Travel agents can be confident that repeat visitors, along with those new to the destination, will find Vietnam easier than ever to explore, says Exotic Holidays managing director Rahul Sharma.
He says new motorways and other transport infrastructure have taken hours, sometimes up to 50%, off travel times.
Exotic Holidays is seeing increased demand for group tours, both from school and leisure markets, says managing director Rahul Sharma.
‘These are all coming through the trade,’ he says. ‘Agents are becoming more confident in organising and selling group tours.’
Exotic Holidays marks its 13th anniversary tomorrow (18 January) and managing director Rahul Sharma says the company is looking build on trends experienced last year.
He says 2022 saw diverse business for Exotic – not only in terms of destinations booked but also the type of travel engaged in – from FIT and leisure groups, through to VFR plus corporate travel and incentives.
A move that has added value to agents and also reduced hassle for both the trade and clients has been extended by Exotic Holidays due to a strong response.
Managing director Rahul Sharma, says Exotic, through sister company Visa Assist, has been waiving visa processing fees for India and Vietnam for a couple of weeks.
Island destinations, short lead in times and a move towards more private, stand alone accommodation are all characterising bookings out of New Zealand to Asia now, says Rahul Sharma, managing director of Exotic Holidays.
‘Thailand has been the biggest gainer because it opened up months ago and has been selling for the longest duration.
Travel retailers need to ensure they are not running in ever decreasing circles trying to take on more business than they can handle, says Rahul Sharma, managing director of Exotic Holidays.
He says that with depleted staff numbers, a surge in bookings and more complex border regulations, the trade could be in danger of providing sub-standard service and in turn driving clients back to booking on-line (with OTAs).
Exotic Holidays and sister company Visa Assist are seeing an increased thirst for knowledge from the trade, driven by the changing situation around the world and the hopes of borders slowly opening in the not too distant future.
Managing director Rahul Sharma says developments like the ‘sandbox’ in specific Thailand resort destinations, plus the ongoing opening of Europe are generating interest from agents and clients. This is coupled with stated intention from the New Zealand government that it intends to start reconnecting with the world next year and trialling self-isolation for a limited number of business travellers over the next couple of months.
Taiwan’s continued success in controlling Covid-19 is a reminder that New Zealand’s ‘travel bubble’ plans should not be restricted to Australia and the Pacific, a number of trade sources point out.
Paul Dymond, managing director of Wendy Wu Tours in New Zealand says the Taiwanese seem to have successfully managed Covid-19 and should soon be in a position to open borders with
Exotic Holidays is reporting a number of ‘rays of hope’ that indicate travel is inching back towards resumption.
Referring to updates from its destination marketing companies (DMCs) and media reports, Exotic says that domestic travel, including flights, is resuming or close to resuming in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.
Exotic Holidays is promoting a cutural tour in Taiwan for when it is safe to travel again.
Priced from $5297 per person twin share, the new nine-day land only tour visits some of the country’s key highlights.
Taiwan is being widely recognised a success story in the battle against Covid-19 at present.