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PPS 619 02 2012(022706) An eclectic collision of creative energy and sophisticated appetites for your optimum advertising exposure and maximum impact. Reach out to 16 600 travel agents and suppliers. Providing premium selections recognised as credible and committed in one concise read. where ideas inspire. be part of us. Be Bold with TTG Asia. Live Large. Think Edge. No. 1636 June 24 30 2011 Cruises Putting faith in Japan PAGE 8 Hong Kong Brimming with hope PAGE 18 India A stronger presence PAGE 22 Agents seek a refund reprieve Directive good but insurance consumer education needed airlines eventually forked out the reBy Prudence Lui Mimi Hudoyo Linda funds agents still lost some HK 2 million Haden and Sirima Eamtako HONG KONG SOUTH-EAST ASIA A (US 257 000) because some of the local new directive by Hong Kong s Travel In- hotels and groundhandlers refused to redustry Council (TIC) to free oubound turn the deposits. Why should agents have to shoulder agents of the obligation to refund air train cruise fees to clients in the event of the responsibility and risk he asked. Indonesia Airline Ticketing a force majeure (TTG Asia eAgents Association (ASTINDO) Daily June 16) is being seen as 16 chairman Elly Hutabarat said only half the solution by agents airlines usually returned deposits in other markets. but problems arose if there were Similarly faced with an indisputes on the interpretation of creased occurence of disasters a disaster as a force majeure. agents in South-east Asia would I remember the problems like to see the same directive in agents faced with groundhangroundhan their markets but one that en- Hutabarat dlers during Iceland s volcanic compasses not just transport but Insurance eruption. And in all fairness all suppliers. As well agents are calling for a consum- groundhandlers too might have spent er education campaign of the agent s role money on hotels transportation etc. So the best way is to work with insurand position and of the need for travel insurance that will better protect consumers ance companies. Indonesia should have a similar directive but ASTINDO is going and themselves. Even though financial protection to approach insurance companies to see if through a number of commercial insur- they have policies to cover this issue. She added Agents should not bear the ance schemes exists for travel agents when they become insolvent the same cannot responsibility of things which happen beyond their control. Consumers should be be said when extraordinary events occur. TIC for instance pointed out that aware of the agent s position and role. Agreeing Margaret Loh managing when political unrest broke out in Egypt in February Hong Kong agents were left director of Airrelated Travel in Sinto deal with refund claims from 1 500 gapore said It is the airlines and disgruntled group tour travellers. TIC Continued on page 4 chairman Michael Wu said even though Good things take time A year after he fought off no fewer than 20 suitors to emerge as the new owner of Regent Steven Pan tells Raini Hamdi it takes time to bring the brand back to its full glory but it will be time well spent see page 6 ADVERTORIAL At Hong Kong s The Luxe Manor a TOUCH of sublime service LUXURY leisure and business travellers to Hong Kong have a new option that when it comes to one-of-a-kind accommodation. The Luxe Manor Hong Kong s stylish surrealism-inspired 159-room boutique hotel in Tsim Sha Tsui has unveiled a new guest satisfaction programme called TOUCH--A customised experience that includes the services of a TOUCH Agent (personalised concierge) a complimentary framed souvenir photo of the guest and for guests at its Deluxe rooms and Themed Suites an exclusive reception area with express check-in special turndown amenities homemade pastry choice of pillows a DVD movie and music library Gilchrist & Soames toiletries and priority booking at the hotel s Dada Bar Lounge. TTG Asia e-Daily Most popular (as of June 21 2011) 1 2 3 4 5 Bangkok to get Apple-powered Sofitel Thailand throws hat in ring for Word Expo 2020 50 years of Singapore hotels Women on Top Dreamscape Journeys sells space flights 50 years of Singapore hotels Changing Distribution 6 7 8 9 10 PATA says it is on track with recruitments Agents websites Accor appoints India GSA 50 years of Singapore hotels Software Issues Luxury MICE To read these news go to The TOUCH experience package is available now until 31 August 2011. Benefits include 10 per cent off best available rate for Deluxe Rooms buffet breakfast complimentary mini-bar roundtrip bus shuttle between Hong Kong International Airport and the hotel for one a welcome cocktail at Dada Bar Lounge free pressing and dry cleaning of one item per stay in-room broadband internet access and free local calls. With such attractive offers now is certainly the best time to experience the artistry of The Luxe Manor. touch Reservations (852) 3763 8880 or rsvn News JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 2 PG 2 Vie Travel Ad.indd 1 16 6 11 6 03 PM Airports outside Manila get boost Pocket open skies policy aims to open up secondary cities By Marianne Carandang These plans dovetail with airManila The Philippines is port expansions at Cebu s Mactan hoping a liberalised aviation and Palawan s Puerto Princesa industry will be its ticket to at- airports as well as new airports tracting tourism and investment at Daraga in Albay Panglao in to destinations beyond Manila Bohol and Cagayan de Oro in with a key driver being its pocket Mindanao. The last four will be open skies policy . upgraded to international airIn March Philippine port status. President Benigno S. Philippine Travel Aquino III signed two Agencies Association executive orders that president Aileen ClemClem have reorganised air neente said Implemen Implemen gotiation and consultatation of the open skies tion panels and opened policy is a first step. the country s airports We hope to see more outside Manila to forgrowth because we are Corpuz market not a contiguous land eign carriers. The Philippines accessibility point and flights are Sound bites I m always encouraged when my mother looks at my hotels and says Oh I can t stay there Loh Lik Peng owner and developer of boutique hotels in Singapore Shanghai and London who said his hotels tend to attract the younger crowd My job is to keep these big fat Indian weddings in India. Ajoy Misra senior vice president sales and marketing of Taj Hotels and Resorts who noted that the Indian wedding market splurged on all things opulent including flying in artisans from other parts of India to prepare for the event. Every couple it seems wants to outdo each other new policy offers third fourth and fifth freedoms of the air without restrictions on the frequency capacity and type of aircraft. This means foreign airlines have the right to fly from one s country to another and vice versa as well as carry passengers from one s own country to a second country and from that country to a third country. Department of Tourism (DoT) undersecretary for tourism planning and promotions Daniel Corpuz said this would contribute to the accessibility of secondary markets as it allows foreign carriers to actively introduce direct services to secondary destinations. important to bring in more foreign tourist arrivals. However Cebu Pacific in a statement to TTG Asia last month said it hoped that the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) which handles all negotiations would deliver on its promise to revoke the air rights of foreign carriers (in) home countries that fail to give similar unlimited access to Philippine carriers . Responding to concerns from local airlines DoT s Corpuz told TTG Asia that there was a provision in the law that open skies agreements could be withdrawn if rights were not reciprocated within a year. While there have not been any takers since the open skies policy was implemented the Philippines air access is still being given a boost in other ways. CAB confirmed agreements with Malaysia in early June for an additional 2 520 weekly seat entitlements on the Manila-Kuala Lumpur route. Similar talks are being scheduled with Indonesia Sri Lanka and Vietnam within the quarter. In the last year air service permits were also handed out to low-cost carriers including South Korea s Jin Air (IncheonClark) Air Busan (Busan-Cebu) and Jeju Air (Incheon-Manila) Jetstar Australia (Darwin-Manila) and Taiwan s Mandarin Airlines (Incheon-Manila). All Nippon Airways also launched a Narita-Manila route while Continental Airlines and Pakistan International Airlines received new permits to operate. According to DoT figures the Philippines saw a 13 per cent increase in foreign tourist arrivals for January to April compared to the same period last year. The top five markets of South Korea the US Japan China and Australia brought in 60 per cent of the period s 1.2 million visitors. DoT also noted promising surges from markets like Taiwan India and Russia. FTI Asia gets new brand By Sirima Eamtako Bangkok In a bid to snag a wider client base outside Germany FTI Asia is in the process of rebranding to Meeting Point Asia. It has already found some success claiming to have netted a 5 000-pax account for the 2011 2012 high season from an Italian tour operator. The rebranding of the Bangkok-based groundhandler of Germany s fifth largest outbound tour operator FTI Group began last year at the FTI Touristik headquarters in Germany and its 17 overseas offices. It is scheduled for completion on November 1 according to Meeting Point Asia managing director Jan Respen. This is meant to allow Meeting Point International offices to handle third-party accounts from other markets apart from the German businesses under the FTI Group FTI Touristik BigXtra and 5 vor Flug. Meeting Point Asia is also implementing a new travel technology for contracting booking allotment and distribution slated to go live in November. Respen added that the tour company was gradually gaining third-party clients from Scandinavia the UK Australia the US Italy Spain Switzerland and Eastern Europe which now Implementation of the open skies policy is a first step. We hope to see more growth because we are not a contiguous land point and flights are important to bring in more foreign tourist arrivals. Aileen Clemente President Philippine Travel Agencies Association make up about 20 per cent of its market mix. Commenting on the company s Italian win he said This is not a small account and will help open doors for more accounts from Italy Spain and the Latin America markets. Meeting Point Asia also plans to tap the Middle East and nearby markets by leveraging on its presence in Dubai Egypt and Turkey. It is also looking at Asia especially China. Respen hopes Meeting Point Asia will gain a reception in the Thailand market as an international tour operator and get a one-rate structure from hotels. It currently holds rates for mainly FTI Group accounts and has to go back to hotels when preparing contract rates for accounts from other markets. It is also working on expanding hotel partnerships. From the FTI Group Respen said the client numbers grew from fewer than 10 000 when the Bangkok office opened in 2005 to about 70 000 to 80 000 last year constituting about 70 per cent of FTI Group s business to Asia. We believe we can reach our goal of a 40 per cent increase in revenue coming from worldwide markets including FTI Group barring any crisis Respen said. NEWS JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 3 Kolkata bursts onto scene Boom in air travel soon-to-open airport terminal set to trigger outbound wave By Shekhar Niyogi KOLKATA The bustling metropolis in eastern India is set to benefit from a whole host of access developments coming its way from the imminent arrival of a bevy of airlines to the 2012 opening of a stateof-the-art airport terminal. Beginning next month three international airlines will touch down in Kolkata boosting links to China the Middle East and Singapore. Hainan Airlines will commence thriceweekly flights to Shenzhen from July 12 offering connections to 20 other destinations. It will also provide a complimentary bus service from Shenzhen to Hong Kong and a subsidised one to Guangzhou. To get to Hong Kong passengers currently have to transit in Bangkok Kuala Lumpur or Singapore. The SAR is a popular destination with Kolkata s business community as well as tourists due to its visa-on-arrival facility for Indians. Guangzhou likewise receives healthy traffic from Kolkata which has the largest ethnic Chinese population in South Asia. There are no other flights to China from Kolkata aside from China Eastern s Kunming service. Travelcorp manager - tours K. Goswami said The timing of the new flight is great because our holiday season in October is just around the corner. Moreover New additions to TTG Asia Media editorial team SINGAPORE KOLKATA TTG Asia Media has appointed veteran industry player and columnist Shekhar Niyogi as its chief correspondent - India. Shekhar based in Kolkata will be in charge of India market coverage for all Travel Group titles including TTG Asia TTG Asia Asia e-Daily e-Daily TTG India Shekhar Niyogi and TTGmice. Shekhar was a consultant for 26 years in the travel industry and knows the leisure and MICE markets inside out. He is currently a contributor to several Indian European and US publications and a columnist with India s three leading Englishlanguage dailies. TTG Asia Media is also pleased to name Linda Haden as assistant editor based in Singapore. Linda Linda Haden is responsible for Singapore market coverage for all Travel Group titles as well as assists in regional analyses and the commissioning and editing of articles. In the past decade Linda was an active contributor to Mintel s Travel & Tourism Analyst and its UK Travel Intelligence series based initially in London and then in Zurich. there has been increasing interest in FIT travel to mainland China Hong Kong and Macau over the past two years. From July 28 Qatar Airways will