On the 23rd of November 2019. DiscoverLaos.Today launching event was held in Luang Prabang @MyLaoHome Hotel & Spa attended by Deputy Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism Mr. Ounthuang Khophanh, Deputy Director of the Luang Prabang Provisional Information, Culture and Tourism Department Mrs Soudaphone Khomthavong and over 100 tourism professionals from Hotels, Restaurants and Tour companies.
Discover Laos Today is Laos first integrated travel tech portal to inspire travel and experience Laos for the world. The company’s mission is to enrich Laos’ tourism offerings to the world and promote sustainable tourism, by working hand in hand with local businesses. Its vision, “Steeped in Buddhist traditions, Laos is an under-recognised natural masterpiece. That’s why we believe that, through Discovering Laos Today, you can liberate your happiest self.”
During the launch, the presentation was presented by co-founders Ninthala Keohamphet, Benny Kong, and Danou Samnang. With an unclear brand equity for Laos, the team highlighted that Laos’ brand promise is History, Nature and Heritage, and the company is targeting the Asian Millennial Travelers (AMTs), as this group of people will drive the next wave of the tourism travel expenditure, expected to increase to $340 billion by 2020.
AMTs are digital natives and educated consumers. They are looking for new cultural places to explore and their most used social media are Instagram and Facebook. They are willing to put in the time and having the know-how to conduct extensive research. To target the AMTs, the company’s primarily focus is to place emphasis on digital to attract the travelers through the online travel ecosystem. Discover Laos Today believes that the AMTs are looking for cities which are off the beaten track, but not that off. Hence, the opportunity for Laos to capitalize on the AMT consumer market space.
Discover Laos Today’s 6 branding and marketing strategy consists of an Integrated Platform, Brand Campaign & Contest, Documentary & TV Productions, Discover Laos Tourism Ambassador, Network Marketing and Direct Booking & Brand Building Services.
1. Integrated Platform
The Integrated Platform consists of 6 features which are, Website, Content and Media, Newsletter and Magazine, Influencer Marketing and, Social Media and Digital Marketing. The website helps to connect Laos SMEs to international audience through exciting and engaging content, multimedia and social media. Some of the website’s key services include Instant Booking, a Book Now Direct Button, which is provided on a tour company’s website to directly link back to the Discover Laos Today booking page, content and media provided for every province in Laos, rate and allotment manager, tourist information for all tourist destination in Laos and the site will also be available in the Thai, Mandarin, Korean and Japanese languages to cater to a wider audience. For Influencer Marketing, Discover Laos Today invites influencers from around the world to travel to Laos and write a review or a video to encourage travelers to come to Laos. Social Media and Digital Marketing feature will create brand awareness about Laos to the rest of the world in Facebook and Instagram Pages. Discover Laos Today Facebook Page currently has over 16,000 likes and followers, and started their Instagram page 3 months ago.
2. Brand Campaign and Contest
Under their Brand Campaign and Contest, $3000 worth of prizes were sponsored from Sofitel Luang Prabang, Pullman Hotels and Resorts, 3 Nagas Luang Prabang, Luang Say Residence Luang Prabang, Villa Deux Rivières, MylaoHome, Luang Prabang View Hotel and The Grand Luang Prabang in support of the launching of website to encourage travelers to travel to Laos. Contest end 21 December 2019 on their facebook page under Discover Laos Today.
3. Documentary and TV Productions
Discover Laos Today also introduced 4 Documentary and TV International productions that they are partnering with for 2020. Wild Wheels from Malaysia, Snack Tracker from France, Discovery in Laos from Thailand and Nomadocs from Spain. These TV and Documentary shows will showcase the different aspects of Laos in terms of Travel, Endangered Species, Reality Show and Sustainable Tourism.
4. Discover Laos Tourism Ambassador
Touly Bidalack will be the company’s Discover Laos Tourism Ambassador. She will be part of the website’s Insider Series, where travelers will get understand more about Laos from a local perspective.
5. Network Marketing and Direct Booking
4 features were introduced under this strategy, Website Tours Booking, Tourism Lao Magazine, Hotel Listings on Discover Laos Today and Visibility. One of the features, Tourism Laos Magazine, will feature top activities, tours, restaurants and hotels to be placed in hotels over Laos to let travelers know what other activities are there outside of the province they are visiting. This would therefore help to grow viewership, direct booking and brand awareness for all tours, restaurants and hotels. The company has plans to also open up booths at Airports and Train Stations to promote their partners and eventually help to grow Laos Tourism Together.
6. Brand Building Services
The company provides services for anyone to help produce content and media, IT, generate visibility and joint promotional activities. Some of their work include promotional videos and photos for Khopfa Mekong Cruise, The Living Land Company and Nam Kat Yorlapa.
Discover Laos Today believes that these marketing strategies will promote Laos tourism to different markets and target audiences and for partners and local business exposure to an international audience to drive sales and awareness from the tourist community about Laos.