Agoda hooks up with the “largest LGBT travel business in the world”

Posted by - September 17, 2018

Online powerhouse Agoda, has unveiled news of its new partnership with the LGBT international lifestyle and travel platform TravelGay.
The deal will see the two companies work together to roll out “the best LGBT travel content” for their users part of a demographic representing up to 35 million LGBT travellers.
The relationship comes at a time when Thailand is opening up to a more diverse demographic with the LGBT+ Travel Symposium, hosted in Bangkok by the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in June of this year.
The LGBT+ travel segment was worth USD 192 billion in 2016 and continues to grow at a rate of 8% per year. This is 40% more than that of the travel spend of a country like Germany (among one of Thailand’s largest inbound markets). LGBT+ travellers spend 55% more per arrival than the average traveller. This community, said to consist of just 6-10% of the global population delivers close to 20% of the global value.
“We are the largest LGBT travel business in the world”
Darren Burn, MD of TravelGay, said, “We’re hugely excited to be working more closely with Agoda as we grow and develop our business further. We have expanded our site rapidly since acquiring the business just a few months ago and intend to work together with our accommodation partners in the coming months and years to further assist the LGBT community on their travels.
“Together with our sister brand OutOfOffice.com, we are the largest LGBT travel business in the world. By working with a company as well-known as Agoda, we hope to further enhance our offering to the millions of visitors a year who visit our websites.”
“We can help everyone to travel anywhere”
Discussing the potential of the partnership and how it will promote LGBT-friendly places to stay, visit or hang out, Aaron Moy, head of UX research and Agoda Colors (Agoda’s LGBT employee-resource group), said:
“Central to everything we do at Agoda is the belief that we can help everyone to travel anywhere, so we are thrilled to partner with a company dedicated to ensuring that millions of LGBT travellers each year experience the same warm welcome and level of respect as all other travellers do. Together with TravelGay, we hope to improve the planning and journey for LGBT travellers in this region and beyond.”

Flexibility required for spontaneity of modern society, says Agoda CEO

Posted by - July 14, 2018

The travel industry needs to show more flexibility as technology changes the way people are travelling, John Brown, Agoda’s CEO, told the Bloomberg ASEAN Business Summit in Bangkok on 12 July.
The use of smartphones is now widespread and is altering consumer behavior as much as the profile of those on the move is changing. Looming larger these days is the Chinese mass market and emerging millennial travellers, and the tendency of both is to book more and more on a mobile device.
“We try to give them more flexibility”
Brown pointed to people booking on Thursday for travel over the weekend, against what used to be a more traditional 60- or 90-day advance period. People also change their plans more often, he added. “You see a much shorter lead time for sure,” he said.
John Brown, Agoda This movement towards spontaneity brings with it new requirements for operators who must try and cover this, Brown said. “We try to give them more flexibility,” he said.
It was also matched by a tendency for customers to buy flights, hotels and experiences at the same time, which has required Agoda to make changes to capture this business.
“We’ve had to retool our site to put all this in place because people are demanding this ease because its a much more last minute thing,” continued Brown.
Also to think about here is the product being offered, pointed out Marcia Yu, senior investment officer from the International Finance Corporation, the private sector wing of the World Bank.
She gave the example of a hotel project in the Philippines which was considering a Beach Club, “A different concept to what we have seen before”, in order to appeal more to millnenials.
These changes have forced rethinks at a company like Agoda. Previously one platform was enough but now it is five or even more, said Brown. Complicating this is the issue of payment, especially with a multinational customer base such as with Agoda. Adding to the problem, some Chinese travellers don’t even have credit cards. All this makes it even more imperative that payment is made easy.
Related Posts “You have to have frictionless payment”
“To be a very good e-commerce site you have to have frictionless payment,” he said. “Making your website accept every payment type out there is important.”
Sustainability Whilst this can be seen as an established problem within the travel industry, Brown also flagged the increasing environmental concerns of travellers, especially millenials.
People really want to go to green hotels and were increasingy asking questions about issues such as single use plastics.
Marcia Yu, International Finance Corporation “It’s just beginning to grow where people ask, ‘Is this an environmentally friendly hotel?’,” Brown said of Agoda’s traffic. This is not just likely to be something that will impact online travel companies like Agoda but is cascading down through the through the industry to the frontline operators such as hotels.
“More and more hotels are working on this issue a lot with younger travellers,” he said.
Where it becomes even more problematic is where governments take drastic action to remedy environmental damage.
The Philippines government recently shut down the beach resort of Boracay to allow a major clean-up and a question came from the floor whether Thailand’s government should do the same for Phuket.
Environmental sustainability is an important concern for the International Finance Corporation, when it comes to supporting hotel projects, said Marcia Yu. Her advice, to those considering hotel projects in the region, was that they need to think about their strategy deeply because different markets create different environmental footprints.

