HONG KONG, 7 September, 2017: UK-based Traveltek Group has made its debut in North Asia, opening an office in Hong Kong to sell its dynamic packaging and cruise booking technology.
Asia’s cruise industry is growing rapidly, with passenger numbers from the region rocketing 40% from 774,536 in 2012 to 2.08 million in 2015, according to Cruise Lines International Association figures.
China was the biggest source market by far, accounting for 47.4% of total passenger volume.
Traveltek’s Hong Kong operations are headed by Simon Leung, who previously held senior roles with GDS providers Amadeus and Travelport in Asia and most recently ran his own travel technology consultancy in China.
Leung joins Traveltek as business development manager North Asia.
In this role, he is responsible for raising awareness of the benefits the company’s advanced technology can offer travel agents, cruise specialists and tour operators in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
Traveltek won the coveted ‘World Leading Dynamic Packaging Solutions Provider’ at the World Travel Awards in 2014, 2015 and 2016.
The company’s sales pitch promises the Asian travel industry a more efficient way of selling leisure travel, enabling travel professionals to hand-pick every component of a complex itinerary and sell it as one package, including flights, hotels, cruise, tours, transfers, car rental and attractions tickets.
The company’s cruise solutions are also new to the market, empowering cruise agents to package pre- and post-cruise itineraries using a unified, web-based platform.
In 2016, Chinese cruise passengers exceeded 2 million for the first time, according to the China Cruise and Yacht Industry Association. This figure is expected to rise to 2.6 million in 2017, it added.
“There is still work to be done to educate the Asian travel industry about the potential of the cruise market, but as companies start to realise its revenue- and commission-earning benefits, Traveltek has a key role to play in providing the technology to help them maximise sales,” said Leung.
Traveltek partners can also take advantage of a single API connection to more than 300 global industry suppliers including consolidated cruise content from 190 of the world’s leading lines.
“It is not only the first provider in the region to offer travel agencies the ability to dynamically package cruise with flights, accommodation and other ancillaries, but its API connection is new to the market too, giving travel companies access to multiple global suppliers on a single platform, providing huge cost savings,” said Leung.
Traveltek’s foray in Asia, the world’s fastest growing travel market, appears to be well timed. World Travel Monitor data reveals outbound travel from the region increased 11% year-on-year during the first eight months of 2016, compared to a global average of 3.9%. Growth was led by China (+18%) followed by the Republic of Korea (+11%) – two of the key markets the company is targeting.
Holiday travel dominated in Asia, accounting for 81% of all trips, with bookings for sun-and-beach travel growing 20% between January and August 2016. Demand for countryside and city trips, as well as touring holidays, also picked up, with year-on-year increases of 15%, 8% and 2% respectively, demonstrating the need for the travel industry to create compelling packages and itineraries.
Traveltek’s debut in North Asia is part of an ambitious global expansion plan. Last year the company secured an investment of USD6.8 million from UK-based private equity fund manager YFM to plough into product development and establishing new international operations.
Last month the company launched its first operation in the Middle East, based in Dubai, and further expansion in other growth markets worldwide will soon be announced.
The company is kicking off its launch in North Asia with a Traveltek Business Breakfast, which is scheduled for October.
Local travel agents and key industry stakeholders will be invited to the event, which will include presentations from Traveltek, Scottish Development International’s Hong Kong office and a cruise industry professional.
Traveltek is also taking part in several high-profile events this month to raise awareness of its new North Asia operation and its industry expertise.
The company’s President and CEO, Kenny Picken, will be speaking at the Travolution Forum Asia in Macau on 13 September and Simon Leung will be speaking at the Smart Tourism Conference in Chengdu 14 September.