also operate daily flights between Kolkata and Doha providing an additional option to travel to Europe and North America. It will have to compete with Emirates which already has a strong presence in Kolkata with 12 flights a week. Seema Ahmed general manager Gainwell Travels said this would only help passengers as they will get good deals and be enthused to fly more . In addition SilkAir is scheduled to start flying from Singapore to Kolkata four times a week from August 1. Together with Singapore Airlines it will operate seven weekly flights to Kolkata. Mamta Panjani general manager - east Mercury Travels said SilkAir would also be able to capture demand for South-east Asian destinations like Kuala Lumpur and Bali if prices were right. The airline will also have to sustain aggressive marketing efforts to capture the longhaul business to Australia New Zealand and the US west coast she added. Meanwhile smaller carriers like Regent Airways of Bangladesh and Buddha Airways of Nepal are waiting on the sidelines to concretise their decision to fly to Kolkata. The grapevine is also abuzz with news that British Airways which withdrew services a few years ago may make a comeback due to growing volumes. To sweeten the deal this influx is being matched with infrastructure improvements. Kolkata airport is due to open its swanky third terminal by next February as part of a major overhaul of the entire airport. The 195 000m2 integrated building will help the airport handle 20 million passengers a year up from the annual four million it was originally built to accommodate. A new air traffic control tower will be in operation runways lengthened parking bays designed to accommodate Jumbos and mid-size aircraft such as Airbus A320s airport systems upgraded and overall passenger experience enhanced among other changes. Travel Agents Federation of India chairman - east India Anil Punjabi said This expansion and modernisation will certainly boost passenger traffic from the city. Previously many passengers from north-eastern states were going to New Delhi to connect to international flights. Indian Minister of State for Urban Development Saugata Roy said Kolkata will have the best airport in the country once it is functional. PG 3 Banyan Tree Ad.indd 1 News ANAlysis JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 4 Hotels on the cheap Indonesia s low-end segment has to be watched operators tell Mimi Hudoyo ured by rising demand for economical stays easy access to loans and the prospect of a fast return on investment (ROI) developers are rushing to pour money into budget and economy hotels in Indonesia. The country now has a bulging pipeline of close to 100 such properties due to open over the next few years. Accor recently announced 21 new projects up till 2014 with more than half being Formule1 ibis and all seasons brands. Also being developed 30 Favehotels by Aston International 10 Amaris Hotels by Santika Indonesia Hotels and Resorts 15 POP Harris Hotels by Tauzia Hotel Management and seven more by newcomer Intiland s Whiz Hotels. Santika Indonesia Hotels & Resorts corporate director of sales and marketing Guido Andriano said the relatively low investment around 15 billion rupiah (US 1.76 million) for a 60-room hotel in Amaris Hotel s case and an ROI of three to five years made such a property very attractive to investors. Aston International vice president of sales and marketing Norbert Vas said Developers have come to their senses as prestige and pride now play less of a role than they used to and ROI has become the primary decision-making factor. Years ago everybody wanted to own a four- or five-star hotel regardless of market conditions but cash flow and the realisation that a profitable lower-end hotel is better than a beautiful five-star that does not make money have now settled in. Accor Asia-Pacific chairman and COO Michael Issenberg said the rise of low-cost carriers and the middle class had created demand for budget and midscale properties not only in Indonesia but across Asia. Tune Hotels Bali spokesperson Continued from page 1 Insurance is the key groundhandlers who are the principals and who should be responsible for refunding fares if a disaster or unrest strikes. She said with profit margins being so tight additional business or professional indemnity insurance was an extra cost we are unwilling to pay for . However we do encourage our customers to take out personal travel insurance Loh said. Fascinating Holidays Singapore s senior manager Chelle Yew said To protect our business we have indemnity clauses written into our terms and conditions. Most of our customers empathise with our situation and are agreeable to take out travel insurance for themselves. Chan Brothers Singapore s spokesperson Michelle Yin said this was why such a directive was needed as it would force travellers to cover themselves adequately for their trips with travel insurance. A Thai outbound agent however pointed out that in the end agents still had to bear the burden. The source said while profit-and-loss for the agency was important the reality was the agency could not be thinking commercially all the time. We have to try our best to facilitate services for our clients to make sure they return to us for their future bookings. L Jovita Sadikin said the chain s two properties in Indonesia located in Bali had been averaging 90 per cent occupancy and almost half of its clients were local. Andriano said The market is huge. Imagine a pyramid the budget property market covers the base. He explained that the market had been there all along but only attracted attention recently. The fact that more travellers are looking for economical accommodation due to budget tightening has grown demand even more said Andriano. Tauzia Hotel Management president director Marc Steinmeyer added it might even be a matter of choice not cost. They are what we call smart customers . They can easily afford a US 80 hotel but don t mind staying in a US 30 hotel as long Marc Steinmeyer Don t upset the balance. President director Tauzia Hotel Management Michael Issenberg Fuelled by LCCs and middle class. Chairman and COO Accor Asia-Pacific Indonesia currently enjoys a reasonable portfolio of two- to five-star hotels due to cautious developers and bankers in the last decade he pointed out. I hope this new trend will not affect this balance. I think we should progress according to the growth of the country and not faster than that. Hotel wholesale agent MG Holiday managing director Ray- Developers have come to their senses as prestige and pride now play less of a role in decisions. ROI has become the primary factor. Norbert Vas Vice president of sales and marketing Aston International as the hotel meets the hygiene aesthetic comfort and security standards in addition to being brand-conscious he said. The rapid growth of such accommodation however has resulted in an uneasiness. Steinmeyer said It is true there is still plenty of room to explore in budget economy and midscale hotel development as there is volume. However this creates a concern of an oversupply if access to loans is too easy with no long-term commitment (on the developer s side). Some developers may focus on how to get a faster ROI rather than the quality of construction facilities and service. Sim kok Chwee ellen Chen mond is also worried about the swift expansion. Budget accommodation is booming as demand is there but I think there will be an oversupply in the next few years. There are many hotels opening this year and operators are announcing new projects for the coming years. Raymond predicted tough competition among budget brands as well as between budget and midscale properties which had improved facilities but cost only slightly more. Travellers are enticed by the pricing to try but some find that by paying a little more they get better facilities in midscale hotels he said. SaleS & Marketing Michael Chow Publisher (michael.chow However not everyone agreed that the country might be facing a glut. Vas said Indonesia s population is huge not to mention the growing regional and international inbound traffic to major and secondary destinations. In fact he added Indonesia needed more of such properties. In the US for example you will find a branded budget hotel on literally every highway crossing near every large mall in the suburbs of every city even smaller ones and the numbers are still climbing said Vas. Hoteliers pointed out that lower-end properties would be able to thrive in the market if they were quality ones. Owners too had to be disciplined in re-investing rather than milking their properties. Accor Indonesia-SingaporeMalaysia vice president Gerard Guillouet said To stay ahead of the competition a budget hotel room should not simply be a room with bed and airconditioning but be beautifully designed with quality beds and technology that business travellers need. Vas said Only budget hotels that can maintain their standards will survive. Steinmeyer added that managing a budget property required a lot more support from the head office as on-site staff were usually less experienced. It is easier and cheaper for investors but more costly for management he said. Carol Wong Sound bites I listen to my stomach. I know within five minutes whether a site will be good for Aman or not as my gut tells me. Adrian Zecha founder chairman Amanresorts on how he chose property locations. Zecha was speaking at the recent International Luxury Travel Market Asia in Shanghai after receiving a lifetime achievement award Correspondent-at-large (aviasian.images Correspondent Malaysia (ellenchen07 Correspondent The Philippines (mcarandang Correspondent Hong Kong (prului Chief Correspondent Kolkata India (niyogis Correspondent Mumbai India (anmkatti Correspondent Sri Lanka (feizalsam Correspondent South Korea (wei_wei_cheng Correspondent Australia (faithchang26 Circulation Executive (carol.wong Group Editor (raini.hamdi Editor TTG Asia (gracia.chiang Editor TTGmice (karen.yue Assistant Editor TTG Asia Online (brian.higgs Assistant Editor (linda.haden Senior Sub-editor (amee.enriquez Editor Thailand Vietnam Cambodia Myanmar and Laos (sirima.eamtako Editor Indonesia (idmfasia editOrial raini Hamdi gracia Chiang karen Yue katherine ng Marisa Chen Senior Business Managers ( marisa.chen Marianne Carandang Prudence lui Managing Director ( ttg aSia Media darren ng Travel Hall of Fame The Travel Hall of Fame displayed in the Raffles Hotel Museum on the third level of Raffles Hotel Singapore showcases accolades artefacts and memorabilia of the region s most exceptional travel organisations. Since 2002 luminaries who have won the prestigious TTG Travel Award at least 10 times have been conferred the title of Travel Hall of Fame Honorary. Singapore Airlines and Singapore Changi Airport are the Travel Hall of Fame s pioneering honoraries having been voted by Asia-Pacific s travel trade as Best Airline of the Year and Best Airport of the Year respectively for more than a decade. Hertz AsiaPacific joined this elite family in 2005. Recently inducted were Star Cruises Royal Cliff Beach Rosort Pattaya Abacus International and SilkAir. Business Manager (jonathan.yap Corporate Marketing Manager (cheryl.tan Marketing Executive ( Advertisement Administration Manager (cheryl.lim Assistant Manager Administration and Marketing (carol.cheng Jonathan Yap Cheryl tan Shekhar niyogi brian Higgs tan ee Hiang Cheryl lim 04-07 The Capricorn Singapore Science Park II Singapore 117528 Tel (65) 6395-7575 Fax (65) 6536-2972 contact OffiCeS SingaPOre 1 Science Park Road anand and Madhura katti feizal Samath vivian lee linda Haden HOng kOng 11 F ING Tower 308-320 Des Voeux Road Central Hong Kong Tel (852) 2571-9333 Fax (852) 2806-0646 TTG Asia is published by TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd. It is mailed free on written request to readers who meet predetermined criteria. Paid subscriptions are available to those who do not meet the criteria. Annual airmail subscriptions are US 180 to Asia and US 199 elsewhere. Cover price US 5. MICA (P) 039 09 2010 PPS 619 02 2012(022706) Printed by Times Printers Pte Ltd 16 Tuas Avenue 5 Singapore 639340 amee enriquez Carol Cheng Sirima eamtako Mimi Hudoyo faith Chang PubliSHing ServiCeS tony Yeo Division Manager (tony.yeo Senior Production Executive (agnes.loy Production Co-ordinator (nancy.lee redmond Sia Haze loh Creative Designers Editorial Assistant agnes loy nancy lee Catherine Monthienvichienchai Editor Special Projects (catherine.monthien lina tan View from the top June 24 30 2011 ttg asia 6 Steven Pan chairman Formosa A year after he fought off no fewer than 20 suitors to emerge as International Hotels Corp Taiwan the new owner of Regent Pan tells Raini Hamdi it takes time to and Regent Hotels & Resorts bring the brand back to its full glory but it will be time well spent Good things take time What s been done since you acquired Regent in June last year From another view it has not grown. The most important thing is to build a global infrastructure for the new Regent. We re launching a worldwide reservations system and a web marketing system in June and we re also building the sales and marketing and operations teams. Hopefully this will be completed by the second half of the year. Time was also spent on making a lot of revisions to pipeline hotels in terms of concept and design so that they are more in line with the new Regent. What shape was Regent in when you took over from Carlson (Laughs) Clearly the standard is not enough now because a hotel that is conceptualised today will be going into the market three to four years from now and will be competing for the next 10 20 30 years. Obviously the old standards will not make it in the new world. That s why it s important for us to implement the new concept of Regent. What is the new concept look Asian for the international traveller and international for Asians. So the sophistication comes from the duality. A Regent production is like a movie production where you get the best talent best lighting designers best