A few weeks ago, while nodding off to sleep, Christian de Boer had a brain wave. As the Siem Reap-based sales and marketing director for Song Saa, Cambodia’s newest exclusive coastal resort, he was faced with a daily questions from potential visitors about what Cambodia is like.
It’s a tough question to answer with just words and so Christian hit on the idea of starting up an amateur photo competition to draw in images and show Cambodia to the world as it really is.
Changing The Image Amateur Photo Contest 2012 was launched through Song Saa’s Facebook page on June 8, with a call to people to submit their best photo(s) of Cambodia.
The prize for winning the most ‘likes’ from fellow Facebook users is a three-night stay at the resort, usually worth $6,000.
The competition is open to receive photos until July 1, and judging will close on August 1.
To De Boer’s surprise and delight, within two weeks over 600 photos had already been submitted from people all over Cambodia – locals, expats and visitors alike.
Reviewing the images, there’s glorious variety of colour, life and beauty expressed through scenes of nature, people and, of course, the temples.
The locations range from the sandy southern beaches all the way to the hills of the north, and everything else in between.
By last weekend when Insider spoke to De Boer, 27,000 ‘likes’ had already been recorded, and 1200 people have posted either a picture or a complete album.
According to Song Saa’s stats, 225,000 people had already seen the photos, and 4.4 million appearances of the pictures had been recorded on the web.
“Overseas travel agents are already using the album to promote Cambodia and a few hotels have thanked me for this competition because they are receiving bookings as a result,” said De Boer – Nicky Sullivan