Southeast Asia.org offers cash for travel bloggers

Guest Writer

BANGKOK, 15 March 2010 - The new consumer travel website for the 10 ASEAN countries of Southeast Asia has announced US$15,000 in prizes for travel writers, bloggers and photographers submitting content to SoutheastAsia.org.

The three month campaign launches today (15 March) and will run until 15 June. The objective is to attract acclaimed editorial content for SoutheastAsia.org, the new Web 2.0 consumer website for the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA).

The Southeast Asia Awards for writing and photography will be awarded in two categories: Editor’s Choice Awards will be decided by a panel of judges. The People’s Choice Awards will be voted on by visitors to Southeast Asia.org. There will be a total of 12 awards, four per month, until 15 June. Each winner will receive US$750.

In addition, four Grand Prizes will be announced on 15 June. Winners of the Editor’s Choice Awards for photography and writing will each receive US$1,750. Winners of the Popular Choice Awards will each receive US$1,250.

“The objective is to attract insightful, quality content to destination Southeast Asia`s website, which is off to a great start since launching in January,” said Felix Cruz, Chairman of ASEANTA.

Mr Cruz told media at ITB Berlin on 12 March that the new website already offers 1,022 pages on things to do in Southeast Asia, 83 pages of travel related articles, 102 pages on events, and 45 pages on themes such as adventure travel, dining, spa and volunteer tourism activities. This is around 20% of the editorial content being sought.

Visitors to the website can now submit their own text or photographs, or nominate articles and images of other people.

On 15 March, ASEANTA also commenced a six-week online advertising campaign on travel websites popular with residents of Australia, UK and India. Again, the aim is to drive consumer traffic to SoutheastAsia.org.

ASEANTA’s new website today also launched an interactive map and trip planner that allows visitors to research, plan, book and purchase innovative travel itineraries in Southeast Asia.

SoutheastAsia.org is part of ASEANTA’s new regional promotional campaign, “Southeast Asia: feel the warmth.” ASEANTA created the campaign in partnership with the ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement project, a pro-ASEAN initiative of USAID.

For editors: Images of Southeast Asia, the campaign logo and key personnel can be downloaded here.

About the ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA)

The ASEAN Tourism Association (ASEANTA) was formed on 27th March 1971. ASEANTA is a non-profit tourism association comprising both public and private tourism sector organizations from ASEAN. ASEANTA has grown to become a tourism association of influence within the ASEAN tourism landscape, playing an integral role in shaping tourism development growth and policies in the ASEAN region. Further information and ASEANTA mission statement.

About ASEAN Competitiveness Enhancement (ACE)

ACE was designed and funded by USAID’s Regional Development Mission in Asia (RDMA), which is based in Bangkok. ACE’s objective is to enhance the integration and competitiveness imperatives of two of ASEAN’s priority sectors: travel & tourism and textiles & apparel. The ACE Project is part of the broader ASEAN-US Enhanced Partnership which was launched in 2006, under which the United States pledged its support to ASEAN in pursuing its objective of becoming an ASEAN Community by 2015. The ACE Project is managed by Nathan Associates Inc. E-mail: rjgurley@ace-advance.com. Website: www.ace-advance.com.

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