artists best operators best owners to create a masterpiece. Will it look like say an Amanresort or a GHM It has stayed the same in the last 10 years. Regent in many ways created the five-star hotel standard in terms of the bathroom all-villa resorts etc some 20 years ago. The Regent standard has been maintained. Well it s kind of funny. When Regent was first sold Adrian Zecha (who together with Bob Burns and George Rafael founded Regent) went out to launch Amanresorts and General Hotel Management (GHM) and the Regent concept has been kept alive in Amanresorts and GHM hotels. I have to say in many ways they are leading the industry in terms of luxury concepts because everybody is following (what they do). It s why I picked Ralf Ohletz as president of Regent (Ohletz was EVP of GHM) I consider him one of the top concept men in the world. So what is the concept Aman is a low-density model so it will probably be more like GHM but will have different elements obviously. It will also be in urban settings. Urban resorts are important for us we want to recreate an oasis in urban environments. How are luxury travellers changing and how will Regent keep up you can t go to a site for a day or two have a site meeting and expect to have a luxury product. A responsible manager and designer would have to spend at least a week or two on site to see the sunset work with the local artists go to the beach etc to get the inspiration. So you have to spend time. The creation takes time. And the product shouldn t require major renovations for 20 years not like now where every five years you ve got to change everything. What would it cost to build your Regent The previous owner probably missed on the continuity aspect. Did you overpay (the price was reportedly US 56 million) It will be more bespoke. It will Luxury is evolving but the core has never changed. Luxury was started by the royalty in Europe and in the courts. That s gone today but people still long to belong to that class. So the dream the aspiration has not changed. We in the luxury hotel sector are therefore dream merchants. It is therefore important to focus on concept rather than marketing. In the end the luxury experience is driven by the product concept service. This is why I keep going back It takes more time than money. If you ask me the software cost is higher than the hardware cost and in a market that can give you a US 1 000 ARR you should spend 1 000 times that to build the hotel. So in Bali if the ARR is US 500 then you should spend US 500 000 but if you add the branded residential component to it then the returns from branded residential villa sales can afford you to build a better product. So every Regent will have a branded residential component I paid a lot Everybody thought it was a good deal but at the time there wasn t much in it other than the brand. So we were really buying the brand. Buying a luxury brand is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. You can build hotels over and over again but a brand is a scarce commodity. And we bought Regent clean meaning we have to build the team from scratch find the right talent who have a shared passion about the brand. So whatever price we paid we paid for the brand. What surprised you afterwards The reception of the market to the Regent revival was beyond my expectations. Regent had not grown much in the last 10 years as you know so we were concerned it had lost its reputation. But the reception in the luxury community industry and among owners was amazing. It gives us more pressure to take it to new heights. How many Regents will there be in five years Depending on the site but yes in general we would like to see every Regent having a branded residential component as that helps Buying a luxury brand is a once-in-alifetime opportunity. You can build hotels over and over again but a brand is a scarce commodity. to the analogy of a movie production and a focused talent approach If you make a movie it is a collection of top producers screenplay writers actors etc spending time together to work on a product. It is important to bring back that handcraft spirit in the production of luxury hotels. For instance the owner build a better product and sustain it better. There are so many good five star products now. We now have seven or eight in the pipeline five in operation. We would like to see no more than 30 or 40 Regents in five years. The greatest growth will be in Asia-Pacific where there are more opportunities to create a new Regent from ground-up especially in China. But luxury is alive in the rest of the world and Europe including the Middle East is receptive to our concept. Will Formosa own more Regent hotels or are you looking at management contracts Our family invests in assets but Regent Hotels & Resorts is purely hotel management and operation which is a different expertise. Will existing hotels be upgraded This is why it is important to associate the product with a brand and the power of a group which is committed to luxury and unique products and is growing the business not just for the sake of growth. This is why we re controlling the projects with three to five a year so that each is done by the president or chairman of the group and not by the system . Regent is an excellent brand with a great history. Now there is a second-generation leadership and with Bob Burns as honorary chairman we ensure continuity. They will benefit greatly as Regent evolves. Every brand in the world has older properties look at Four Seasons for example. So by the time the new Regents (TTG Asia e-Daily May 6) open they will be a different-generation product but solid good hotels much bigger in size and supporting us in major cities like Singapore Beijing Taipei etc. They benefit from the brand s revival. Then (laughs) hopefully the pressure is on them to keep up. Discover Your Next Asian Dream Holiday Best Western hotels and resorts put you in the prime position for the most unforgettable experiences. With more than 4 000 hotels and resorts in over 90 countries you can be sure to find a Best Western hotel at any of your dream destination worldwide. Get ready and plan ahead for your next holidays at our new Best Western properties in Asia BEST WESTERN Suites And Sweet Angkor Resort Siem Reap Cambodia BEST WESTERN Serenity Hua Hin Thailand BEST WESTERN Mangga Dua Hotel and Residence Jakarta Indonesia BEST WESTERN Antel Spa Suites Makati Philippines Visit or call toll free 800 0013 1779 Cruises Putting faith in Japan Royal Carribean International Star Cruises are bound for country s ports of call writes Karen Yue Legend of the Seas returns to Japan apan can smile a little as dismal visitor arrival figures are being given a boost by cruises which have either returned or chosen not to pull out of the country since its March 11 earthquake and tsunami. Starting August 1 Royal Caribbean International will be deploying its Legend of the Seas back to Japanese ports of call. Star Cruises has also decided to proceed with sailings to Okinawa for SuperStar Aquarius new cruise season from April 6. Legend of the Seas had earlier reworked its sailings from March to May replacing Japanese ports of call with stops in South Korea and Hong Kong. The ship also featured an inaugural summer season in Singapore with short cruises to South-east Asian destinations from April to June. Royal Caribbean Cruises regional director Asia-Pacific Kelvin Tan explained that the itinerary changes were made because of travel advisories issued by several countries and out of concern for passengers safety. He said many customers were now look looking forward to the cruises to Japan as they believe visiting these cities on a cruise ship is a very safe way to go . He added We see popular dedemand from customers to call at Okinawa Hokkaido and Kyushu. Travellers know that these cities are far from the crisis area. We are monitoring the situation and are planning to sail to the Kansai ports in October. Legend of the Seas will operate 11 sailings including a number of charters to various ports of call in Japan including Okinawa Fukuoka Kagoshima Beppu Nagasaki and Hokkaido from Hong Kong Tianjin and Shanghai from late July to early October. These sailings are mostly based on the ship s itineraries that were originally planned for this year which do not call at areas affected by the tsunami and nuclear crisis. When asked how these itineraries would fare Tan admitted that it was still too early to tell. However he pointed out that the company s decision to return to Japan was well received by trade partners and that there were customers who had booked ahead for these sailings but did not cancel when the disasters hit. Tan said We are not starting from scratch. Furthermore we are offering very attractive fares on these cruises so it is a good time to go. For instance our five-night cruise from Shanghai to Okinawa and TaiTai pei starts from S 499 (US 405) per pax. Meanwhile Star Cruises senior vice president of sales Michael Goh said SuperStar Aquarius Aquarius itineraries remained unchanged because radiation levels in Okinawa and Taiwan were well within the normal range. It had proceeded with calls to the Okinawa islands of Ishigaki Naha and Yonaguni from Keelung Taiwan beginning April. However not all cruise companies are taking their ships back into Japanese waters. Luxury liner Silversea which had pulled out all Japanese ports of call from four of its Asian voyages in April and May will continue to skip Japan this year. It will only return to the destination in 2012 with five sailings to Tokyo between April and October on the Silver Shadow. PATA CEO Are you ready for the challenge The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) is recognised as the respected voice of tourism in Asia Pacific and a significant catalyst for tourism growth in the past 60 years. The Association is headquartered in Bangkok with regional offices in Frankfurt New York SanFrancisco Beijing and Sydney. PATA is now entering an exciting phase in its development and has embarked on an ambitious evolution of its programs and strategy to improve its service delivery to its industry partners. We are now seeking an inspirational leader who will drive these new programs and capitalise on the potential to build the business for our membership and the tourism sector. If you believe you have the qualities to lead PATA and are excited by the challenge we would welcome your application. Working together to attract cru The Asia Cruise Services Network (ACSN) alliance comprising 16 members across the region has begun to bid for international cruise groundhandling contracts under a single grouping. ACSN founder and chairman Krai Panyarachun said the move came after the alliance was launched to the industry at the Seatrade All Asia Cruise Convention last June and ITB Berlin and Cruise Shipping Miami in March as well as during sales missions to Europe and the US. The alliance was established in December 2009. Although ACSN had yet to win a single account for all members under the joint effort it had already yielded Krai strength in more cruise business for numbers some said Krai. Through member references Cambodia s First Travel won How to apply A detailed position description can be accessed on our web site Applications should be emailed to ceosearch by close of business 30th June 2011. JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 9 Thailand s untapped cruise potential Cruise visitors to Thailand are climbing but infrastructure is not improving at the same pace say industry players. Cruise groundhandlers are anticipating between 10 and 30 per cent growth on passenger numnum bers this year yet they fear the country s inadequate facilities would soon leave it trailing in the wake of neighbours Singapore and Hong Kong which are scheduled to complete their new cruise terminals over the next few years. Silversea senior vice-president AsiaPacific Steve Odell said cruise lines would want to include ports that could be reached from Singapore and Hong Kong. While Thailand s good international air access allows for synergy with cruise departures the country would be left behind if it does not address its infrastructure shortcomings he added. Said Odell Docking at the cargo area of Laem Chabang does not give a good impression. Although the government has declared its intention to promote Bangkok s Klong Toey and Chon Buri s Laem Chabang Ports as cruise hubs for years it has yet to make any substantial investment. SEA Tours director Krai Panyarachun said the growth in number of cruise passengers handled by the company would be more than the expected 10 per cent for this year if Thailand had better port facilities. Similarly Regale International Travel managing director Jumpol Chadavadh said Thailand would be able to attract more cruises both new ships and increased frequency of calls if the country developed ports in other locations such as Pranburi. Cruise ships are now calling more often at Phuket and Koh Samui rather than just at Laem Chabang. Thailand is also expecting the resumption of turnaround visits by international cruise liners next year after a few seasons of absence due to internal instability he added. Despite last year s domestic political turmoil and the European economic downturn Regale Thailand s largest cruise groundhandler still recorded some 90 000 passengers surpassing its earlier target of 50 000. This year the company has received bookings to cater to about 93 000 passengers between January and November. It has also received bookings for next year from 10 cruise lines with a total of 25 calls and four turnarounds involving around 55 000 passengers. According to Jumpol international cruise lines that feature Thailand in their South Asia extended cruise itineraries plying Hong Kong Vietnam Thailand Malaysia and Singapore tend to be more popular and sell better than programmes that bypass the country. In a bid to entice international cruise lines to include Thai ports in their Asian itineraries groundhandlers are looking at introducing new