In the hypercompetitive travel trade in Singapore, merely putting together a compelling itinerary with an attractive price isn’t sufficient. With a plethora of online travel portals like Expedia, Travelocity, Zuji and Wotif muscling into their space, brick and mortar travel agents need to find new ways to differentiate themselves. With the help of online travel service providers, consumers are booking airline tickets, selecting hotel rooms, renting cars, arranging land transfers, and even making reservations for restaurants and shows in advance.
While some players like MISA Travel have gone on to develop a more e-commerce savvy website, others such as ASA Holidays have organised full-fledged trade fairs to showcase their various offerings. Together with other big outbound tour operators like CTC Travel and Chan Brothers, ASA Holidays is pre-empting the upcoming NATAS Travel Fair with their own pre-sales event (I told you it was competitive).
Are these travel fairs successful? Well, join me for a tour of ASA Holidays’ recent fair at Suntec City and decide for yourself.
I recently visited the IT Show at Singapore’s Suntec City (also known as our very own vertical Silicon Valley) to see if I could pick up a good bargain or two. It always amazes me how these computer fairs and exhibitions could attract such huge and massive crowds, all thronging the place to catch a piece of the retail action. The number of people streaming in and out are usually non-stop. More importantly, most who leave are seen happily carrying bags and even trolleys full of hardware, software and all manner of computer peripherals and accessories.
Why have these shows become such huge consumer successes? More interestingly, why are some other consumer fairs (like gifts, furniture, weddings, and health) relatively moribund while PC shows continue to draw the crowds?