Located alongside, the Digital Innovation Asia events are deliberately timed to lead into the PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Annual Summit on April 25-28, which will attract around 400 of the most senior travel and tourism executives. PATA has partnered with E-Tourism Asia the producer of Digital Innovation Asia (DIA) to stage digital events, which include the Digital Innovation Asia Awards, Blogger Match-Up Asia, Speak-Up Asia, and the China Boot Camp.
Kicking off Digital Innovation Asia (DIA) on April 23, hosted by ChinaTravelTrends.com, the China Boot Camp helps companies understand how to reach and connect with affluent and sophisticated Chinese consumers. With China being the fastest growing source market for many destinations in Asia and all over the world, and the complex social media and digital landscape being the most influential medium in modern China, learning how to adapt to marketing to this new group of tourists is vital for any travel and tourism organization today.
Followed by the first Blogger Match-Up in Asia on April 24, hosted by the Aloft Hotel Bangkok, where speed-dating sessions connect bloggers from the region and from all over the world with travel and tourism providers from Asia. Workshops on how to deal and leverage citizen journalists provide vital knowledge and insight. A not to be missed session by the second highest ranked Twitter account in Thailand (@Mr.scotteddy) with over 130,000 followers in just three years, will give insights on how even the smallest travel company with low budget can be effective and engaging on Twitter and other social media platforms.
In the evening, the first Digital Innovation Asia Awards (or DIA Awards) recognize the best in digital innovation in the travel and tourism industry from the region. Hosted by Bed Supperclub Bangkok, one of the most innovative nightlife entertainment venues in Asia, the awards will recognize in the following categories: “Most Engaging Website,” “Most Viral Campaign,” “Most Creative Use of Technology,” “Most Inspiring Content,” and “Most Innovative Digital Organization.”
The DIA Awards are judged by the new Digital Innovation Asia Council, an invite-only forum of the most senior e-commerce executives and digital marketing thought-leaders from hotels, airlines, tourist boards, cruise lines, tour operators, and travel media from all corners of the Asia Pacific region.
On April 25, the first Speak-Out Asia, hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, will launch at uber-trendy Zuma Restaurant at the St Regis Hotel Bangkok, and emceed by famous blogger, Thai-TV Show host, and co-founder of travel company Smiling Albino, Daniel Fraser.
The vision of the event is to wow, inspire, engage, and stimulate the audience, feature respected and well-known digital revolutionaries, showcase technology solutions, and source innovations from across the region. Other than normal online travel conferences, Speak-Out Asia embraces the complete Visitor Economy - meaning it is not just about marketing, sales, and distribution, but a unique forum to look at all aspects of tourism, including but not limited to e-visa, mobile crisis management, and social crowd-funding powered micro-financing. Speak-Out Asia will also feature Digital Aid Asia @ Speak-Out Asia. Digital Aid is an initiative to leverage technology in developing responsible tourism. This unique and important session will look at how digital and social media can combat human trafficking and child prostitution, a major issue when tourism is increasing emerging tourism destination. The session is hosted by Destination Innovation Asia CSR partner SISHA.
Mr. Martin J. Craigs, CEO of PATA said: “We are excited to be partnering with E-Tourism Asia, the producer of Digital Innovation Asia. This event is a perfect primer for next gen minded mentors the day before our summit. The growing importance of mobile, digital, and social media in Asia in ‘m-powering’ the complete Visitor Economy is one of the catalysts of travel and tourism growth in the region. Speak-Out Asia will not only be inspirational but will also be thought provoking by raising issues like crisis management, and human trafficking, and how technology can play a vital role.”
Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Govenor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand commented that: “TAT, which has made the use of social media a priority in marketing Thailand as an amazing tourism destination, is proud to be the country host of the first Digital Innovation Asia, including the DIA Awards and Speak-Out Asia. Thailand is excited to welcome digital thought leaders from the region and all over the world. Exchanging ideas with bloggers and influencers on social media platforms at the Blogger-Match-Up is the way forward for any travel and tourism organization, being it small or large.”