destinations such as Krabi where ships anchor offshore and tender passengers ashore for excursions in the province and nearby Phang Nga. Jumpol said the company was developing Pranburi south of Hua Hin and hopes to introduce the beach town in the 2013 2014 world s cruise itineraries. Thailand s inbound cruise industry is dominated by three groundhandlers with Regale having the largest marketshare followed by SEA Tours and Destination Asia (Thailand). Go Vacation Thailand entered the fray during the 2009 2010 season handling AIDA Cruise. Sirima Eamtako Best Cruise Operator Asia 2008 2009 & 2010 SET SAIL ON AN AWARD-WINNING CRUISE EXPERIENCE Royal Caribbean International is where imagination reigns and thrills abound. With 22 ships calling in over 282 destinations worldwide embark on a cruise adventure like no other. Enjoy world-class entertainment sumptuous dining amazing amenities and be pampered by our impeccable Royal Caribbean service a truly memorable experience awaits. LEGEND OF THE SEAS - WORLDWIDE CRUISE ESCAPADES 5-NIGHT GEMS OF ASIA CRUISE Hong Kong Departures Ports-of-call Ports-of-call 5-NIGHT INDO CHINA EXPLORER CRUISE Hong Kong Departures ises to Asia contracts to provide groundhandling services for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises and SAGA Cruises in the last season of 2010 2011 while Holland America Line has confirmed for the next season of 2011 2012. At press time two other partners Malaysia s Asian Overland Services Tours & Travel and Brunei s Sunshine Borneo Tours were clinching contracts for the 2011 2012 season for two European cruise lines. Sirima Eamtako 5-NIGHTS ASIAN LEGACIES CRUISE Shanghai Departures Ports-of-call 9-NIGHT RUSSIA AND HOKKAIDO CRUISE Shanghai Departures Ports-of-call Call your preferred travel agent or Royal Caribbean at PG 9 Royal Caribbean Ad.indd 1 Cruises Behind the scenes When I was invited to the Singapore Cruise Centre (SCC) to observe what actually goes on when a cruise ship berths and how the cruise terminal figures in the whole experience I was impressed. The morning I was there Star Cruises SuperStar Virgo was just slipping into berth having returned from a port of call in Vietnam. The ship was towed swiftly into position by tugboats. Once it was moored a forklift swung into action swiftly extracting cages containing luggage. It usually takes five minutes to pick up the first batch of luggage which belongs to VIP passengers. These three-tiered metal cages were jointly designed by SCC and Star Cruises to maximise storage space and enhance the speed with which luggage can be moved. As this was going on passengers were also spilling out of the ship eager to proceed to immigration. According to Eddie Tang SCC s assistant vice president (cruise operations) it takes 90 minutes for a 2 500-pax ship to clear all its passengers from the time they exit the ship JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 10 When a ship pulls into port until the final stages of going through immigration. On average the process takes SCC 34 minutes per passenger a fact that the terminal operator is very proud of as this time frame is one of the many key performance indicators set by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. SCC s responsibility does not end with the immigration process. It also works closely with ground service agents who arrange land excursions and hotel transfers. The arrival of coaches is staggered to prevent overcrowding at the coach bay. For a cruise ship carrying mostly foreigners as many as 30 to 40 coaches are dispatched. SCC also notifies major taxi companies in Singapore ahead of time. And even way before the flurry of activity SCC would already have connected with cruise companies as early as two years before to confirm berth bookings. Cruise companies can only begin marketing itineraries after securing a berth at a port of call. A forklift extracting luggage from the ship Two weeks before the ship is due to arrive a coordination meeting involving SCC the cruise company port agents ground service agents and customs immigration and quarantine authorities is held. Information on the ship s model to determine how the ship will be berthed passenger numbers arrival and departure times and land excursions is also shared. This makes for a seamless logistical flow when the ship finally arrives. Earlier when the ship was moored delivery trucks carrying food supplies and other provisions needed for the next sailing appeared almost immediately by the shore expertly manoeuvring around each other to get into proper position. The wares they were transporting ranging from sacks of potatoes and trays of plump avocados to crates of canned and bottled drinks were then deftly unloaded. As a durian party was scheduled to take place on board that afternoon a crane also came to unload sacks of the strong-smelling fruit right onto the upper deck. The amount of supplies a ship is required to have on board depends on a number of factors the length of sailing if the ship was able to restock at the last port of call and whether it is planning to do so at the next one. As most ships prefer to restock in Singapore an around-the-world cruise can require as much as six containers of food supplies. To get things in order for the next sailing time is of the essence. The housekeeping team starts its chores the moment the passengers leave their cabins. On the other side of the ship a bunker also begins to refuel the vessel a task that can take up to six hours for a ship requiring 500 tonnes of fuel. All in a day s work to bring a ship into berth. Karen Yue PG 10 UMB Ad.indd 1 16 6 11 4 59 PM For Your Industry Favourites Today Asia-Pacific s most prestigious awards is back to honour the travel industry s finest luminaries Celebrating its 22nd year the annual TTG Travel Awards presents 66 awards for your vote. Start Voting Your Vote Matters You have an important role in deciding who should take home the coveted Hermes trophy. Simply vote for your favourite travel suppliers and travel agents through this voting form or vote online today. ttg-awards Closing Date 12th August 2011 Organised by Supported by AWARDS CITERIA TRAVEL SUPPLIER AWARDS Airline Awards Criteria Best airline in its respective category in terms of Providing the best service network and schedules. Most agent-friendly in terms of reservations confirmations and commission payments. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas incentive programmes and servicing. Best North American Airline Best airline based in North America operating Asia-Pacific routes. 2. Best European Airline Best airline based in Europe operating Asia-Pacific routes. 3. Best Middle Eastern Airline Best airline based in Middle East operating Asia-Pacific routes. 4. Best South Asian Airline Best airline based in the Indian subcontinent operating Asia-Pacific routes. 5. Best South-east Asian Airline Best airline based in Brunei Cambodia Indonesia Laos Malaysia Myanmar The Philippines Singapore Thailand or Vietnam operating AsiaPacific routes. 6. Best North Asian Airline Best airline based in South Korea Japan Chinese Taipei Macau or Hong Kong operating Asia-Pacific routes. 7. Best China Airline Best airline based in China operating Asia-Pacific routes. 8. Best Pacific Airline Best airline based in the Pacific operating Asia-Pacific routes. 9. Best Regional Airline Best airline based regionally operating Asia-Pacific routes. 10. Best Asian Low-cost Carrier Best airline based in Asia-Pacific that operates on a low-cost strategy. 1. Best hotel offering comprehensive accommodation shopping dining entertainment and sports. SERVICED RESIDENCES 39. Best Serviced Residence Operator Best serviced property catering to mid- and long-term staying guests. SPAS 40. Best Spa Operator Best managed and operated spa or network of spas in the region. BT-MICE Awards Criteria Best services and facilities catering specifically to the BT-MICE market. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing the BT-MICE market. Most desirable and attractive incentives and value added services to business travellers and MICE planners. 41. Best Airline Business Class Best business class airline across the board. Refer to Airline Criteria. 42. Best Business Hotel Best hotel catering to the business traveller. Refer to Hotel Criteria. 43. Best Meetings & Conventions Hotel Best hotel catering to meeting and convention needs. Refer to Hotel Criteria. 44. Best BT-MICE City The city most friendly and desirable to business travellers and for MICE planners to host their events. 45. Best Convention & Exhibition Centre Best facilities. Best value for money. Most flexible in catering to MICE planners. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing. 46. Best Convention & Exhibition Bureau Most efficient flexible and friendly in terms of response to enquiries and information. Most effective in raising awareness of MICE at government and community levels. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing. You are the judge We value your opinions in bestowing the title of industry s best . Your voice is the best embodiment of the travel industry s sentiments in recognising the top performers. Vote for your favourites in these two categories (and its segments) Travel Supplier Awards Airline Awards Hotels Resorts Serviced Residences Spa Awards BT-MICE Awards Travel Services Awards Travel Agent Awards TTG salutes the finest and most accomplished In two other categories exceptional individuals and organisations are identified and acknowledged for their accomplishments. These two categories of awards are Outstanding Achievement Awards Under this category TTG s editorial team determines the winners in these awards Travel Personality of the Year Destination of the Year Most Entrepreneurial Travel Company Best Marketing & Development Effort Travel Hall of Fame The Travel Hall of Fame honours organisations that have won at least 10 times at previous TTG Travel Awards. Although they will not be voted for again these special award winners will be recognised at every TTG annual awards presentation ceremony. Votes for them will not be counted. Travel Hall of Fame - Inducted Members are Singapore Changi Airport (2002) Singapore Airlines (2002) Hertz Asia-Pacific (2005) Royal Cliff Beach Resort Pattaya (2006) Star Cruises (2008) Abacus International (2009) Silkair (2010) Hotels Resorts Serviced Residences Spa Awards Criteria Best Hotel Chain in its respective category in terms of Most consistent in products and services. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas incentive programmes and servicing. Best Hotel Resort Serviced Residence Spa in its respective category in terms of Best services and facilities. Best range of value-added benefits. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing. HOTEL CHAINS 11. Best Global Hotel Chain Best hotel chain operating a network of properties globally. 12. Best Regional Hotel Chain Best hotel chain operating a network of properties in the region. 13. Best Local Hotel Chain Best hotel chain operating a network of properties within any one Asia-Pacific country. 14. Best Hotel Representation Company Best company providing the most agent-friendly products and services and showing the best marketing effort in generating sales for member hotels via agents. 15. Best Luxury Hotel Brand Best hotel chain operating a network of luxurious properties within any one Asia-Pacific country. 16. Best Mid-range Hotel Brand Best hotel chain operating a network of mid-range properties within any one Asia-Pacific country. 17. Best Budget Hotel Brand Best hotel chain operating a network of economical properties within any one Asia-Pacific country. HOTELS Individual Property 18. Best Luxury Hotel Best hotel catering to the upmarket traveller. This hotel must also boast the best visual appeal and ambience reflecting upmarket status. 19. Best Mid-range Hotel Best mid-range hotel catering to the traveller who seeks three- to four-star quality and comfort. 20. Best Budget Hotel Best hotel catering to the budget traveller. 21. Best Independent Hotel Best non-chain (ie not part of a network of properties) hotel. 22. Best Boutique Hotel Best small fashionable and unique hotel. 23. Best City Hotel Bangkok 24. Best City Hotel Delhi 25. Best City Hotel Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City 26. Best City Hotel Jakarta 27. Best City Hotel Kuala Lumpur 28. Best City Hotel Manila 29. Best City Hotel Seoul 30. Best City Hotel Singapore 31. Best City Hotel Taipei 32. Best City Hotel Tokyo 33. Best New City Hotel Best city hotel that opened in 2009 2010. 34. Best Airport Hotel Best hotel located within the vicinity of an airport that caters to travellers in transit. RESORTS Individual Property 35. Best Beach Resort Best resort located by a beach. This resort must also boast the best visual appeal and ambience reflecting local flavour. 36. Best Resort Hotel (Non-Beach) Best resort not located by a beach. This resort must also boast the best visual appeal and ambience reflecting local flavour. 37. Best New Beach Resort Best beach resort that opened in 2009 2010. 38. Best Integrated Resort Travel Services Awards Criteria Best product services and facilities Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing 47. Best Airport Best facilities. Most user-friendly efficient and hassle-free immigration. Most organised baggage claim. Best planned floor layout with easy ground access. 48. Best GDS (Global Distribution System) Most comprehensive network offering ease of operation and user friendliness. Most efficient and reliable system. 49. Best Cruise Operator Best product in terms of service routes and schedules. Best onboard programme and facilities. Most agent-friendly in terms of reservations confirmations and commission payments. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas incentive programmes and servicing. 50. Best NTO Most efficient flexible and friendly in terms of response to enquiries and information. Most effective in raising awareness of tourism at government and community levels. