Advertisement in tourism

Hello, everyone! Welcome back to my blog! Recently, I have been looking through many tourist attractions that I have been so far, and realize that I went to some of them purely due to promoting and advertising on social media rather than those places’ real fanciness. Also, when I discuss this topic with my friends or family, they mostly agree that mass media in the present time do highly create a big impact to a tourism. So, the theme of my blog this week is ‘Advertising in Tourism.’

First of all, let’s question ourselves why we would like to travel or visit certain places. Is it because of the site’s beauty? Or is it because we see that others have been there? Some places are even located in a remote area where is hard to reach to, but several wanderlusts still demand to go. This is because individuals have a good feeling towards the places. However, those good feelings were previously built by a marketing’s first strategy called branding.

If any owner can create a fame, gimmick and identity to his or her place, that person will definitely grab attentions from the public. Moreover, if the owner can differentiate the site and present what is so special about it, people in other regions will surely recognize it and store that image in their mind—I have to go once in a life time!

Take a look at this place! It is called ‘White Sand Dunes’ where is the most famous tourist attraction in Mui Ne, Vietnam. Despite the fact that Vietnam is one of the Southeast Asia countries, it has a beautiful rare desert in a small city, just like those in the Middle East.

 

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White Sand Dunes in the evening!

 

Thus, merely with this fact, people will have already been interested in the place because other neighboring countries, on the contrary, do not have. If any Vietnamese traveling agency get this point, of course, they can make use of it as well as do branding, and it turns out that they did it perfectly that many Thai people go crazy about this place.

 

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So windy that the sand scatters everywhere just like messages in mass media

 

Apart from branding, there is another marketing strategy left behind tourism.  It is a promotion. Only building the brand will not be one hundred per cent successful. It still needs the promotion whose most effective methods is to keep repeating what you have created. If you already have a fame, then it is a must to make it remain with people.

‘White Sand Dunes’ of Mui Ne in Vietnam again is a great example of this strategy. On social media, there are various bloggers who review about this site and recommend people to go there. From one to many audiences, the content about Vietnamese desert is distributed to a wide range of netizen. The shared story can help both remain the existing audiences and gain more new commers since the promotion is getting wider and wider.

Nevertheless, repeating the content is able to expand more if we apply the method to different types of media channels. Usually, in tourism, the media that can go parallel with social network is the print media. A guide book can also reaffirm the prominences of each place. Reading the review only may seem too vogue to many people, so if there are guide travelling books, they can make things more tangible. Also, it makes sense to people in case that they want more trustworthy details from more reliable sources.

Next, it is dealt with how the message is delivered to the mass. Remember that it aims to raise a curiosity of traveling audiences to actually go exploring at the real place, so the hard-sale feelings may not work well in this situation. It is better to use mystique or poet content with expressive feeling. That can get the audience more into with new unfamiliar places. Indeed, travelling is not only about what the eyes have seen but also what you have experienced and what still remains. Hence, soft and featured narration should be used.

Plus, pop culture can even play a significant role here. What is popular at the moment is the trend of beautiful photos. Nowadays, people do not just simply share what they want or have seen. Instead, it is the era of social media competition. The one who can get a fabulous image and receive tons of ‘Like’ will be the winner. Basically, people judge each other based on Like and share. Then, to get public attention in short time, you have to go with the flow. If they are asking for splendid photos, edit and filter it! It is likely common this day due to the pop culture.

The same goes for the video. People do not concern about what you have taken anymore. They focus on aesthetics of filming production whether you have a creative edit or not. Likely, it is a need of integration as well. For example, you make a travel review video along with a popular music at that time. It can attack other groups of people who are eager to music, not only the traveler. This helps expand the place’s popularity.   

All in all, travelling can be considered a relaxing activity to many people, yet they may get over fascinated by an advertisement. Since we have an advancement of technology, loads of information can directly link to us a blink of an eye, including advertising. Without realizing, it creates a big impact on people’s leisure activity. More importantly, the advertising in tourism can archive its goal due to combined strategies together. It covers in three main points which are branding the place, repeating the fame and promoting along with pop culture. All of these elements are the basic key of how one can more or less challenge the audiences to take a visit at a certain site. Both new and old tourist attraction can use this step. The new one just creates the publicity, while the old one can also regenerate its image to people. As a result, it can get people to know and visit them.

 

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See you again!

 

Thank You for visiting my site!

A social group in Nong Mae Taeng

Nong Mae Taeng,
Sai Ngam District, Kamphaeng Phet

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A few weeks ago, I have introduced a bit of Nong Mae Taeng, but it was only a historical part and relation to Thammasat University. Then, this week I decide to talk more about how people in this region interact with each other.

