ASEAN food, culture and people in focus
ASEAN food, culture and people are being favourably presented in two new TV series airing on China's national TV network, CCTV, the most widely watched network in the country.
Discovery Southeast Asia will feature landscapes, culture and people of ASEAN and run in 10 episodes. It will start broadcasting in April.
Taste Southeast Asia featuring ASEAN cuisine started its first season broadcasting in February and runs for 30 episodes and will have two seasons on air.
Both programs were initiated and carried out by the ASEAN-China Centre, which works with ASEAN member states to promote destination Southeast Asia in China.
"The initial response to the TV programs has indicated very strong interest in all things ASEAN," said Mr Ma Mingqiang, Secretary General of the ASEAN-China Centre. "The attractions, culture and food of Southeast Asia are very appealing to Chinese travellers. This is helped by flight times which are mostly only between one and five hours."
The shows emphasise the diversity of ASEAN. Some of the cultural traits of Southeast Asia shown in the TV programs are familiar to the TV audience, due to the Chinese diaspora to Southeast Asia over the past 200 years.
In 2013, 12 million Chinese travellers visited Southeast Asia, an increase of 26.6%.
Taste Southeast Asia and Discovery Southeast Asia are shown on CCTV-9 and 10. Each has a TV audience of about 100 million per episode.
The TV initiative is the latest from the ASEAN-China Centre which also promoted the 10 destinations of ASEAN as travel destinations at the China International Travel Mart in Shanghai & Kunming in 2013 and 2014. The Centre will release a Southeast Asia Travel Guide in Chinese language later this year.
The ASEAN-China Centre was established in 2011. It is an inter-governmental organization jointly founded by the governments of 10 ASEAN member states and China. The Centre enhances ASEAN-China cooperation in trade, investment, tourism, education and culture, by implementing a wide range of result-oriented programs and activities. The Centre provides an information bank on related areas and serves as a bridge for better understanding, exchanges and cooperation between ASEAN and China.
For editors, images of ASEAN destinations and tourism leaders can be downloaded here.
ASEAN Tourism Marketing and Communication Working Group: