Monday, September 29, 2008

One of the TAPs’

Nope I’m not a faucet but mua got picked to be part of the AMBP Travel Ambassador Programme (TAP). TAP comes as part of the launch of the new All Malaysian Travel Tool by The Star in collaboration with Mayflower Travel group.

The Star aims to kill a few birds through this programme:

  • Create new ways to reach out to readers
  • Increase domestic tourism (yay my country is beautiful – I think I’ve told you that a million times)
  • Bloggers are media PARTNERS and not rivals (ah they’re waking up)

Travel ambassadors have been promised opportunities to travel on ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIPS to the regions they previously selected during submission. While yesterdays newspaper report, the All Malaysian website and their emails to us have repeatedly mentioned this, the event itself was brief and vague about the details of the programme.

From a PR perspective, the event was ambitious, hazy yet so much potential could have been derived from the launch. None of the participating blogs or bloggers were mentioned during the event. Still let’s give them the benefit of doubt and here’s what will make the project successful:

While I understand the economics of peak time travel the programme won’t work if TAPs:

  • Isn't provided with all expense paid trips (to include travel/ food)
  • Travel is limited to weekdays only - The Star keeps forgetting that most bloggers have day jobs and while we write and report on various topics we’re still not paid media to attend events or travel on weekdays. For example the recent Sunway trip that was offered to us, most of us (including me) had to decline as we were rushing deadlines.
  • It's a 1 night trip – unless they think a place is super boring you will need at least 2 nights and 3 days to discover a town or city as people like me like to discover none tourist attractions which I believe is the true charm of a place. My suggestion, give us a weekend and add on one working day to discover a place.
  • Where they expect you to turn up instantaneously – give us at least 3 weeks time to make arrangements for these trips. Calling us 2 days before is pretty ridiculous unless it's a day trip.

There is so much to learn and discover in Malaysia which is why I try to travel locally at least once a year. So if The Star is seriously looking to boast domestic travel I hope they will take heed my suggestions before they embark on this project.

Random crazy behavior alert!

And now for the juicy information, apparently I’m a popular blogger! Gasp seriously I didn’t know this, well at least I really didn’t know I was popular in Malaysia coz lets face it most popular local bloggers are either camwhore bloggers or political bloggers and I’m neither. So when I got interviewed by The Star reporter and was told this I was quite flabbergasted. Woohooo *does the victory blogger dance (though there’s no such thing)

Anyways I hope I didn't blabber some gibberish nonsense and oooh nope you won’t be seeing my photo as I’m keeping with my resolution to not associate the blog with my photo. Seriously super embarrassing momentla, and my friend Kervin who also got picked as a TAP wouldn't stop teasing me! BAH!

Random crazy behavior ends!

Perks from attending the event, we were given a host of freebies which included 2 stays in Sandakan and Bukit Merah Resort, a few discount vouchers for Mayflower travels, a cute bag, a polo T and tons of local travel maps (essential for local travelers who love to get lost!). Congrats on the launch and let's hope everyone benefits from this venture.


Anonymous said...

Congrats on your well deserved win. May it bring lots of good things for Malaysia as well as memorable experiences for you.

Bawani said...

Congrats, Vis ;)

Michael said...

Congrats Visithra. Thanks for the suggestions and constructive criticism.

trust me on this, if we had our way you guys will be flying off left right centre..heh

Aravind said...

hey visit,
congrats! :)
of course, u are a star blogger visit.... idhu ungalukku theriyaadha? :P ;)

I'm now wondering if anyone wil start any such thing in India! :)

visithra said...

anon, bawani, : thanks ;)

michael : glad u took it well ;) i understand as well

aravind : hey - lol no im not - would be nice - dont worry someone will

Miu said...

hi i'm also selected as one of the TAP ambassadors! nice to meet u!

hope u dun mind i'm linkin u to my blog. Compiling the list of TAP people who got selected! :)