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing. 51. Best Theme Attraction Best ambience. Best facilities and services. Most professional sales and marketing team in terms of innovative ideas and servicing. How to vote Instructions and Guidelines VOTE ON PAPER (Please use the correct voting form) There are two voting categories and accompanying forms Voting Form A Travel Supplier Awards For voting by travel agents tour operators and destination management companies only. Voting Form B Travel Agent Awards For voting by hoteliers airline staff car rental companies cruise operators national tourism organisations GDS companies and all other travel professionals (except travel agents tour operators and destination management companies). CRITERIA To ensure that nominees are judged on an equal basis each category has its own set of criteria. Please use them as a guide when casting your votes. TRAVEL AGENT AWARDS Criteria Best Travel Agency in its respective category in terms of Professionalism and excellence in staff. Best value-added services to client . Best use of computer technology applications to help improve efficiency and effectiveness in services provided to client. Best Travel Agency Australia Best Travel Agency China Best Travel Agency Chinese Taipei Best Travel Agency Hong Kong Best Travel Agency India Best Travel Agency Indochina (Cambodia Laos Vietnam) Best Travel Agency Indonesia Best Travel Agency Japan Best Travel Agency Malaysia Best Travel Agency Singapore Best Travel Agency South Korea Best Travel Agency Thailand Best Travel Agency The Philippines Best Corporate Travel Agency Best travel agency specialising in serving the needs of corporate travellers. 66. Best Online Travel Agent Best online-based travel agent offering the most user-friendly and effective interface to meet client needs. This online travel agent must also boast the best sales and marketing network in terms of service innovation. 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 12th August 2011 ttg-awards OR VOTE ONLINE VOTING FORM A TRAVEL SUPPLIER AWARDS For voting by Travel agents Tour operators Destination Management Companies Do refer to the voting criteria on the facing page when casting your vote Voting Rules 1. Only one voting entry per person is allowed using the voting form or online voting. 2. All votes are confidential. 3. Voting forms are published in TTG print titles and are available online at ttg-awards. 4. No responsibility will be accepted by the organisers for voting forms lost delayed or damaged in the post. 5. There are no pre-nominated contenders for any voting awards. 6. The results for TTG Travel Awards 2011 are final and no correspondence will be entertained. 7. Voting forms will be independently tabulated and evaluated by an independent auditor in Singapore. 8. The closing date is 12th August 2011 You Can Also Vote Online Now ttg-awards Organisation Country Organisation Country 28. Best City Hotel Manila 29. Best City Hotel Seoul 30. Best City Hotel Singapore 31. Best City Hotel Taipei 32. Best City Hotel Tokyo 33. Best New City Hotel 34. Best Airport Hotel RESORTS Individual Property 35. Best Beach Resort 36. Best Resort Hotel (Non-Beach) 37. Best New Beach Resort 38. Best Integrated Resort SERVICED RESIDENCES 39. Best Serviced Residence Operator SPAS 40. Best Spa Operator Airlines 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Best North American Airline Best European Airline Best Middle Eastern Airline Best South Asian Airline Best South-east Asian Airline Best North Asian Airline Best China Airline Best Pacific Airline Best Regional Airline Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier Hotels Resorts Serviced Residences Spas HOTEL CHAINS 11. Best Global Hotel Chain 12. Best Regional Hotel Chain 13. Best Local Hotel Chain 14. Best Hotel Representation Company 15. Best Luxury Hotel Brand 16. Best Mid-range Hotel Brand 17. Best Budget Hotel Brand HOTELS Individual Property 18. Best Luxury Hotel 19. Best Mid-range Hotel 20. Best Budget Hotel 21. Best Independent Hotel 22. Best Boutique Hotel 23. Best City Hotel Bangkok 24. Best City Hotel Delhi 25. Best City Hotel Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City 26. Best City Hotel Jakarta 27. Best City Hotel Kuala Lumpur BT-MICE 41. 42. 43. 44. 45. 46. Best Airline Business Class Best Business Hotel Best Meetings & Conventions Hotel Best BT-MICE City Best Convention & Exhibition Centre Best Convention & Exhibition Bureau Submission Completed voting forms are to be returned to SINGAPORE Ms Lina Tan TTG Travel Awards 2011 TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd 1 Science Park Road 04-07 The Capricorn Singapore Science Park II Singapore 117528 Tel (65) 6395-7575 Fax (65) 6536-2972 HONG KONG Ms Carol Cheng TTG Travel Awards 2011 TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd Inc 11 F ING Tower No. 308 Des Voeux Road Central Hong Kong Tel (852) 2237-7272 Fax (852) 2806-0646 TRAVEL SERVICES 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. Best Airport Best GDS Best Cruise Operator Best NTO Best Theme Attraction VOTER INFORMATION Name Job title Address Country Telephone no. Email Passport no. Company Fax no. Signature Closing Date 12th August 2011 VOTING FORM B TRAVEL AGENT AWARDS Do refer to the voting criteria on the facing page when casting your vote Voting Rules 1. Only one voting entry per person is allowed using the voting form or online voting. 2. All votes are confidential. 3. Voting forms are published in TTG print titles and are available online at ttg-awards. 4. No responsibility will be accepted by the organisers for voting forms lost delayed or damaged in the post. 5. There are no pre-nominated contenders for any voting awards. 6. The results for TTG Travel Awards 2011 are final and no correspondence will be entertained. 7. Voting forms will be independently tabulated and evaluated by an independent auditor in Singapore. 8. The closing date is 12th August 2011 For voting by Hoteliers Airline staff Car rental companies Cruise operators National Tourism Organisations GDS companies All other travel professionals (except Travel agents Tour operators and Destination Management Companies) You Can Also Vote Online Now ttg-awards Organisation Country 52. Best Travel Agency Australia 53. Best Travel Agency China 54. Best Travel Agency Chinese Taipei 55. Best Travel Agency Hong Kong 56. Best Travel Agency India 57. Best Travel Agency Indonesia 58. Best Travel Agency Indochina (Cambodia Laos Vietnam) 59. Best Travel Agency Japan 60. Best Travel Agency Malaysia 61. Best Travel Agency Singapore 62. Best Travel Agency South Korea 63. Best Travel Agency Thailand 64. Best Travel Agency The Philippines 65. Best Corporate Travel Agency 66. Best Online Travel Agent Submission Completed voting forms are to be returned to SINGAPORE Ms Lina Tan TTG Travel Awards 2011 TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd 1 Science Park Road 04-07 The Capricorn Singapore Science Park II Singapore 117528 Tel (65) 6395-7575 Fax (65) 6536-2972 HONG KONG Ms Carol Cheng TTG Travel Awards 2011 TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd Inc 11 F ING Tower No. 308 Des Voeux Road Central Hong Kong Tel (852) 2237-7272 Fax (852) 2806-0646 VOTER INFORMATION Name Job title Address Country Telephone no. Email Passport no. Company Fax no. Signature Closing Date 12th August 2011 TRAVEL AWARDS 2011 Vote Now TRAVEL SUPPLIER AWARDS Airline Awards 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. Best North American Airline Best European Airline Best Middle Eastern Airline Best South Asian Airline Best South-east Asian Airline Best North Asian Airline Best China Airline Best Pacific Airline Best Regional Airline Best Asian Low-Cost Carrier RESORTS Individual Property 35. Best Beach Resort 36. Best Resort Hotel (Non-Beach) 37. Best New Beach Resort 38. Best Integrated Resort SERVICED RESIDENCES 39. Best Serviced Residence Operator SPAS 40. Best Spa Operator BT-MICE Awards 41. Best Airline Business Class 42. Best Business Hotel 43. Best Meetings & Conventions Hotel 44. Best BT-MICE City 45. Best Convention & Exhibition Centre 46. Best Convention & Exhibition Bureau Hotels Resorts Serviced Residences Spa Awards HOTEL Chains 11. Best Global Hotel Chain 12. Best Regional Hotel Chain 13. Best Local Hotel Chain 14 Best Hotel Representation Company 15. Best Luxury Hotel Brand 16. Best Mid-range Hotel Brand 17. Best Budget Hotel Brand HOTELS Individual Property 18. Best Luxury Hotel 19. Best Mid-range Hotel 20. Best Budget Hotel 21. Best Independent Hotel 22. Best Boutique Hotel 23. Best City Hotel Bangkok 24. Best City Hotel Delhi 25. Best City Hotel Hanoi Ho Chi Minh City 26. Best City Hotel Jakarta 27. Best City Hotel Kuala Lumpur 28. Best City Hotel Manila 29. Best City Hotel Seoul 30. Best City Hotel Singapore 31. Best City Hotel Taipei 32. Best City Hotel Tokyo 33. Best New City Hotel 34. Best Airport Hotel Travel Services Awards 47. 48. 49. 50. 51. Best Airport Best GDS Best Cruise Operator Best NTO Best Theme Attraction TRAVEL AGENT AWARDS 52. 53. 54. 55. 56. 57. 58. 59. 60. 61. 62. 63. 64. 65. 66. Australia China Chinese Taipei Hong Kong India Indochina (Cambodia Laos Vietnam) Best Travel Agency Indonesia Best Travel Agency Japan Best Travel Agency Malaysia Best Travel Agency Singapore Best Travel Agency South Korea Best Travel Agency Thailand Best Travel Agency The Philippines Best Corporate Travel Agency Best Online Travel Agent Best Travel Agency Best Travel Agency Best Travel Agency Best Travel Agency Best Travel Agency Best Travel Agency ttg-awards Organised by Supported by Tip SheeT Columnist Shekhar Niyogi JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 15 Making employees a top priority The travel industry goes through various changes whether seasonal or unforeseen. Products become obsolete and new destinations emerge as do fresh client categories. Unexpected deterrents like SARS and avian flu wreak havoc on business projections. Through all the uncertainties however there is one redeeming constant good employees. This is the human capital that forms the crux of agency operations. We need to nurture and retain this talent pool to maintain the well-being of our businesses through thick and thin. Compared to people numbercrunching and profit projections are easier to handle as they are inanimate. But successfully training motivating and retaining people is a task that does not need to be daunting. In fact emphasis must be placed on recruitment criteria from the very beginning. What is the purpose of recruiting the person you are interviewing Are responsibilities clearly defined Things have to be clear. If there is ambiguity it signals to the new employee that no definite role is seen for him and he may only have been hired as a stop-gap measure. Worse it may affect performance evaluation. This may lead to insecurity and job-hopping. Even if the hiring is done at the managerial level cross-disciplinary orientation and training should be properly structured. A psychological evaluation through basic human resource testing processes should also be a must. The employee s ability to handle inbound and outbound transactions ticketing luxury clients and or MICE business must be carefully assessed. The agency can then devote its training resources for each new recruit in a streamlined manner for maximum results. There are areas that require greater adaptability to change. One is new technology where efficiency will necessitate more complex business analytics and focus on virtual working colof required competencies and leadership capabilities. Lastly there are social trends where diminishing trust in big businesses and institutions and growing faith in medium-sized enterprises will cause more talented people to work in startups putting an emphasis on the ecosystem of talent. It is crucial for companies to be prepared for these changes. They can do this by continuously monitoring the areas they believe could impact personnel development and examining their employees capabilities to match emerging trends. Out of all the areas that are imperative for future-prooffuture-proof ing the most important are working across boundaries in the company inter-generational cohesion managing virtual teams and preparing for a low profit margin and higher volume future. Mentoring within the organisation should also be given due credence. More experienced employees can help nurture talent and build human resource for greater responsibilities. Sharing of experiences and methodology used in trouble-shooting however orthodox or innovative can be pearls of wisdom for emerging leaders in the organisation. Maslow s hierarchy of needs clearly demonstrates the need of the individual s motivation for power and achievement. Incentives for performance and growth need not be monetary if the remuneration paid is at par with industry norms. A birthday party surprise gifts and special mention in company meetings are ways you can make the employee feel special. While we look at growth and all its parameters we should never forget that people make it happen. Only good people are constant the rest is always variable. Shekhar Niyogi was executive director of Travelcorp India. He is now TTG Asia Media s chief correspondent - India based in Kolkata. While we look at growth we should never forget that people make it happen. laboration and innovation. Another is the impact of globalisation where emerging markets will catalyse the need to create new talent pools provided that the educational capacity of that country allows for creation Case study Go Vacation Thailand invests in all-in-one it solution country s top five inbound operators with eight domestic offices and about 300 employees. It services more than 200 000 travellers annually from the REWE Group and other accounts from Europe the US the Middle East Asia and South Africa. The company turned into a regional player following the joint-venture establishments of Go Vacation Indonesia in 2007 and Go Vacation Sri Lanka in 2010. It has also