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Agoda Announces Launch of Its Third Edition Eco Deals Program at the ASEAN Tourism Forum: Expands Partnership with WWF and Pledges USD $1 Million for Wildlife Conservation

Agoda Announces Launch of Its Third Edition Eco Deals Program at the ASEAN Tourism Forum:  Expands Partnership with WWF and Pledges USD $1 Million for Wildlife Conservation

Agoda, the global digital travel platform, announced at the ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) that it has broadened its collaboration with World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), expanding its Eco Deals Program to support eight conservation projects across Southeast Asia. As a part of ATF’s official agenda, Agoda hosted a luncheon with the presence of ASEAN Tourism Ministers as well as Secretary-General of ASEAN. Agoda’s CEO Omri Morgenshtern and Elizabeth Clarke, WWF-Singapore’s Director of Conservation outlined the vision and goals for the partnership in the presence of representatives from ASEAN National Tourism Organizations, the ASEAN Secretariat and also ASEAN Dialogue Partners. Agoda’s Eco Deals showcases an example of private-public partnership in support of ATF’s theme: “Quality and responsible tourism – Sustaining ASEAN Future.”

Agoda will increase its donation to WWF-Singapore four-fold to USD $1 million as part of this year’s Eco Deals Program, supporting the conservation efforts of local WWF offices in eight markets, including ATF host Lao PDR, as well as Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. As per the previous editions of the program, Agoda will donate USD $1 for each hotel booking made on hotels participating in the initiative. These funds will support WWF’s diverse conservation projects, spanning marine, forest, and wildlife preservation, including the protection of Tigers in Malaysia, Whale Sharks in the Philippines, and Elephants in Thailand. The other projects receiving support this year focus on the conservation of Saolas in Vietnam, ecosystem restoration in Indonesia, ranger support in Cambodia, and improvement of urban wetlands in Lao PDR. The Eco Deals Program which is actively onboarding accommodation partners will go live to consumers on 3 March 2024 and run until 3 December 2024. 

From the ATF event on 26 January, Omri Morgenshtern, Chief Executive Officer, Agoda said: “As a company that aims to make travel possible for more people, we recognize we have a responsibility to contribute to the preservation of destinations. Through our longstanding partnership with WWF under the Eco Deals Program and the collaborative support of our hotel partners, we aspire to proactively champion initiatives that contribute to the further preservation and protection of the world, ensuring that it remains an environment for future generations to explore and enjoy.”

Dr. Kanchana Wanichkorn, Director of Sectoral Development, ASEAN Secretariat; Ms Juliana Kwa, Assistant Chief Executive, Singapore Tourism Board; Dr. Nguyen Trung Khanh, Chairman of Vietnam National Authority of Tourism; Dato’ Roslan Tan Sri Abdul Rahman, Secretary-General of Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Malaysia; H.E. Sudawan Wangsuphakijkosol, Minister of Tourism and Sports, Thailand; Mr. Omri Morgenshtern, CEO of Agoda; H.E. Suanesavanh Vignaket, Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR; H.E. So Mara, Secretary of State, Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia; Mrs. Martini Paham, Deputy Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Indonesia; Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Brunei Darussalam; Ms. Verna Buensuceso, Undersecretary of Department of Tourism, the Philippines.

The Chair of the ASEAN Tourism Ministers Meeting (MATM), H.E. Minister Suanesavanh Vignaket of Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism, Laos said, “We invite public and private sectors to actively participate in advancing and cultivating sustainable practices in ASEAN, aligning with the principles outlined in the ASEAN Framework on Sustainable Tourism Development. Noteworthy collaborations such as the partnership between Agoda and WWF serve as excellent examples, contributing significantly to raising awareness about responsible travel and ASEAN as travel destinations.”

Vivek Kumar, Chief Executive Officer, WWF-Singapore said: “WWF’s latest Living Planet Report reveals a staggering 69% drop in wildlife populations on average in less than a lifetime. As an international hub, WWF-Singapore is well-positioned to continue driving positive change in Southeast Asia. The conservation impact we have achieved over the last two years showcases the tangible effect our collaboration has on the environment. As we embark on our third year of partnership with Agoda, we look forward to expanding projects for marine, forest, and wildlife conservation.”

 

The WWF conservation projects supported in the second edition of the Eco Deals Program saw some spectacular successes:

  • In Singapore, 5 volunteer training sessions for the Cyber Spotters Program were conducted to equip 156 participants with the skills to identify over 6,000 illegal wildlife trade listings on online and social platforms.
  • In Cambodia, a total of 41 government and 42 community rangers received training, completing 299 patrols covering over 17,000 km in the protected areas of Srepok and Phnom Prich Wildlife Sanctuaries, leading to the discovery of 13 illegal logging and poaching sites.
  • In Indonesia, a total area of 142.39 hectares was restored through planting activities together with the local communities and stakeholders. 28 camera traps were deployed to monitor wildlife activity, capturing a rare image of a Sumatran Tiger and 2 cubs.
  • In Malaysia, 20 teams consisting of 116 individuals patrolled the Belum-Temengor Forest Complex over 2,849 days and marked a second consecutive year of zero active snares were recorded. 282 camera traps were also installed in 141 locations within the landscape to monitor wildlife activity.
  • In Vietnam, plans for the procurement of GPS and smartphones using SMART Connect and SMART Mobile for patrols are in place. Training courses have been scheduled to coach 90 rangers and technical staff at Yok Don National Park and the Dak Lak Elephant Conservation Centre on how to use SMART technology during their patrols to better manage and protect wildlife and their habitats.

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