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MTCO and Travel Media Applications launch a B2B online sales kit about Mekong Destinations

Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO) organized on September 2 in partnership with Travel Media Applications (TMA) a workshop in Bangkok with the travel trade to present its newest project of an online sales tool to sell destinations located within the Greater Mekong Subregion.

BANGKOK – On September 2, 2013, Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office Executive Director Mason Florence and Travel Media Applications Founder and Managing Director Theodore Koumelis presented officially their new Strategic Partnership which will provide travel agents with tools to help them selling Mekong destinations thanks. The meeting was hosted by Thailand Department of Tourism and took place at the Mercure Hotel Siam.

“We will go to a complete offer for travel agents starting with the launch of an online sales manual but also webinars, training seminars or B2B workshops”, explained Mason Florence, Executive Director in front of 30 participants from tour agencies, hotels, media and official institutions or associations such as the Asian Development Bank (ADB), Thailand Department of Tourism, ASEAN tourism representative in Thailand and the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA).

“We are keen to build up partnerships between both the Public and Private Sectors to promote the region. It is a win-win situation and this online sales kit is a first initiative. More should then follow”, added Mr. Florence.

“We feel there is a real need expressed by travel agents and professionals in tourism to get a comprehensive manual providing all information on destinations, travel requirements, air connections or hotel capacities. We are happy to be part of that project which will allow the travel trade all around the world to get information about one of Asia’s most exciting and promising tourism regions”, said Theodore Koumelis from TMA.

The online sales manual is called “How To Sell the Mekong – Six Countries, One River” will not only look at travel products but also highlight sustainable tourism projects, social responsible tourism, cultural identity as well as thematic routes.

“We are very keen on sustainability of GMS destinations as well as thematic routes. The Mekong is a special destination in Asia, a kind of last tourism frontier. One of his best assets is its authenticity and the strong sense of welcome of the various ethnics and populations of the six member states. We want that travel agents take into considerations the destinations offering the best practices in terms of social tourism and sustainability. We also want to promote more multi-country circuits and the online sales manual will be the perfect tool to raise awareness among travel professionals”, explained MTCO Executive Director Mason Florence.

The Mekong Online Sales Guide will be available for free on the MTCO website in a PDF version. In a first phase, TMA will provide the content, with destination portraits but also technical information (Access, Flights, Visa, etc) and articles and information provided by travel agencies selling the destination. The manual will be updated once a year.

Each country destination will highlight unique selling points, marketing ideas, the assets and weaknesses of the destination from a seller’s perspective as well all important facts such as accommodation, MICE Facilities, local transport, seasonality & climate, contacts, but also festivals & events, shopping facilities, statistics, gastronomy or available promotion material.

In a second and third phase, seminars, webinars, a printed version of the sales manual for distribution at travel fairs but also familiarization trips and the creation of a “Mekong Specialist Certificate” will be organized. The Online Sales Manual will be available before the end of the year.

The project presentation received an enthusiastic support from the participants to the presentation who all agreed that the sales kit would provide finally professionals with a reliable source of information which could become a reference for the entire industry.

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Luc Citrinot a French national is a freelance journalist and consultant in tourism and air transport with over 20 years experience. Based in Paris and Bangkok, he works for various travel and air transport trade publications in Europe and Asia.