diversified its business by forming a dedicated groups and events department in 2009 which includes cruise accounts. Why Mueller said the company had initially considered Thailand-based travel software providers but decided on Illusions Online due to its track record despite its substantially higher fees. Established in 1997 Illusions Online has provided software solutions to some 25 large-scale tourism enterprises such as New York-based New World Travel also part of the REWE Group. Illusions Online CEO Faisal Memon said the new software solution would give Go Vacation Thailand a higher-functioning single platform allowing the tour operator to be more productive increasing revenue while reducing manpower cost. target Go Vacation Thailand hopes this will help it expand customer volume and give it access to new B2B clients. Said Mueller We hope our business will increase by 20 per cent after one year of operating under the new travel technology. sirima eamtako Singapore Gifts & Stationery Show 17-19 August 2011 Sands Expo and Convention Center Level 1 Hall B Another 1st by SGSS Organizing Team Since 2005 Complimentary Marketing Talks Come and enrich your mindset with these various topics Discount Coupons Marketing Business Killer or Killer Business Develop an Effective Customer - Centric Strategy Effective Mobile Marketing Strategies Getting it right - Marketing in the Mobile Space Improving Cash Flow - Complexity to Simplicity Improving Profit - Complexity to Simplicity rand The Invisible Brand Value ross The Art of Gift Giving In A Cross Cultural Environment Think Smart Work Smart Turnaround A Failing Business d Complexity to Simplicity mplexity What Bangkok-based Go Vacation Thailand has commissioned Dubai-based Illusions Online to provide a one-stop travel technology to replace the four software solutions used for its business operations. We have decided to invest in new travel technology because we need to move on said managing director Christoph Mueller. The solution for its in-house system for instance has been in use for 13 years he added. The tour operator is currently implementing the technology which will go live from November. We are starting to input information without compromising our business opportunities. For example we have 1 700 hotel contracts and these must remain available to our clients at all times said Mueller. Bali-based Go Vacation Indonesia is set to implement the system early next year while a decision has yet to be made whether Colombo-based Go Vacation Sri Lanka will follow suit. Who Part of the German REWE Group Go Vacation Thailand is one of the Pre-register online now w y to enjoy these complimentary marketing talks Mark your C calendar Contact Us For More Information Call 65 6395 7573 o gsshow. Email info gssh info Visit Organised by Supported by Media Partners Watch out for our next or next x advertisement for more a updates and information up Midscale Budget Brands India s affordable hotels Marriott Wyndham Midscale brand Days Hotel How Joint venture with IHG Midscale brand Holiday Inn New to India Midscale brand Fairfield by Marriott How Joint venture with New Delhi hotel and investment company Samhi Hotels. Marriott currently holds a 30 per cent stake. Description Mid-tier hotel with business and meeting facilties. This is a new prototype designed specifically for the growing Indian business traveller segment. First Fairfield by Marriott to open By 2012. Target Fifteen by 2015. Remarks With a burgeoning Mighty Developers and Yogi Properties for two Neemrana hotels in Jaipur Shradha Agarwal Hotels for Days Hotel Asansol and Mosaic Infraventures for Days Hotel in Raipur. Description Offers good value bed-and-breakfast service. First Days Hotel to open Express How InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) signed a 20-year contract with Duet India Hotels Group to develop and manage Holiday Inn Express. Description Limited-service Holiday Inns. First Holiday Inn Express to open By mid-2011. Target Nineteen Holiday Inn middle class of more than 200 million people yet with very few branded moderatetier hotels to serve them India presents a powerful growth opportunity for Fairfield by Marriott. Navjit Ahluwalia senior vice president of development in India Marriott International Days Hotel Neemrana in Jaipur in March 2011. Target Four by 2013. Days Hotel Neemrana Sahil Square is to open in January 2012 and Days Hotel Asansol is to open in March 2013. Remarks India remains a market where there is great potential for growth. The addition of these hotels highlights our commitment to the Asia-Pacific region. Ken Greene president and managing director AsiaPacific Wyndham Hotel Group Express hotels in five years. Remarks With strong economic growth and an expanding middle class in India we forecast strong future demand for midmarket and select-service hotels cementing Holiday Inn Express position as one of the fastestgrowing brands in the hotel industry. Richard Solomons CFO and head of commercial development InterContinental Hotels Group 1 The Cocktail Reception of BEST WESTERN PLUS Launching 2 3 Bangkok Thailand June 9-10 2011 at TTM 2011 Exhibition Hall IMPACT Muang Thong Thani Launching the first of the new BEST WESTERN PLUS BEST WESTERN PLUS 20 Sukhumvit boasts a hip and lifestyle-oriented atmosphere in the great location of Bangkok s downtown around Sukhumvit and Asoke Roads. The 78-room boutiquestyle property is a chic and exciting hotel choice for both business and leisure travellers. 1. Left to right above Phakphisut Karcharoen of BWI Asia & Middle East Head Office. Pawita Yamsuk Contract Manager of TEZTOUR Co. Ltd. Seated from left to right Pichai Visutriratana Director of Le Murraya Resort Samui. Sabine Hunke Group & Events Manager of Go Vacation Thailand 2. From left to right Sirivimol Duanglaithong Business Development Manager and Stephen Morton Publisher Editor in Chief of eGlobal Travel Media & Distribution Services and guest 3. From left to right Betty Pongstaporn Communications Executive BWI Asia & Middle East Head Office and Sirima Eamtako Bureau Chief Thailand Vietnam Cambodia Myanmar & Laos TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd 4. From left to right Sorathep Rojpotjanaruch Chief Operating Officer of Buddy Group Thailand. Suthon Wuthikate Strategic Market Manager of Orbitz Worldwide. Michael Long General Manager of BEST WESTERN PLUS 20 Sukhumvit. 5. Far right Kim Martin Rasmussen Travel & Product Manager of Visit Beyond and guests. 4 5 PG 16 Best Western Cocktail Ad.indd 1 XXXXXXXXXX JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 17 JUNE 24 30 2011 TTG ASIA 17 Additions expansions by major brands affirm market s importance. By Anand and Madhura Katti Best Western Carlson & Suites By Carlson with a new version of the brand specifically developed for India. How The expansion will be managed through Country Development and Management Services (CDMS) a joint venture between Carlson and Chanakya hotels. Description Residential design and friends hosting friends culture. To open Five are scheduled for 2011 in Delhi Mussoorie Gurgaon Ajmer and Mysore. Target From 11 to 50 over nine years. Remarks The midscale market in India represents a significant opportunity and Carlson is pleased to be able to grow its Country Inns & Suites By Carlson brand in this market through its strategic partnership in CDMS. KB Kachru executive vice president Carlson Hotels South Asia Midscale brand Country Inns Sarovar Premiere Park Plaza are upmarket mid-segment hotels. Sarovar Portico Park Inn are mid-segment threestar hotels. How Self-owned or joint ventures with other companies. Description Sarovar Hotels & Resorts has a diverse portfolio that may vary by type size and market. To open Four hotels already launched. Plans to open six more in the next few months. Target A 100-hotel portfolio by 2020. There are 54 Sarovar hotels and 25 projects are in various stages of development. Remarks The mid-market segment continues to grow in India with maximum growth in the budget and nofrills segment across metros non-metros and smaller cities. Anil Madhok managing director Sarovar Hotels & Resorts Midscale brand Sarovar Midscale brand Aloft How Partnership with Starwood Urbanedge Hotels a joint venture between Citigroup Property Investors and Auromatrix Hotels. Description A sleek modern and youthful alternative to traditional lodging. The select-service brand aims to deliver style at a steal to design-savvy travellers. To open In Ahmedabad Coimbatore and Chandigarh in 2011. Target See remarks below by Sheraton How Four Points by Sheraton Pune is owned by Duet India Hotels. Four Points by Sheraton Vishakapatnam is owned by Vishnupriya Hotels & Resorts. Both are managed by JHM Interstate Hotels for Pune Hotels. Description Uncomplicated comfort with simple pleasures such as free Internet. Opened In Pune (February 2011) and Vishakapatnam (March 2011). Target See remarks below Midscale brand Four Points Pride Hotels business hotels across the country. Description India s successful midscale business hotel brand provides comfortable three-star accommodations at prices below US 100. To open In Kolkata in September 2011 and in Delhi in March 2012. The Pride Hotels in Goa and Alibagh will open in 2013. Target To have 20 hotels by 2015 up from the current 10 hotels with 1 200 rooms. Remarks Mid-range hotels are positioned in such a way that they ll always be in demand. Our hotels will serve the purpose. We re successful in managing the brand on our own and will continue to do so. SP Jain managing director Pride Hotels Midscale brand The Pride How Pride Hotels manages Expanding in India national appointed Cabana Hotels as master franchise in India in 2007 to operate properties under the Best Western brands. Description Midscale hotels promising value for a clean comfortable stay. To open In Navi Mumbai Bhubaneshwar Bengaluru Hyderabad and Puri. Target To have 29 hotels with 2 416 rooms by end-2011 up from the current 18. Remarks We have signed for 11 hotels and these are in different stages of completion. These will start opening in the next three months to two years time. The long-term plan is that in the next seven years we want to operate 100 hotels in India aggregating to about 10 000 rooms. Sudhir Sinha president and COO Best Western India Midscale brand Best Western How Best Western Inter- Remarks Starwood is very bullish about the growth of the Four Points and Aloft brands in India. We operate these hotels using the franchise as well as management platform. These brands have already become developers darlings as they are efficient to build and operate thereby providing incremental returns to owners. Going forward we expect these two brands to contribute approximately 30 per cent of our total portfolio in India by 2015. We will grow these brands in tier-one and tier-two markets as well as in selective tierthree locations. Dilip Puri managing director India and regional vice president South Asia Starwood Asia-Pacific Hotels & Resorts Special ibis Feature ibis Singapore Puts the Cool in BenCOOLen Accor Expands Footprint in Malaysia Indonesia Singapore Puneet Dhawan General Manager at Le Bar with an iPad and TTG awards. Half Page (Horizonal) 5column (236mm) x 180mm Why the Trade is So Important At the Forefront of Technology Hong Kong Briefing The city s summer promotions aim to encourage even more retail spending Brimming with hope Tourism is thriving as the city continues to benefit from its region s growth. By Prudence Lui Arrivals Emerging from yet another year of record tourism numbers Hong Kong s visitor arrival figures for January to April continued their upward march reaching 13.1 million up 14.4 per cent compared to the same period last year. Top five source markets remained the same with China dominating the scene followed by Taiwan Japan the US and South Korea. The Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) expects 2011 arrivals to hit 39.7 million a 10 per cent year-on-year increase. Further latest statistics show Total Tourism Expenditure Associated to Inbound Tourism in 2010 achieved a historic high of HK 210 billion (US 27 billion) 32.7 per cent more than in 2009. HKTB is pushing out its summer promotions to Asian markets hoping to stimulate spending through a collaboration with Visa International for spend-to-win programmes. Riding on the peak season of family travel it is also introducing a McDull Family Fun programme covering children s attractions and activities. Tech-savvy travellers can also avail of the Discover- NTO HongKong Mobile App Series which the NTO partnered Cathay Pacific to launch last month. The apps use augmented reality technology to help visitors find tourist information near their location with their smartphone s camera function. Emerging markets like the Middle East will also get more attention in the year ahead with the newly launched direct flight to Abu Dhabi by Cathay Pacific earlier this month. A spokesperson said HKTB would increase its investment in the GCC region focusing on Riyadh and Jeddah. Travel missions for the Hong Kong trade will also be organised next January. Closer home the NTO will soon open its own branch in major source market Taiwan where it now only has a representative office. Hotels For the first four months of this year average occupancy and rate stood at 88 per cent and HK 1 335 respectively up from 85 per cent and HK 1 139 during the same period in 2010. New openings include The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong and The Best Western Hotel Causeway Bay. Rates are still very expensive but boutique hotels have become popular alternatives. Hopefully more hotels will also be added on outlying islands to give visitors a better experience. Lucy Jackson Director Lightfoot Travel which specialises in tailormade luxury tours The city has also been trying to sell its green attractions in recent years and now has its first National Geopark hotel. L hotel Island South s series of Geoparkthemed packages include a StayDine-Tour offer at HK 888 for group