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Monday, April 15, 2013

Digital Innovation Asia, in collaboration with PATA and TAT to explore and recognize forward-thinking digital trends in travel and tourism

 Digital Innovation Asia has partnered with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), as well as the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) to increase relevance to the industry when it comes to digital innovation in travel and tourism in the Asia Pacific region.

Digital Innovation Asia is endorsed and supported by the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT), the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN), the Mekong Tourism Coordinating Office (MTCO), the Tourism Technology Association (TTA), the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), the International Federation of IT in Travel and Tourism (IFITT), and the International Association of Travel and Tourism Professionals (SKAL).

Located alongside, the Digital Innovation Asia events are deliberately timed to lead into the PATA Summit end of April, and follow TTM+ in June, to stage digital events, which include the Digital Innovation Asia Awards, Digital Aid Asia, Blogger Match-Up Asia, Speak-Up Asia, and the China Boot Camp. Digital Innovation Asia 2013 starts on April 23 and ends on June 12th with the China Boot Camp, helping travel companies understand the Chinese travel market, and how to market to affluent Chinese consumers. On April 24, the inaugural DIA Awards are hosted at Bed Supperclub in Bangkok in the evening. On June 10-12, Digital Innovation Asia continues in Bangkok, after Thailand's tourism trade show TTM+ in Bangkok, the World Islamic Tourism Mart (WITM) and Malaysia International Tourism Exchange (MITE) in Malaysia, and the World Economic Forum East Asia in Myanmar. On June 10, the first ever Blogger Match-up in Asia, and on June 11th, DIA's inaugural flagship digital in novation summit Speak-Out Asia will be hosted at lebua Hotel at State Tower.

Relevant and interested organizations and individuals are invited to contact us for speaking engagements and sponsorship opportunities. Bloggers and media professionals are invited to apply for accreditation privileges. We encourage nominations for the DIA Awards – nominations are free to submit.

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. On April 23rd at Pullman Hotel G, and on June 12th, the China Boot Camp helps companies understand how to reach and connect with affluent and sophisticated Chinese consumers. Taking a deep dive into the complex and unique digital and social media landscape in China, the April 23rd China Boot Camp will feature the unique opportunity to engage with three top Chinese bloggers, sponsored by Chinese Travel social media website Tripshow.com.

On April 24th, The Digital Aid Asia Forum is the first ever conference focusing on helping emerging tourism regions across Asia to learn how to leverage technology and digital media for capacity building to develop tourism in a responsible way and drive poverty alleviation. Linked with the 2013 PATA Annual Summit (PAS) in Bangkok from April 25-26, Digital Innovation Asia (DIA) is organizing the first ever Digital Aid Asia Forum on April 24th at trendy zuma Restaurant at the St Regis Hotel in Bangkok. Emceed by media and global tourism personality Ms. Anita Mendiratta of CNN T.A.S.K Group, speakers will discuss the issues from crisis management, human trafficking, human resources development, capacity building from micro-financing and e-Visa, and how internet and emerging technologies, mobile, and social media can act as an enabler and catalyst to drive positive economic growth supporting the visitor economy.

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 overseen by members of 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, and tourist boards from all corners of the Asia Pacific region. We still are open to receiving nominations, and encourage all travel and tourism organizations to submit their best digital work, and work they have admired over the past 15 months from January 2012 to April 2013. Please visit our DIA Awards partner TravelDailyNews.Asia to submit your nominations at http://goo.gl/rRVwS.

On June 10th, the first Blogger Match-Up Asia will connect bloggers, instagrammers, and digital influencers from the region and from all over the world with travel and tourism providers from Asia via speed-dating sessions. Workshops on how to deal and leverage citizen journalists provide vital knowledge and insight. We encourage bloggers to contact us to participate in DIA and the Blogger Match-Up Asia. Accreditation allows for free entry to other DIA events, and participation at the Bangkok Blogger Tour by Bangkok 101 Magazine, as well as the Isaan Blogger Trip by Smiling Albino and TAT.

