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"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." – Ryunosuke Satoro
In line with this thought, Jens Thraenhart, Founder and CEO of Chameleon Strategies, describes how during the company’s 20 years’ experience in working in the hospitality and travel industries, they have seen that stakeholders are not engaged in multi-unit organizations. Be it in a single hotel with several outlets from restaurants, bars, spas and events, hotel groups with multiple properties, destinations with restaurants, accommodation providers, attractions, museums, and shops, as well as shopping malls with retail outlets and restaurants ; there is a significant opportunity cost to not using a multi-unit approach to promote brands, gain exposure, and drive revenues.
Today, conventional sales and marketing methods do not suffice anymore to influence the new-age traveler in pursuit of their ultimate travel experience. Travelers seek uniqueness, and according to a Nielsen study, 86 percent of millennials get inspired and converted through peer-generated visual content online. What the travel and tourism sector needs is a novel marketing approach to keep pace with the evolving consumer behavior and needs of the travel industry in a global environment. Chameleon Strategies is building the narrative for the hospitality and tourism industry using collaborative frameworks enabled by technology combining marketing automation, content syndication, visual content aggregation, and social commerce.
A UNWTO (United Nations World Tourism Organization) Affiliate Member since 2009, Chameleon Strategies is helping brands, in creating public-private partnership frameworks with stakeholders that work. The company has created award-winning solutions for many hospitality and tourism organizations, such as the six governments of the Greater Mekong Sub region (GMS), including Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam, and Thailand, and is seeing rising interest by other destinations and brands. This year, the company launched Mongolia.travel in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism Mongolia. It is also creating thematic portals for multi-country thematic routes in the Mekong region, a Taste Thailand portal showcasing culinary travel experiences, and a 35-country Silk Road portal in collaboration with the UNWTO.
With a focus on sustainable and inclusive tourism infrastructures, Chameleon Strategies is enabling any stakeholder to participate and benefit directly. Through a collaborative approach, brands can create a framework in which stakeholders freely operate and have an open interaction about a common goal.
An example of a solution powered by ENWOKE is the award-winning MekongMoments.com—a consumer marketing campaign and travel inspirational platform that encourages travelers to share their experiences via specific hashtagged visual content social media posts. These posts are aggregated and filtered on the Mekong Moments web platform and connected to participating businesses. Hinged to Mekong Moments, a collaboration of both the public and private sector travel and tourism organizations has developed the Mekong Mini Movie Festival. This 2018 campaign successfully highlighted people and their experiences on the Mekong platform. Thraenhart adds, “In the first year of launching this campaign, we generated over 500 videos and 1.2 million views that reached over 22 million people globally. With the campaign in its second year, we can already see more videos are being shared at a fast pace across multiple social media platforms.” The platform incorporates a searchable map with over 10,000 traveler experiences, linked to corresponding social media campaigns and driving direct bookings to the businesses. Part of the Mekong Tourism framework is also the Experience Mekong Collection, which is a network of social enterprises and small responsible travel businesses in the region. “We have gained significant experience in working with the countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion and partners from the hospitality sector and can apply our findings to any multi-unit organization,” said Gerrit Kruger, Managing Director of Chameleon Strategies.
In collaboration with the MInistry of Environment and Tourism, Mongolia, Chameleon Strategies has built a new platform called Mongolia.travel to drive its business content using appropriate hashtags and by sharing traveler experiences. On the implementation front, Gerrit Kruger, says, “We don’t just strategize on projects and put them on the table. We follow a hand-holding approach and take customers through the whole implementation process to ensure maximum value delivery.”
Continuing on its innovation streak, the company now plans to move into the retail space as well as create a global framework for sustainable tourism for small social enterprises to foster an overall impact on communities. “We continuously advise the tourism ministries on the master plan, marketing strategies, and creating sustainability in their execution plan,” says Jens Thraenhart. "Tourism and hospitality is a people business. Every activity has an impact on real people and real communities. We strongly believe that collaborative branding is the future of hospitality and tourism marketing." The next step for the company is to develop its solution for small and medium-sized businesses further and expand its global footprint while promoting experiences with visual content and telling the stories of people.
Headquartered in Bangkok, Thailand with a technology development center in Chiang Mai, the company is also incorporated in Hong Kong, China and Vancouver, Canada with partnerships in Europe and South America.