WeAreLao announced it will soft-launch its “Sustainable Tourism Laos: Showcase” campaign on 8 February, to globally promote Lao businesses, and the destination, as safe and sustainable, and continually keep Laos on the worldwide tourism radar screen during the pandemic.
The Showcase campaign will spotlight individual sustainable businesses through magazine-like feature stories, as WeAreLao feels this is a more engaging method that puts a “face to a place”. They aim to publish one or two stories per month during the pre-launch,
“Interviews with those operating sustainable tourism businesses form the backbone of each story,” said WeAreLao Senior Partner Bernie Rosenbloom. “Rolling out stories over time is a cost-effective way to maintain Laos’ presence on stage alongside some-200 other destinations waiting for opening day.” Several countries currently run tourism campaigns to remain in the minds of travelers.
The idea for the Showcase dates to December 2019 on the heels of WeAreLao’s well-received second “MICE Guide to Laos 2020” brochure. “Rather than a one-off annual brochure for the Showcase, we decided to run an ongoing campaign for longer-lasting exposure. It can also serve as part of the participant’s marketing mix,” Mr Rosenbloom said.
Then Covid crept in and the strategy changed almost every day. “We remained steadfast in moving ahead and made several adjustment to the project,” he said. WeAreLao started testing the waters in October 2020, and received positive feedback from major hotels and DMCs. “They liked the concept, but most are running on a bare-bones budget with staff as a main concern.”
However, Crowne Plaza Vientiane jumped in, and will kick off the Showcase series next week with “Engaged in Green”. “Going Local: Riverside Boutique Resort, Vang Vieng” and Luang Prabang View’s “Green Way of Life” will follow during the trial phase.
Mr Rosenbloom said a major asset for the Showcase is direct email reach. WeAreLao’s database and support from Global Travel Media and The “Good Tourism” Blog among others can land the story in 100,000-plus travel agents’ email boxes, while social media channels attract FITs. The campaign currently moderates the Sustainable Tourism Laos Facebook Group, and a micro-site in WeAreLao.com is possible.