29 January 2016

GTA celebrates record arrivals into Singapore in 2015 

Singapore remains the top Asia Pacific city destination for GTA driven by strong growth in regional FIT travel.

GTA, part of the Kuoni Group, saw a record number of bookings into destination Singapore last year.  Year-on-year sales grew 22% led by strong performance in key source markets include Indonesia, Australia, UK, UAE, South Korea, China, India and Japan.

According to Singapore Tourism Board (STB), tourist arrivals for the first 11 months grew marginally by 0.4%* compared to the same period in 2014 while Revenue-Per-Available-Room (RevPar) for Singapore hotels fell 5.3%**.  Recent earnings announcements from Hospitality Trusts and REITs with presence in Singapore also indicate that sales were lower in 2015 by 4% to 7%^.

Daryl Lee, Regional Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa, GTA said, “The strong performance by GTA was led mainly by strong bookings to hotels in Orchard Road (+30%) and the Marina Bay area (+16%).  2015 was an inspiring year for GTA promoting destination Singapore.  Together with the private sector, we commenced several key projects including the launch of our first Strategic Partnership Program involving 22 hotels from 5 hotel groups, initiated a marketing collaboration with regional airline SilkAir, which saw a co-investment of more than $2 million to target leisure travellers in secondary markets in Indonesia, India and China.  GTA also introduced the very successful Premium Collection campaign in Q3 2015 focusing solely on promoting higher category hotels and products.”

“GTA remains strongly committed to Singapore and aims to continue to outperform the market in 2016.  We expect growth this year to be supported by the traditional markets but also new developing markets such as Iran, Sri-Lanka and Philippines,” Lee added.

To commemorate this outstanding performance, GTA is hosting a series of celebration parties starting with one today at The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore where more than 50 travel agents from Indonesia are flown in specially for the event. Supported by a group of hotel partners in Singapore, the trip “Ke Singapore Yuk (Let’s go to Singapore) – a celebration with GTA” is to recognize the Indonesian travel agents for continuing to make Singapore the top destination in Indonesia for GTA.

“Despite the difficult year for outbound business for Indonesian travel trade as a result of a depreciating Indonesian Rupiah against the Singapore Dollar, and a slower economy in 2015, GTA saw strong growth in overall hotel revenue for Singapore of 30% from 2014.  This amazing feat cannot be achieved without the strong Indonesian agents’ support!” said Sun Kok Sheng, Head of Sales for South Asia & Japan, GTA. He also added, “The response was fantastic and overwhelming. The travel agents are very excited about the trip and tonight, we let everyone’s hair down with our Singapore’s very own comedian, Kumar, Siti Khalijah and Suhaimi Yusof.”

Invited travel agents from Indonesia include Global Ticket Network, Bayu Buana and Golden Rama from Jakarta, Haryono from Surabaya, KCBJ Tours from Bali, King’s Star from Medan and Ratu Expressindo from Bandung.

Mrs. Hanna Djoenaedi of Bayu Buana Travel shared her view on working with GTA, GTA is a key supplier for Bayu Buana because they have the most and the best inventory for domestic and international hotels. The GTA booking system is very easy to use especially in making modifications. The customer services team at GTA is professional and provides outstanding assistance every time. Overall, GTA has done an excellent job to support Bayu Buana we are truly pleased to work with GTA. We look forward to building an even stronger partnership and many more successful ahead for both of us!”

GTA’s online booking solution is the key factor in contributing to the overall growth in Indonesia last year for Global Ticket Network. “GTA constantly recommends new products which really help us grow our business.  Together with reliable IT systems and strong continuous support from the local sales team, GTA has really assisted tiket.com expand our business worldwide,” said Mr. I Gusti Ngurah, of Global Ticket Network.

Mr. Hans Ebenhahn, CEO of Nusatrip said, “GTA is a reliable and frictionless partner to work with. They have great technology, a large product inventory and a strong global 24/7 support team.”

“Ke Singapore Yuk – a Celebration with GTA” is made possible with the support of Singapore Airlines, City Tours, Hotel Jen Orchardgateway, Grand Hyatt Singapore, Grand Park Orchard, Regent Singapore, A Four Seasons Hotel, Singapore Marriott Tang Plaza Hotel, The South Beach and GTA’s Strategic Partnership Program hotel partners, Far East Hospitality Management, Fairmont Raffles Hotels International, Fragrance Hotel Management, Resorts World at Sentosa, Singapore and The Ritz-Carlton, Millenia Singapore.

Apart from destination Singapore, several other Asian destinations also saw record sales in 2015.  An example is destination Thailand, which grew by 35% despite the challenges such as the explosion in Bangkok in August 2015.  To mark these significant milestone, GTA will be partnering with Tourism Authority of Thailand to host g meet 2016 next month the 23rd in Bangkok, an exclusive event involving only a select group of very senior industry leaders from the largest and most influential travel companies in the region, and senior GTA team members. g meet 2016 aims to connect the ideas of the senior leaders from companies ranging from hotel chains, travel companies and technology providers on their market outlook, investment opportunities and operating challenges for the travel industry.

* Lifted from Singapore Tourism Board’s International Visitor Arrivals Statistics that is published on 19th January 2016: https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-market-insights/marketstatistics/ivastat_nov_2015%20(as@19jan16).pdf

** Lifted from Singapore Tourism Board’s Hotel Statistics 2015 (Preliminary) report that is published on 19th January 2016: https://www.stb.gov.sg/statistics-and-market-insights/marketstatistics/2015hs(updated%2019jan16).pdf

^ Reference: http://www.businesstimes.com.sg/companies-markets/cdl-hospitality-trusts-q4-dpss-slips-38-to-301-singapore-cents