purchase. Staff have relevant knowledge and rocks and fossils are also incorporated into the hotel s interiors. New supply up until 2016 will mostly be midscale boutiquestyle properties with under 300 rooms. More non-CBD locations are also starting to make the list. According to HKTB data there are a total of 54 new hotels with 10 223 rooms confirmed (see story on page 19). ung Taiwan and several Chinese cities beginning March 27. Macau-Hong Kong sea links are also being given a boost. The Premier Jetfoil by TurboJET added four sailings between the cities from May (now 20 a day) while the Hong Kong North West Express launched a ferry service from Tuen Mun on April 15. This new connection with eight daily sailings gives residents in New Territories West an alternative to Tsim Sha Tsui and Sheung Wan departures. HKTB chairman James Tien expects to continue to grow MICE arrivals this year having seen a 20 per cent increase in 2010. Some 1.6 million visitors are slated to come 12 per cent more than last year. He said We can expect many more MICE activities in Hong Kong this year and next with at least 315 conventions and exhibitions already confirmed. Among these are the SIGGRAPH Asia 2011 that will attract about 6 000 participants and the FDI World Dental Federation Annual World Dental Congress 2012 which will bring an additional 12 000 MICE visitors. MICE Access MIAT Mongolian Airlines commenced twice-weekly services between Hong Kong and Ulaanbaatar on June 2. Meanwhile applications from Air Philippines and South Korea s Jin Air to operate scheduled flights to Hong Kong from July are being processed. More capacity is also coming into the market. Finnair is adding five flights per week to Hong Kong (now 12) from May 30 to October 9 while Dragonair increased frequencies for Kaohsi- JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 19 Finding the rooms the city needs More hotels and apartments are being built but the economy segment is still underserved reports Prudence Lui Given another record year of visitor arrivals in 2010 can the city s hotel supply keep up The industry anticipates more growth this year with hotels asking for double-digit increases in rates. According to the Hong Kong Tourism Board (HKTB) average room rate for the first four months of 2011 stood at HK 1 335 (US 170) a 17.2 per cent jump compared to the corresponding period in 2010. Average occupancy also went up from 85 to 88 per cent year-on-year. Based on statistics from the Hong Kong Hotels Association (HKHA) hotel supply is projected to grow by 7.1 per cent in 2011 but only by 4.2 per cent in 2012. HKTB however expects arrivals to increase by 10 per cent this year to 39.7 million. What seems like an insufficient supply has caused agents to fear that rates will skyrocket even as they lament their lack of bargaining power. Towa Tours head of project and business development Rosanna Leung said Rates are so high. There is no 1 group rate if we ask for an allotment of 20 rooms and only FIT rate is available. What kind of hotels does Hong Kong need Vigor Tours assistant general manager Edward Chan said more hotels of the three- and four-star variety were required. These categories are always full and both mainland Chinese groups and Indian travellers patronise them. From January to April average occupancy for Medium Tariff hotels (the lowest of three categories) reached 92 per cent (it was 89 per cent for the same period last year) whereas High Tariff A hotels had an 83 per cent occupancy up from 79 per cent in 2010. HKHA executive director James Lu said (The shortages) are mostly in lower-category hotels because the increase in visitors to Hong Kong are dominated by lower-budget visitors. He felt there was no shortage of rooms for business guests although such a problem occasionally occurs during peak periods. Lower-end demand 2 The average occupancy of Medium Tariff hotels for the first four months 92 3 Despite the limited number of rooms are there more accommodation options now New hotels are starting to open outside the CBD. These include the 258-room L hotel Kowloon Bay (Q1 2012) 380-room Cosmopolitan Kowloon in Kwun Tong (Q2 2012) 560-room Cosmopolitan Kwai Chung (Q4 2012) and 535-room Park Plaza Hotel in Sha Tin (May 2012). The four-star L hotel Island South also opened its doors in Aberdeen last year. General man- ager Sylvia Chung said The biggest challenge is to build awareness of our location and the transportation network. However Vigor Tours Chan said the non-CBD address was not an issue. For us agents it s good because this means alternative options with lower cost. L hotel Island South is popular with group tours because of its lower room rate. Groups are mostly travelling on coach buses that provide door-to-door pickup anyway. He pointed out that other upand-coming non-CBD locations were Kowloon Bay Kwun Tong and Tseung Kwan O. 4 What about hotels for business travellers and FITs In April boutique property Hotel de EDGE opened in Sheung Wan while within a month global brand Oakwood entered the market with serviced apartments in Mid-Levels East. ONYX s select service hotel OZO will also debut in late 2012 in Admiralty. Homegrown Butterfly Boutique Hotels executive director and group general manager Bill Chan said With the land supply constraint in the city it is almost impossible to have a site that is large enough to build a hotel with several hundred rooms. Boutique hotels are one of the best solutions. Increasingly travellers whether for business or leisure prefer boutique hotels for their attention to detail and personal service. He added his three boutique properties which have emerged over the years since 2008 have been running at 99 per cent occupancy for months. Agents also welcomed the arrival of two dedicated training hotels in the first half of 2011. Targeting the business crowd the 262-room Hotel ICON in Tsim Sha Tsui comes under the umbrella of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University while the 30-key T-Hotel in Pok Fu Lam is managed by Hong Kong s Hospitality Industry Training and Development Centre. PG 19 Regal Airport Hotel Ad.indd 1 16 6 11 3 54 PM Hong Kong insider Test drive Checking in JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 20 Panda keeper for a day gHa s loyalty member programme lets Prudence Lui get up-close and personal with cuddly creatures WHY In competitive Hong Kong Marco Polo Hotels is the only external partner of Ocean Park s popular Honorary Pandas Keeper Programme. The chain is part of the Global Hotel Alliance (GHA) Discovery loyalty scheme which aims to reward members with local experiences. Aside from the rare chance of meeting the two giant pandas the GHA Discovery programme also allows members to train the red panda the giant panda s smaller distant cousin. This is not normally included under Ocean Park s regular programme. WHAT There is one session per day held from 08.00 to 10.00 which can only take in four participants. I was given a briefing on general safety as well as an overview on pandas. To prepare me for my panda-keeping duties I was then made to don a beige jumpsuit. I sliced some apples and skewered these with wooden sticks. Inside the panda enclosure I had to arrange bamboo leaves and hide the fruit sticks in various locations so the giant panda would be encouraged to look for the food. The highlight of my visit however was walking the red panda Chung Chung. With the guidance of assistant trainer Sharon Law I led Chung Chung along rewarding him with a small snack every few steps. I eventually got the chance to interact with him more closely. It was exhilarating and it really made my day. HOW This experience can be redeemed by all Black level GHA Discovery members and must be must be booked in conjunction with a reservation at the associated hotel. Given the programme s limitations members are advised to book at least two weeks in advance through the GHA website. The redemption voucher is electronically sent. VERDICT A unique experience that is both educational and entertaining. Name GHA Discovery Local Experiences Honorary Pandas Keeper Programme Rate Ocean Park s usual Honorary Pandas Keeper Programme is at HK 980 (US 126) per person Contact details Tel (852) 2113-0888 Email ghadiscoverygtw Name The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong No. of rooms 312 Rate From HK 6 000 (US 770) for a deluxe room (2011 rack rate) Contact details Tel (852) 2263-2263 Email rc.hkgkw.leads one can sip a cup of the finest selections while enjoying a live band performance. Be prepared to queue as it is quite packed in the afternoons. Ozone on the top-most floor of the hotel is said to be the highest bar in the world. Here one can order an exotic spread of Asian tapas and Japanese specialties while listening to DJs playing beats in the background. FACILITIES All of the hotel s meeting facilities a 705m2 ballroom and four meeting rooms are on the third and eighth floors respectively. Leveraging on its prime location and brand name the hotel has become a hotspot for weddings and social events with currently more than 70 bookings. Also not to be missed are the indoor infinity swimming pool and the fitness centre located on the 118th floor. SERVICE The hotel group s motto We are ladies and gentlemen serving ladies and gentlemen was easily felt throughout. When I visited the 24-hour club lounge at 22.40 and asked for a local newspaper there was none left. Five minutes later I was provided with a copy. I was also given the same newspaper each day during the rest of my stay. VERDICT Spectacular views and the signature Ritz-Carlton experience made this hotel experience enjoyable. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel returns triumphantly as the tallest in the world after a two-year absence writes Prudence Lui LOCATION The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong occupies the 102nd to 118th floors of the International Commerce Centre overlooking the West Kowloon district. Sitting atop the Kowloon Station of the Airport Express it only takes 20 minutes to get from the Hong Kong International Airport to the hotel. The MTR s Tung Chung Line and the Western Harbour Tunnel also provide easy access to Hong Kong Island. The five-minute walk from the MTR station to the the hotel was a pleasant one. Elements Mall which was on the way was brimming with designer shops and trendy dining outlets. The West Kowloon area will be experiencing massive development in the next five to 10 years as a high-speed rail terminal and the long-awaited cultural district will be just a stone s throw away. The Ritz-Carlton s dedicated hotel entrance at the podium floor is stylish with an unrivalled view of Victoria Harbour. ROOMS Every room at this hotel has breathtaking vantages of Victoria Harbour Hong Kong Island Kowloon Peninsula the New Territories as well as Lantau Island depending on its location. I checked in at the 50m2 Club Harbour Island room on the 113rd floor. The room had Wi-Fi access an iPod docking station a Blu-Ray DVD player and a flatscreen TV. I particularly liked the big writing desk and the ergonomic chair. The tech-savvy traveller would be happy to know that the room has many power sockets. I also enjoyed sitting on the couch near the floor-to-ceiling windows which overlooked Fragrant Harbour. F&B The hotel has six dining venues starting from the 102nd floor with both the Italian restaurant Tosca and Chinese restaurant Lung Heen already fullybooked until mid-July. The Lounge and Bar on the 102nd floor has become a hip venue for afternoon tea where T u Fo r nk Yo ha All Your Support Visual Stimulation 702 Tastefully Designed Guestrooms & Suites Stunning Outdoor Swimming Pool & Well-equipped Fitness Centre Alfresco Bar & Dining Large Indoor & Outdoor Multi-function space Perfect for Business & Leisure Travellers PG 20 Harbour Plaza Ad.indd 1 Asia s Only Doublebill Event M.I.C.E. Corporate Travel ASIA WINNINGAND BEYOND Asia-Pacific s Premier MICE and Corporate Travel Event The 19th IT&CMA and 14th CTW Asia-Pacific 4 to 6 October 2011 Bangkok Convention Centre at CentralWorld Bangkok Thailand High Buyer to Exhibitor Ratio 1.6 buyers 1 exhibiting company 50% of buyers were new to the show New Participants More than 50% of exhibitors expect to receive orders in the next 6 to 12 months ranging from US 250 000 to above US 500 000 Quality Participants Meet buyers from 54 countries and exhibitors from 40 countries all in one convenient venue Up to 84% of exhibitors pledged to return Around the World in 3 Days High Level of Satisfaction As always the event has surpassed my expectations I ve renewed contacts & it s really a perfect way for networking & learning the latest industry trends & news. Leah Villarta Co-ordinator & Exec Asst Robert Bosch Inc This year packed in both days full with appointments. Jacob Abraham Van Hal European Marketing Director S.T Tours (1996) European Branch I was able to extend our contacts from all over the world. Am satisfied with the opportunity to promote our properties. Christine Kim JW Marriott Seoul R EGISTE R ONLINE ORGANISED BY SUPPORTED BY Exhibitors Buyers Media Corporate Travel Managers Conference Delegates OFFICIAL AIRLINE OFFICIAL VENUE HOST COUNTRY india Briefing insider Albert Hall in Jaipur which can be used as a performance venue A stronger presence Jaipur s infrastructure is improving and hotels are striving to grow rates. By S Puvaneswary NTO The number of foreign tourists to Rajasthan grew by 12.1 per cent to 1 278 523 in 2010. The top five foreign arrival markets were France Germany the UK the US and Italy. A number of initiatives are underway to maintain these healthy arrival figures. This includes a drive by the state tourism department to book touts who are repeat offenders under the law. Infrastructure is also a priority with some five million rupees (US 111 000) being spent on development in eight villages this year. This is part of the state s efforts to develop rural tourism said G S Gangwal deputy director Rajasthan Tourism. MICE is also on the agenda