On June 11th, DIA's inaugural flagship digital innovation summit Speak-Out Asia, hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, will launch at lebua Hotel at State Tower, and emceed by blogger, Thai-TV Show host, and co-founder of tour operator 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 focuses on digital innovation, and how organizations can leverage technologies, learn about a new concept “SoPhoMo”, which inspires and empowers travelers on sharing visual content via mobile devices on social platforms.

Mr. Martin Craigs, CEO of PATA says, we are excited to be partnering with 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. While the China Boot Camp is relevant for travel organizations all over the world, Digital Aid Asia will not only be inspirational but will also be thought provoking by raising issues like crisis management, e-Visa, and human trafficking, and how technology can play a vital role.

Mr. Suraphon Svetasreni, Govenor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) comments, 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 Blogger Match-Up and Speak-Out Asia, just following TTM+ in June. 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.

The complete DIA/PAS program:

April 23: China Boot Camp – Pullman Hotel G (10:30 am – 4:30pm)
April 23: DIA Pop-Up Party – Pullman Hotel G (6 pm – 8 pm)
April 24: Digital Aid Asia – zuma Restaurant (10:30 am – 4:30 pm)
April 24: DIA Awards - Bed Supperclub (8 pm – 10 pm)
DIA Awards VIP Reception (by invitation) – Bed Supperclub (7pm – 8 pm)
April 25: PATA Youth Forum - Thammasat University (9 am – 3 pm)
April 25: PATA Opening Party (open for DIA delegates) – Siam Discovery Plaza (6 pm – 7:30 pm)
April 26: PATA Annual Summit - Centara Grand Hotel (9 am - 8 pm)
April 26: DIA Council (by invitation) - PATA HQ (2 pm – 3:30 pm)

June 10: Blogger Match-up – lebua Hotel at State Tower (10:30 am – 4:30 pm)
June 10: DIA Council Meeting (by invitation) - PATA HQ
June 11: Speak-Out Asia – lebua Hotel at State Tower (10 pm – 5 pm)
June 11: The Last Byte - (by TDN.asia) - TBD
June 12: China Boot Camp - (10:30 am – 4:30pm)
June 12: Bangkok Blogger Tour (by Bangkok 101) – for accredited bloggers
June 13-16: Isaan Influencer Trip (by Smiling Albino / TAT) - for accredited bloggers

For more information on how to get engaged in Digital Innovation Asia from April 23-24 and June 10-12 in Bangkok, please visit www.DigitalInnovationAsia.com and follow-us on Twitter @DIAsiaTourism (hashtag #DIAsiaTourism). Tickets are limited, and a PATA member rate, as well as a package prize with the PATA Annual Summit exists. Register at http://DIAsiatourism.eventbrite.com/. Please visit our DIA Awards partner TravelDailyNews.Asia to submit your nominations at http://goo.gl/rRVwS. More information about the PATA Annual Summit on April 25-27 at the Centara Grand Bangkok can be found at www.PATA.org.

About Digital Innovation Asia (DIA)
Digital Innovation Asia (DIA) is a new initiative promoting excellence and knowledge sharing when it comes to leveraging digital, social, and mobile in the travel and tourism industry to promote the complete Asian Visitor Economy. Aligned with the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), it includes a new platform www.DigitalInnovationAsia.com, the Digital Innovation Asia Council, the Digital Innovation Asia Awards, Speak-Out Asia, Blogger-Match Up, Digital Aid Asia, China Boot Camp, the Digital Innovation Asia Challenge, and year-round program of workshops and seminars. Get inspired and engaged at: www.DigitalInnovationAsia - Facebook: DIAsiaTourism – Twitter: @DIAsiaTourism (hashtag #DIAsiaTourism) - LinkedIn: http://linkd.in/ZPKhpB - Register at http://DIAsiatourism.eventbrite.com/. Please vis it our DIA Awards partner TravelDailyNews.Asia to submit your nominations at http://goo.gl/rRVwS

About Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)
Since its foundation in 1951, the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), a not-for profit membership association, has achieved international acclaim by 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, leadership and events to its members, 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 dozens of local PATA chapters worldwide. The chapters organise travel industry training and business development events. PATA's ‘Next Generation' mPOWER platform delivers unrivalled data, forecasts and insights from the PATA Strategic Intelligence Centre to members' mobile devices anywhere in the world. PATA's headquarters is in Bangkok.