Cambodian hotelier schools the world on tourism storytelling

Cambodian hotelier schools the world on tourism storytelling

Global tourism campaigns continue to launch as travel’s comeback unfolds, in a sign of great optimism from the travel industry. Most tourism boards thus far have bravely confronted the challenge of repositioning their destinations in a way that stands out from the pack and speaks to the changed consumer — one seeking a safer, slower, more meaningful and remote experience.

From Iceland’s Metaverse parody to Malama Hawaii’s regenerative message, the renewed focus in promoting tourism has leaned towards the great outdoors, as well as showcasing diversity and cultural connections.

But then there is destination messaging that goes one step further and manages to harness the art of storytelling, tapping into its power to reposition a destination’s image and reputation, as told through local voices. That is what we are seeing out of Siem Reap, Cambodia’s second largest city.

The new tourism campaign was conceived by Rey Moraga, a front office manager at Raffles Grand Hotel D’Angkor who was named the Stellier Awards’ Hotelier of the Year in 2020, and filmed by cinematographer Oyen Rodriguez. It’s a masterful cinematic take that paints an authentic and expansive image of the destination beyond Angkor Wat, once one of the world’s most negatively impacted sights by overtourism.

Narrated by Moraga, who is originally from the Philippines and moved to Siem Reap in 2018, the story weaves through his experiences and insider observations as a resident, showcasing a destination that outsiders merely see as the place of monuments.

“People want more safe travel, more secluded destinations and slow travel. I think Siem Reap is a perfect match for all these reasons,” Moraga said in a recent news interview.

This is an excerpt from an article by Lebawit Lily Girma, originally published by Skift.

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