First of all, let’s look at the origin of the villagers. Despite the fact that Nong Mae Taeng is located in Kamphaeng Phet, the upper centre of Thailand, most of them originally immigrated from Isan, the northeastern part of the country. There are many provinces such as Maha Sarakham, Roi Et, Khon Kaen, Sisaket, and Kalasin. Plus, people nearby Kamphaeng Phet province also moved to Nong Mae Taeng. There are Phichit and Phitsanulok.

As I had a talk with them, I knew the main reason why they decided to move to a faraway place like this. Most of the villager told me that the land in the northeastern part was very dry in the past. It was very hard to even grow rice and harvest it in time.

Later on, there was someone suddenly coming out and telling that the land in Nong Mae Taeng was very flourishing and nourish unlike the cost which was very low. Likewise, the weather was really good for planting and agriculture.

At first, they didn’t believe in what that guy told them, so some of their relatives came for a survey. However, during the journey, it was difficult to reach Nong Mae Taeng. They needed to take a train and stop at Nakornsawan Province. For the rest of the path, they had to take a truck.

After the exploration in Nong Mae Taeng, those who visited the land first went back to confirm that all rumours were true. Gradually, each family immigrated to Nong Mae Tang. Then, it is no surprise at all if they can casually and fluently speak in an Isan accent nowadays.

Therefore, when many people come to live together, interact with each other or even share similar characteristics, a new social group is formed. If anyone has different attitudes, he or she will be isolated from the society.

The villagers told that there used to be many thief before and their buffalos were always captured or stolen. Sometimes, the thief even came and shot a fire to the villagers. Obviously, these people did not belong to Nong Mae Taeng society, so people got rid of them by helping each other catch the thief and shot them in the field.

It may seem a little bit frightening about killing the thief, but it did happen and really showed that the villagers collectively have the sense of unity.

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local culture

Moreover, many Isan traditions appear all around this village. For example, during the time I was there, most of my meal are northeastern foods.

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Handcrafted Kratip

Also, many local products of Nong Mae Taeng are like those you could find in Khon Kaen or Sisaket, including Kratip—a sticky rice container made from dried leaves of the nipa palm, mat and carpet. The pattern of these goodies is Isan style.

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veggie in Nong Mae Taeung

As a result, these kinds of elements become a culture of the community. Everybody in the village knows how to make the products from generation to generation. It is the way of life of people. In school, there are many subjects related to the local culture such as handcrafting a mat and planting vegetables.

There is more about this society. After a social group has their own culture, another important thing was born. It is a social value of this village because they contain knowledge and experience of local residents together. Each person from different provinces of Thailand share, exchange and develop new tradition, so their iconic social value was created.

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handcrafting

The students at Nong Mae Taeng school can apparently represent the existence of the social value. To give an example, in the past the mat were only made of leaves, while today they also used an old cloth. This is how they develop their social culture to be a social value. The materials may be different, yet a true value or an initial function of the products is still the same.

Apart from that, focusing on the way they interact within the community, I can also see that changing of media world can also affect the people’s habits.

Even though Nong Mae Taeng is not located in an urban area, the new technology still affects their way of life. As mentioned above, they used to be curious about the news before. Unlike at that time, the residents seem to believe right away to what they hear. This is because there is a radio signal in the village. No matter where you are in the area, you can hear out all announcement clearly.

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An early morning

Normally, it will be on air around 8 o’clock in the morning. There will be a spokesman of the village to report what is going on in the society. All special events will be updated by this. When I was there, our team decided to hold a children day’s event, we also got help from the villager’s radio to invite them to join our event. Likewise, they even announced each household’s money support for our meal. I was very impressed.

The spokesman is a reliable person as he has lived here for so long. He is the only one responsible for this duty. Therefore, people will believe in what he says right away.

In contrast, people used to be sceptical in every single thing. They will not believe in it until they can prove themselves. This change may result from the convenience of new media allowing people to acquire to information more easily than ever before. So, when they hear it every day, they become accustomed with it. They feel that it is just a normal daily interaction of each member via radio, so everything is fine. They need not worry about the fake rumours since the resident in Nong Mae Taeng now have more sense of unity among each other and make their own social group.

Lost in hyperreality…

Nong Mae Taeng,
Sai Ngam District, Kamphaeng Phet
A place with tons of trace to follow…

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Strange. Unfamiliar. Remote.
Those are only three possible words I could suddenly come up with to describe ‘Nong Mae Taeng’ when I heard it for the fist time. Not to mention that most people also barely know about this place since it is not a tourist attraction. It is just a small regular village located in Sai Ngam District, Kamphaeng Phet Province. But, just the anonymity of itself is worth exploring.

