The purpose of this position is to support Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) in promoting it as an ecotourism destination in order to increase revenue for both local communities and the park. The Nam Nern Night Safari is NEPL’s first ecotourism product, opened in 2010. In the 2012/13 tourist season, the Night Safari received 116 tourists over 45 groups with minimal marketing, generating $14,373 for the local population via wildlife conservation (to put this figure in context, the average daily wage around NEPL is $5). The park’s goal is to increase visitation to over 1000 visitors per year within the next 3 years in order to generate enough revenue to support patrol staff (wildlife rangers) in the Nam Nern area and make the parks’ eco-tourism business sustainable. Currently, the Nam Nern Night Safari has exposure in a couple important guidebooks including the Lonely Planet, but very little exposure on the internet, in international media and with domestic and international companies. A marketing and promotion strategy is required with the goal of radically increasing visitation and sale and end-benefits to local people and wildlife.
Create the Marketing, Promotion and Sales strategy for Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area ecotourism and the Nam Nern Night Safari with input from international and national project staff and other key stakeholders.
Major Program Areas of the Plan include:
• Increasing exposure online for the Nam Nern Night Safari and Houaphan Province.
• Increase the exposure and reach of the Nam Nern Night Safari Facebook page (www.facebook.com/namnernnightsafari) with a long-term strategy for keeping the page interesting and dynamic
• Improve information, design and functionality of the NEPL website www.namet.org to better promote ecotourism products.
• Market the Night Safari to key international tour companies, student groups and niche organizations with to substantially increase group numbers, the average group size and create repeat customers.
• Improve promotion of the Night Safari (e.g. design and production of a poster and/or stickers) to walk-in tourists in Viengthong and in surrounding, major tourism destinations (Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, Muang Ngoi, Phonesavanh, Xam Neua, Vang Vieng, Vientiane, etc.).
• Recommendations on pricing and incentives as well as product can be included
The plan can use existing customer and market research data owned by the project. Extra marketing research should not be necessary.
Marketing and Promotion Strategy with following elements
• How to increase exposure and sales online
• List of tour companies, international and national to target, and how to target them
• How to improve retail sales from major tourism hubs in Laos (Luang Prabang, Nong Khiaw, Xieng Khouang) with details on media types to be used
• How to improve the website (www.namet.org)
• Clear plan on how to manage the Facebook page
• How to get more exposure in major print media
• Recommendations on pricing and product
Skills and characteristics required
• Strong, private sector experience in marketing and promotion
• Experience as a traveler, especially to national protected areas and remote locations in developing countries
• Experience in marketing tourism products through major tourism websites
• Experience in design of media including posters, websites and video
• Excellent English language skills
• Entrepreneurial - Initiative and ability to work independently
• Care and interest in wildlife conservation and a positive attitude towards its challenges
Location: Based in Laos, preferably in Luang Prabang or Vientiane, with one trip to Nam Et-Phou Louey
Reporting Obligations: This position reports to the Ecotourism Advisor and the WCS Site Coordinator
Term: 1 month
Pay: $1,500 plus travel expenses to Nam Et-Phou Louey NPA