Ticking the boxes for 2024
Ticking the boxes for 2024
Technological innovation, the creation of a unique sourcing department and the delivery of inspired products, all enhanced with sustainable approaches, were at the forefront of Asian Trails’ achievements in 2023.
These developments strengthen our ability to deliver exceptional products and services in a new year set to be highly favourable for the travel industry – with tourism in the Asia-Pacific forecast to rebound to pre-COVID-19 levels in 2024, according to Asian Development Bank data.
Asian Trails’ CEO Laurent Kuenzle said: “I believe 2024 is really going to be Asia’s year. We were the last global region to open after COVID-19, so it took longer for Asia to get back on the travel map.
“Very clearly for 2024, with borders reopened and more convenient visa-free entry offered in many of our regional countries, Asia is firmly back on the map!”
Major investment in technology has driven the expansion of our business. Our state-of-the-art B2B connectivity platform eConnect has evolved into a cutting-edge reservation portal since its launch at the World Travel Market in 2022.
Our global connectivity to hotels, activities, transfers and multi-day tour reservations at the click of a button enables us to present our products online more effectively compared to a standard brochure. We can update content, benchmark our rates and product details and share instantly with online travel agencies. You can learn more about eConnect here.
Besides new technology adoption, another highlight is the shift from a conventional product team to a well-resourced and streamlined sourcing unit.
Previously, a lot of our initial contracting was performed by the product team; day-to-day negotiations were done by inbound teams; the signing of contracts and loading were completed by the product management side; and extra allotments and securing promotions were undertaken by the commercial team.
These processes have been assigned to a dedicated larger unit of skilled professionals tasked with taking sourcing to the most sophisticated level in the DMC world.
This new approach enables us to manage contracts and relationships more efficiently, proactively engage with suppliers, engage in ongoing conversations as to how we can improve collaborative approaches, share data and capitalise on as many promotions as possible.
The sourcing team’s access to new technology has equipped them with tools to provide the best services to hotels – in particular, access to static and dynamic rates and immediate confirmation of bookings.
Laurent said: “Our sourcing innovation has enabled us to buy better, faster and more efficiently and this is reflected in improved figures. These results translate into better prices and conditions for our customers. To read more about Asian Trails’ superior sourcing team, click here.
Product delivery has also been upgraded post-COVID-19. After our destinations re-opened, many clients did not have sufficient staff capacity to accommodate new rollouts and upgrades of existing products.
Laurent said: “We are now continually connecting new customers to our online system and expanding our portfolio. We are designing new products and enhancing existing products to ensure they are fun, dynamic and meet clients’ high expectations.”
The last year also saw increased corporate social responsibility activities and a deeply entrenched commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism. For example, we took part in a collaboration to support cyclo drivers in Phnom Penh, Cambodia and helped to supply water to a drought-prone village near Bagan, Myanmar.
Laurent said: “These are strong pillars in our company. It is not just about creating sustainable products – there is greater emphasis on making our existing products more sustainable and also selling more sustainable tours.” Read about our more eco-friendly transport options here and our commitment to responsible travel here.
Looking ahead to 2024, Laurent said: “The technology is in place, the product focus is in place and an experienced sourcing team is in place. This strong foundation will enable us to provide our customers with the best services possible in 2024 and beyond. The message for this next year is positivity!”
Chief Executive Officer, Asian Trails