The main reason I went to visit an unacquainted place like this was due to a voluntary camp organised by Thammasat University. So, if it was a famous flourishing place at the beginning, it surely had not been meant for the volunteers. It is our job to develop the site to be better. At least, I could learn something from the camp. Lol.

So, let me introduce you guys to the lost land where is ready to be found.

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Walking pass the temple of this village

When the bus I came along with turned to the narrow dusty road, I had the feeling that many obstacles were waiting for me. Without knowing, the bus had already arrived at the down dead street, which means other volunteers and I needed to walk for the rest to the destination.

We did it. I could not remember how long we took, but it was enough to wake you up in an early morning. I mean 5 a.m. actually. We then arrived at Nong Mae Taeng School (TU volunteer) where our fist meal would be served.

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Congee of the day

As I noticed from the school’s name, there was a certain connection between this area and my university.

After I had lived and spent some times with people here for a week, I learned a lot about history and legend of this village. It has been told from generations to generations.

Let’s begin with the name of this village. In fact, Nong Mae Taeng in Thai means swamp, mother and cucumber.

Long ago even before migrants had discovered this area, there were only a few local people who lived nearby the swamp or Nong in Thai, and there was a generous woman sincerely thinking about her kids in the future. Therefore, she grew cucumbers in hope that the descendants’ stomach would always be filled with foods. Originally, the village was named “Nong Mae Plook Taeng” or A Mother Nearby The Swamp Grows A Cucumber. As the time passed, the words were cut out, so only Nong Mae Taeng remains.

On the other hands, some villagers told me that there was another story. It’s believed that the word “Taeng” did not refer to the cucumber, but it referred to Taeng Sang tree instead. At that time, this trees naturally grew all over the area. So people just named it according to the ambience, basically.

Another thing needs to mention is that the school of this village was built many years later on after the migrants moved in with a help from Thammasat students who went for volunteering. Some said they were many, while others said only a few went for help. The period of building the school was also mysterious as different people had different belief. But, it was said that it’s no longer than a month.

No other evident appeared to convince the story, except for the old photo of the day they finished constructing the school.

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Let picture tell the story.

As a result, the other staff and I, as TU students, were warmly welcomed by Nong Mae Taeng people. They keep telling the story and share the feeling with us that they are really missing the good old days with TU students. They still even remembered the name of some students. Not only do adults think of TU students, but also the kids of new generation in the village also feel close to them as if they were there. Maybe, it is because of their parents telling those good times.

You may be curious right why I’m telling this kind of story, right?

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Now, Neverland becomes hyperreality.

Then, look at the society nowadays. No one can deny that we are living in the state of hyperreality in which the distinction between the media and reality has been collapsed. It is hard to differentiate now what actually are originally real. All of us are influenced by what the media present. Some contents are merely a saturated image to blind us from the reality.

Why does this kind of things happen?

All of those mediated images and content are produced to fill human being’s emptiness. Some things unbelievable or miracles possibly become true by an art of media industry. When we see it through various media, we feel excited, impressed, touched, amazed, etc.

However, compared to the local myths that I just mentioned to you guys, there is an overload of information for those people to believe. They may acquire the story by the books written by TU students at the school’s library, an old newspaper from that time, the history board at the school’s main building, or even storytelling from their parents. These things are also parts of mass media.

The story keeps repeating itself one way or another in the village just like the media contents keep representing the mediated images. No longer people can tell which story is real, but all of them still fulfil the emptiness of the society.

Nong Mae Taeng was originally unknown in the first place and people from various corners of Thailand came to gather together. Yet, there was a gap in time to convey an appreciated story to the next generation. That was the point where the reality has been shaken. To encourage others to feel the same way, you may need to ‘add’ something to create a great impact.

I’m not saying that all of the generosity or myths I experienced was unreal, but just because feeling it was real could not support anything. People had a good feeling towards me. Of course, it was real but is it because of the story that has being told to them, so they feel great about my visiting, or their own feeling after really knowing about me. On the surface, they may already like me as the result of an appreciated selected story.

Even I myself could not say that I love Nong Mae Taeng people only because I spent time with them. The story that I know also influences me to have a great feeling towards this village. So, is this the state of hyperreality?

Nevertheless, there was nothing wrong with creating the affection in the society by using any kinds of mass media, but the thing is that you will no longer feel the reality due to the own free will to get rid of the emptiness.

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“We now know what hyperreality is, but we keep coming back for more.”