BANGKOK, November 11, 2014 — TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site*, in partnership with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and E-Tourism Frontiers announced today the launch of a new initiative to improve the way destinations use digital tools and content created by travellers. Known as DATA (Destination Academy with TripAdvisor), these regional events will bring together invited destinations to discuss the growing importance of digital platforms, tools and user-generated content in travel planning. With more and more consumers relying on content from ‘fellow travellers’ to plan their trips, it is vital for destinations to understand how this can be incorporated into their marketing strategies. DATA events will include training sessions, guided discussions, best digital practices, as well as analysis and trends from TripAdvisor.
The project is being run in conjunction with E-Tourism Frontiers, an online tourism training and education company that works with destinations and travel businesses worldwide to improve their use of technology and social content.
The inaugural DATA event will be held in Singapore on the 27th and 28th of November, 2014, and TripAdvisor will be partnering with PATA to host 20 regional Destination Managers.
Sarah Mathews, Destination Marketing Senior Manager, APAC, TripAdvisor, said, “We are delighted to partner with PATA to launch DATA, a highly innovative and dynamic programme specially designed for destinations. As the world’s largest travel site with nearly 315 million unique monthly visitors**, we see that engagement with destinations is key, so that they can leverage the positive power of travellers reviews, opinions, and content in their marketing strategies. Travellers today want to hear from other travellers and see genuine, experience-driven content, and we can help destinations achieve this.”
Damian Cook, the CEO of E-Tourism Frontiers, said, “While many regard online as impersonal, the human face of travel is really becoming more important online. We’ll be looking at the evolution of destination management in a user controlled market. The value of local, real time content is now hugely important and sites such as TripAdvisor are seeing this change and ensuring that travel content has a genuine human presence. We want to show destinations how to connect and leverage user-generated content but also to build more adaptive destination strategies for the future.”
PATA CEO Mario Hardy said he was delighted that Singapore would host the first DATA event: “We know that travel to Asia has increased significantly in the last few years. According to PATAmPOWER, the Association’s next generation business decision-making tool, international visitor arrivals (IVAs) to Asia grew at an annual growth rate of around 6.9% between 2009 and 2013, with Southeast Asia and South Asia leading the pack with double-digit growth. Therefore, we want to equip destinations in the region with the most up-to-date knowledge, trends and research so they can incorporate the best use of social media into not only their marketing campaigns but in how they connect with travellers on a daily basis.”
The events will also offer destinations the opportunity to hold DATA events in their home countries to educate and empower their travel trade.
Founded in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is a not-for profit association that is internationally acclaimed for acting as a catalyst for the responsible development of travel and tourism to, from and within the Asia Pacific region. The Association provides aligned advocacy, insightful research and innovative events to its member organisations, comprising 90 government, state and city tourism bodies, nearly 30 international airlines, airports and cruise lines, 57 educational institutions, and hundreds of travel industry companies in Asia Pacific and beyond. Thousands of travel professionals belong to the 43 local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. Their grassroots activism underpins PATA’s membership of the Global Travel Association Coalition (GTAC), which includes ACI, CLIA, IATA, ICAO, WEF, UNWTO and the WTTC. The PATAmPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members’ desktops and mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA’s Head Office has been in Bangkok since 1998. The Association also has official offices or representation in Beijing, Sydney, Dubai, London and New York. Visit www.PATA.org.
TripAdvisor® is the world’s largest travel site*, enabling travelers to plan and have the perfect trip. TripAdvisor offers trusted advice from real travelers and a wide variety of travel choices and planning features with seamless links to booking tools. TripAdvisor branded sites make up the largest travel community in the world, reaching 315 million unique monthly visitors**, and more than 190 million reviews and opinions covering more than 4.4 million accommodations, restaurants and attractions. The sites operate in 45 countries worldwide, including China under daodao.com. TripAdvisor also includes TripAdvisor for Business, a dedicated division that provides the tourism industry access to millions of monthly TripAdvisor visitors.
TripAdvisor, Inc. (NASDAQ: TRIP) manages and operates websites under 24 other travel media brands: www.airfarewatchdog.com, www.bookingbuddy.com, www.cruisecritic.com, www.everytrail.com, www.familyvacationcritic.com, www.flipkey.com, www.gateguru.com, www.holidaylettings.co.uk, www.holidaywatchdog.com, www.independenttraveler.com, www.jetsetter.com, www.lafourchette.com, www.niumba.com, www.onetime.com, www.oyster.com, www.seatguru.com, www.smartertravel.com, www.tingo.com, www.travelpod.com, www.tripbod.com, www.vacationhomerentals.com, www.viator.com, www.virtualtourist.com, and www.kuxun.cn.
*Source: comScore Media Metrix for TripAdvisor Sites, worldwide, August 2014
**Source: Google Analytics, average monthly unique users, Q3 2014; does not include traffic to daodao.com
©2014 TripAdvisor, Inc. All rights reserved.
About E-Tourism Frontiers
E-Tourism Frontiers is an initiative to develop a sustainable and equitable online tourism sector in emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, via travel technology conferences and training seminars. The company’s events feature some of the world’s leading Online Tourism Experts and include sessions on social media, travel distribution and sales and e-commerce.