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Traveltek expands to North Asia

Travel technology specialist opens Hong Kong office and introduces new award-winning dynamic packaging and cruise solutions to the region.

Traveltek Group Ltd has made its debut in North Asia, introducing its dynamic packaging and cruise booking technology to a booming leisure travel market with strong growth potential.

The travel technology specialist has opened a regional office in Hong Kong,

headed up by experienced industry professional 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 bring to travel agents, cruise specialists and tour operators in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.

Traveltek’s debut in North Asia is part of an ambitious global expansion plan and comes just weeks after the company opened a Middle East regional office in Dubai.

The company is growing its international footprint after securing an investment of £5.3 million from private equity fund manager YFM at the end of last year. Further expansion in key growth markets worldwide will soon be announced.

Traveltek’s dynamic packaging solutions promise 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, attractions tickets and more.

The company’s cruise solutions are also new to the market, empowering cruise agents to package together pre- and post-cruise itineraries using a unified, web-based platform.

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.

“Traveltek has the potential to revolutionise the way in which travel companies in North Asia sell travel,” said Leung.

“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.”

Traveltek also offers multi-channel distribution options – B2B, B2C, call centre, mobile, etc – and can display packages in multiple currencies and languages.

A back-office system that produces bookings reports and client documentation; a CRM that manages clients and enquiries; and a tour operating platform that controls pricing and distributes contracts are also part of the firm’s unrivalled portfolio.

Traveltek’s foray in Asia, the world’s fastest growing travel market, is 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.

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 (CLIA) figures. China was the biggest source market by far, accounting for 47.4% of total passenger volume.

In 2016, Chinese cruise passengers exceeded two 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.

“Not only do we offer the Cruise Super Itineraries (CSI) solution, which enables agents to use select components of a custom cruise itinerary and sell them as one package, but our cruise content is second to none, providing in-depth detail on product, from cabin grades to their location on the deck – a great selling tool.”

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 a number of 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 September 13th and Simon Leung will be speaking at the Smart Tourism Conference in Chengdu on September 14th.

Traveltek’s senior executive team is available for interviews.