with a particular focus on increasing the appeal of key cities such as Jaipur Jodhpur and Udaipur. By 2013 Jaipur is set to offer the biggest conference facilities in the state when a convention centre with a capacity for 5 000 people will be completed at the Sitapura Industrial area. This will eclipse the existing BM Birla Auditorium & Convention Centre Jaipur which can seat 1 350 people in its auditorium. Another niche segment that has become popular is marriage tourism due to the state s affordable accommodation said Gangwal. There are approximately 20 000 hotel rooms in the three- to five-star categories with an additional eight hotels set to open over the next year. This will increase the total room inventory by 2 500 rooms. Marriott Jaipur opened in mid-May with 365 rooms including 15 suites and one presidential suite. The five-star deluxe property is located close to the airport. Meeting space includes two ballrooms nine break-out rooms four meeting rooms and a lawn to accommodate 1 000 people. The upcoming Fairmont Jaipur the group s first hotel in India is scheduled to open by the year-end. Along with 238 rooms it will offer five meeting rooms and 5 500m2 of conference facilities. The Lalit Jaipur located in the business district of Malviya Nagar will also open later in the year. It will have 229 keys including 28 designer suites and 59 luxury rooms with club facilities. In addition the venue will have over 1 900m2 of conference and banquet facilities. Hotels Rates there are no calamities in India rates in Jaipur will go back to pre-recession levels he said. There is a mismatch of supply and demand in Jaipur which has resulted in more competition and price wars among hotels. We need to look for new markets. Shailesh Joshi General manager Golden Tulip Jaipur An oversupply of rooms has caused a price war among hotels in Jaipur with rates falling by 20 to 25 per cent among three- to five-star hotels. Golden Tulip Jaipur general manager Shailesh Joshi said When five-star properties drop their rates this puts pressure on the four- and three-star properties to drop theirs as well. However he explained that Golden Tulip had managed to sustain rack rates of US 50 to US 75 by targeting increased corporate business. Going forward inbound agents are split over the likely impact of Jaipur s increasing hotel inventory and growing MICE facilities. SITA general manager Rajasthan Sanjay Sharma said that rates would be dropping further Business will improve but rates are uncertain to go up. Khan however believes that the new hotels will create greater awareness and in turn increase demand allowing rates to go up. Creative Travel senior manager Lalit Bhatt is also optimistic. By winter 2012 provided that Access Sanganer Airport became India s 14th international airport when it received international airport status in December 2006. International carriers that operate to Jaipur include Oman Air which flies from Muscat to Jaipur daily AirArabia which flies direct six times weekly between Sharjah and Jaipur and Air India which flies from Jaipur to Dubai via Delhi once a week and daily from Jaipur to Dubai via Mumbai. Air India Express flies between Jaipur and Delhi thrice weekly. Rail connectivity in the Golden Triangle (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur) is also set to improve. The railway budget for 2011 to 2012 has provisions for the introduction of new services including doubledecker air-conditioned trains on the Jaipur-Delhi and Jaipur-Agra Shatabdi routes. Meanwhile road accessibility within the Golden Triangle will see improvement once expansion work is completed on the JaipurDelhi and Jaipur-Agra highways at the end of the year. JUNE 24 30 2011 ttg asia 23 Checking in Hotel Mansingh Jaipur S Puvaneswary gauges if the second-oldest hotel in Jaipur has still got it LOCATION It is only 14km from Jaipur International Airport but it took the taxi slightly more than half an hour to reach the hotel the speedometer never went past 50km. Cars motorcycles and auto rickshaws shared the road with bullock carts camel riders and a man leading a colourfully dressed horse to some unknown destination. Welcome to India I thought. Located about half a kilometre from the city centre a rickshaw to the popular Johri Bazaar costs about 100 rupees (US 2) by taxi. ROOMS The selling point of this hotel is definitely the service rather than the view. From my third-floor room I could see the backstreet from one window and the busy Sansar Chandra Road from the other. At night this road proved to be more than just an eyesore with my attempts at sleeping punctuated by the loud horns of passing vehicles. My roommate however slept soundly. Even so I d recommend requesting a room on a higher floor which may hopefully offer some relief from the street noise. Within the room there is a compact and strategically placed study desk near the large windows facing the backstreet. Wi-Fi in the room costs 300 rupees for an hour and 600 rupees for 24 hours. For relaxation there is a 32inch Samsung LCD television equipped with more than 20 channels. F&B The food here is superb. Ripples is a 24-hour coffee house that serves Indian buffet for lunch and dinner. It was quite empty when I had dinner there on my first night but this only meant that I enjoyed the full attention of the waiter who kept refilling my water glass and served me freshlycooked naan bread. GO GREEN WITH BEST WESTERN The restaurant s breakfast spread is a combination of the usual Continental fare along with a wide selection of Indian dishes. Hightz is a fine-dining restaurant open for dinner only serving a variety of classic Indian cuisine and selected Continental and Chinese fare while guests can also opt to dine at The Garden Court located across the road at Mansingh Hotel s sister property Mansingh Towers. FACILITIES There is a wellequipped albeit slightly gloomy gym while the swimming pool is in an open-air area on the ground floor. Swasti spa offers both Indian traditional massage treatments as well as European massages. For groups yoga classes are ofof fered on request and take place by the spacious poolside area. For meetings the hotel has a Name Hotel Mansingh Jaipur No. of rooms 106 Rates From 8 000 rupees (US 179) for a single room and 9 000 rupees for a double room (not inclusive of 10 per cent luxury tax) Contact details Tel (911-41) 237-8771 Email sales.jpr boardroom that can fit 25 people while two banquet facilities can accommodate up to 320. SERVICE Great. Like the food this is where the hotel really excels. The chef frequently enquired whether the food was to my liking. Housekeeping also always promptly responded to requests. VERdICT Excellent hospitality and good location but on my next trip here I ll definitely book a room on the highest level. As The World s Largest Hotel Chain Best Western thrives on diversity. We encourage hotels to go green in the way that works best for their markets and customers. As a result Best Western properties do everything from having in-room recycle bins and linen re-use programs to geothermal and solar-powered hotels that actually sell power back to the grid. Currently every hotel in North America is required to have a green program in place. This could be anything from using recycled paper and installing low-flow shower heads to full participation with national or international eco-labeling programs. The brand provides tools and training to support these efforts. Here are a few examples International was the first mid-scale hotel brand to partner with ENERGY STAR to provide member hotels with the resources and tools to help them capitalize on the benefits of reduced energy consumption. environmentally-friendly guestrooms design prototype which uses environmentallyfriendly materials. development prototype that allows developers to build an upper midscale property on a compact two-acre site. Best Western holds workshops and webinars for hotel owners and staff to share how-to s and best practices for going green as well as meeting various environmental certification programs. The green practice doesn t apply only to Best Western hotels. The corporate offices worldwide have made a concerted effort to reduce reuse and recycle. A Green Task Force was formed and charged with promoting green best practices to our employees and implementing practical environmentally-friendly solutions. Some of the corporate efforts and initiatives include Replacement of inefficient lighting and installment of energy efficient appliances. In addition Best Western has engaged employees to turn off lights and electric appliances when not in use. green initiatives such as Light for the Blind Mangroves Forestation etc. Best Western takes sustainability and environmental responsibility seriously. Since energysaving efforts began Best Western has now saved nearly 1.4 million KwH of electricity and the effort continues throughout over 4 000 Best Western locations worldwide. My choices Jaipur Compiled by s Puvaneswary Bharat Aggarwal Managing director Indo-Continental Hotels & Resorts Khalid Khan Executive director Le Passage To India Parvinder Bedi Deputy manager operations Creative Travel What is your biggest challenge right now The price war between hotels as hotel supply is more than demand. An additional 2 000 rooms will come up within next year. We foresee a drop from our traditional summer markets such as Portugal Spain and Japan. From Japan itself we foresee a drop of 60 per cent. Hoteliers in Jaipur as a whole need to think of innovative ways to offer better products and services. Their clients need to feel that they are getting good value. The biggest challenge is to increase tourist inflow especially during the low season. We have to be effective in reaching new markets and the challenge is to properly position our unique products in these markets. The complex tax structure. Every state imposes a different tax which makes it more difficult to justify to international clients. The tourism infrastructure in places of interest such as monuments is also quite poor. What needs to be done Our industry is too dependent on longhaul traffic from European US regions. We must focus also on regional tourism attracting middlebudget tourists from neighbouring countries such as those in the Middle East. hotels Hotels must offer tariffs in time and for a longer period of two years. They should maintain a high standard of service with reasonable pricing based on world economic realities. More three-star hotels are required in Jaipur. Good. The industry is hopeful of positive results following meetings between buyers and sellers at the Great India Travel Bazaar in Jaipur in April. We are already seeing signs of recovery from Europe and the US markets. The government should offer a uniform tax system throughout India. If that is too difficult then there should be one tax system for North India and another for South India. Tourism infrastructure needs to be improved such as having modern restrooms. airlines We need more international connections to Jaipur. We need air connections between Jaipur and Agra. What do you need from... the government It needs to improve road infrastructure. There must be better air connectivity between Jaipur and South India. We need more international direct air access. What are the prospects for the coming season We foresee a good year. Europe is picking up. Domestic movements have also improved. Among Indians Jaipur is becoming a a popular wedding and MICE destination which is good for business. It looks good. We are seeing a pick-up from our main markets in Europe South Africa and the US. Manado Republic of Indonesia 9 - 15 January 2012 Tourism For A Global Community Of Nations The ASEAN Tourism Forum (ATF) is a cooperative regional effort to promote the ASEAN region as one tourist destination where Asian hospitality and cultural diversity are at their best. The Best Of ASEAN Travel Trade Business expect orders over the next 6 to 12 months ranging from USD 50 000 to USD 250 000 The event was a great opportunity to renew and reinforce relationships with existing as well as new operators. Asia Escape Holidays Australia Marilyn Lynda Milner - Product Buyer Based on ATF 2011 Post-Show Feedback More than 90% of Exhibitors rated the quality of exhibitors and their business appointments as Excellent and Good I was exposed to very interesting new products and ideas. The event was a rich source of contacts. Meeting & Congressi - Trend Italy Luciano Riella - Journalist 90% of Buyers I found lots of potential buyers for this year and we look forward to the same next year. Rajah Tours Philippines Inc Philippines Jennylyn Paabilona Register Today Exhibitors Be part of the ATF 2012 exhibitor delegation and represent your country to some 500 Buyers and Media Open to travel trade suppliers from the 10 ASEAN destinations only Brunei Darussalam Cambodia Indonesia Lao PDR Malaysia Myanmar Philippines Singapore Thailand and Vietnam. ATF 2012 TRAVEX 13 to 15 January 2012 Buyers HOSTING PROGRAMME AVAILABLE Media HOSTING PROGRAMME AVAILABLE Keen to buy into ASEAN ATF 2012 showcases the largest contingent of ASEAN destination products and services. Come gather the latest information on ASEAN tourism products and services establish new business contacts and learn about the region s tourism trade. Get the latest scoop on ASEAN travel trade news developments and trends ATF is ASEAN s foremost annual travel trade event well-attended by media from around the world. Editorial representatives from established travel trade media publications are eligible for the hosting programme Participation Details Hosting Programme and Online Registration Available At HOST COMMITTEE TRAVEX SECRETARIAT Ministry Of Culture And Tourism Republic Of Indonesia TTG Asia Media Pte Ltd Sapta Pesona Building Jl. Medan Merdeka Barat No. 17 Jakarta 10110 Tel 62 21 383 8167 Fax 62 21 384 9715 Email promosiluarnegeri Website 1 Science Park Road 04-07 The Capricon Singapore Science Park II Singapore 117528 Tel 65 6395 7575 Fax 65 6536 0896 Email atf Website