ASIA DMC explores incentive market

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CHIANG MAI, 7 February 2018: Inbound tour operator, ASIA DMC, is expanding its presence in the lucrative MICE market, the company’s managing director Andre van der Marck reported at the ASEAN Tourism Forum recently.

The company invested heavily in 2017 to establish an office in Hanoi that will now supervise sales and development of the meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions (MICE) business for a chain of seven offices in Asia.

“The emphasis will be on building content that will make our MICE products different from our competitors,” he explained.

ASIA DMC MD Thailand, Andre van der Marck (centre) and Myanmar MD, Gerben Bloemendaal (left) at ATF Travex.

Incentives will be the front line activity to grow business especially in Vietnam where the group has 19 luxury junks and boats serving tourists on Halong Bay.

Halong bay cruises are developing into a popular incentive tour option for regional corporations rewarding their teams for reaching targets.

But the incentive market will be important for ASIA DMC’s offices around the region and eventually for Myanmar.

“Having better airline links between tourist destinations in the Mekong region should be a priority,” he commented saying more direct flight would spread tourism from gateway cities to heritage destinations.

He talked about linking heritage destinations in Laos directly with Siem Reap in Cambodia, home to Angkor Wat and the fabled pagodas of Bagan in Myanmar.

“From Europe the travel plan usually calls for three-country visits such as Thailand, Myanmar and Laos. By linking Bagan and Siem Reap it would save travel days and open up more options.”

ASIA DMC’s team at the ATF Travex show had a full appointments diary, but Marck said more quality buyers were needed to ensure a return on investment for the annual show.

This year’s ATF adopted the theme: ‘ASEAN – Sustainable Connectivity, Boundless Prosperity’, a theme the seven offices of ASIA DMC have adopted as one of its core values.

“The Travex has allowed us to showcase sustainable travel content especially new products to the regional and international travel trade that will benefit communities,” commented Marck.

2017 was the company’s 20th anniversary year when the company’s office in Vietnam achieved partner status with Travelife, a leading training, management and certification initiative for tourism companies.

Looking ahead Mack confirmed the priority was to achieve Travelife Partner status for its other offices in the region, including Thailand and Myanmar.

In 2017, the Thailand office handled around 2,500 clients compared with 25,000 in Vietnam the company’s homebase.

Myanmar the newest destination served by its own office closed the year with around 1,000 travel clients, which Marck said would double in 2018.