASEAN travel experiences and to encourage multi-country trips across Southeast Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is urging tour operators from the 10-member states, to develop multi-country packages. 

A rising trend among consumers is the desire to seek a more authentic travel experience, said Aung Zaw Win, chair of the ASEAN tourism product development working group.

This means travellers could choose multi-destination packages that allow them to experience imageunlimited variety in terms of culture, landscape, people, flora and fauna, food, handicrafts, entertainment, shopping, recreation and excitement, within the 10 member countries of ASEAN.

“Our new focus is on experiential and creative tourism that respects environment and culture. An authentic travel experience involves meaningful engagement with the heritage, arts and special character of our ASEAN destinations,” Win said.

“Today’s travellers are more sophisticated and interested in unique experiences with immersion in local ways of life. Our role is to therefore support multi-country experiential travel within ASEAN member states,” he further said.

The themed promotions, which are part of the ASEAN Tourism Marketing Strategy 2012-2015, include: “The Tastes of Southeast Asia;” “ASEAN, a Tropical Paradise,” “World Class Cities;” “Experience Diverse Traditions;” “Sport and Relaxation,” and “Diverse Contemporary Creativity.”

To inspire travellers, ASEAN has compiled a number of themes: beach, nature and wildlife; cruise tour and rail; culture and heritage; education and volunteering; food and nightlife; fun and leisure; health and spa; outdoor and water sports, and pilgrimage tourism.

An initial list of 20 tour operators offering the themes in multi-country itineraries are listed on the ASEAN travel website.

More trips are being added to cover all the 10 Asean nations – Thailand, Philippines, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore and Vietnam.

ASEAN’s tourism strategy bodes well with the TAT’s goal of hitting 28 million tourist arrivals in 2014 but has the danger of ‘confusing’ consumers.

Written by : Andrew J Wood

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