Branding Southeast Asia

With tourism emerging as a major source of revenue for many Southeast Asian nations, there is strong pressure for the state to be directly involved in its development. Governments are eager to identify and develop culture as an income-generating product to both increase its appeal to tourists and to offer alternate sources of income in primarily rural areas. If urban areas are characterised as metropolitan with a hybrid of cultures, then rural areas offer a safe haven for ‘authentic’ cultural identity. 


Strive not to live with nature, but to be embrace our place within it. A recent assignment brought me to Kampung Pinggan Jaya, Kuching to look at the community ran gula apong industry. For Pak Mahli, work is a daily ritual of slipping into his yellow gum boots and strapping a can of burning mosquito …