Just who is Xiaozhu, agoda’s new global partner?

Posted by - March 14, 2018

It was announced yesterday that agoda have signed a strategic global partnership with China’s Xiaozhu.com, to develop inventory, tech and services. With agoda being such a muscular presence in Asia, you would have thought that the company would only be focussing on acquiring a dominating force in the Chinese market. But, the question remains, who […]
The post Just who is Xiaozhu, agoda’s new global partner? appeared first on Travel Daily Media.

The most popular Chinese New Year destinations for Asian travelers

Posted by - February 14, 2018

CHINESE NEW YEAR is a good time to get together to celebrate the festivities with family, friends and loved ones. For those who are celebrating, at least.

It’s also the perfect time to take off someplace else, thanks to the long holiday, resulting in the biggest annual “migration” of people in Asia.
It’s the biggest traditional festival for the Chinese, so it’s no surprise that Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia are on the top 10 list of Chinese New Year destinations for Asian travelers.
#CHINESE NEW YEAR
How to celebrate the Chinese New Year of ‘Paws-perity’ in Singapore According to global online booking platform Agoda, Tokyo has overtaken Bangkok as the number one Chinese New Year destination for Asian travelers in 2018, a title held by Bangkok for the past two years. In fact, Japan has taken three of the top spots: Kyoto makes an entry for the first time in ninth place and Osaka in is third, moving up from ninth place in 2016.
Chinese New Year in Japan are regular working days and the Japanese don’t traditionally celebrate it. However, there’s a large number of Chinese migrants and their descendants living in the Chukagai (Chinatown areas) of Yokohama, Kobe and Nagasaki, and the people living in those areas join in on the festivities.
Source: Shutterstock.
Tokyo’s nearby Yokohama Chinatown district hosts two weeks of vibrant events, including a countdown party, traditional lion dance performances, parades, and a lantern festival. Large groups of foreign visitors from Taiwan (26 percent), South Korea (15 percent) and China (15 percent) flock to the area to ring in the new year.
In Kobe, arguably the most popular Chinatown in Japan, the whole district is bustling with activities and celebrations for an entire week in February be it colorful parades, ritual dances, martial arts, or lively acrobatics, and it starts from as early as 10:30am until past dinner time.
There’s no doubt that it’ll be a feast to remember because there’s also Chinese cuisine from various regions of China including Shanghai, Beijing, Sichuan and more.
Source: Shutterstock.
Hong Kong tourists are expressing their love for the East Asian winter with six Japanese cities (Tokyo, Osaka, Fukuoka, Kyoto, Sapporo, Nagoya) and one Korean city (Seoul) on their list.
China welcomes large crowds during Chinese New Year as it is a widely popular hub for the celebrations. To avoid the influx of people and often well below freezing wintry temperatures, the Chinese themselves would escape to tropical destinations. In fact, five out of 10 Chinese New Year destinations for Chinese tourists are tropical destinations.
Malaysians and Singaporeans, on the other hand, are more inclined to celebrate Chinese New Year near home. For Malaysian tourists, nine out of the top 10 destinations are domestic, while Singaporeans favor nearby Southeast Asian hot spots.
#MALAYSIA
Why aren’t Malaysians going on more holidays? Interestingly, all but one of the top 10 Chinese New Year destinations for Asian travelers are city escapes, with Thai island Phuket in 10th place.
Meanwhile other destinations such as Singapore and Chiang Mai have slipped down the rankings: from third place in 2016 to eighth place in 2018 and from seventh place in 2016 to 12th place in 2018, respectively.
The post The most popular Chinese New Year destinations for Asian travelers appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.

This Japanese city is the perfect place for a winter getaway

Posted by - November 29, 2017

IF you’re looking to escape the heat for a spot winter fun this festive season, you might want to consider Sapporo, the capital of the northern Japanese prefecture of Hokkaido. A recent Agoda study identified the city – Japan’s fifth largest – as the top “up-and-coming” destination of choice for Singaporean and Malaysian travelers.
According to the global online accommodation reservations provider, Sapporo December bookings spiked by 161 and 145 percent in Singapore and Malaysia respectively when compared against data from December 2015.
And it’s not difficult to see why. Southeast Asia’s year-round heat and oftentimes erratic weather mean many from this side of the world will opt for holidays in cooler climates around this time of year.
But why Sapporo?
Well, for a start, we hear the red pandas over at Maruyama Zoo are quite a hit among travelers.
なんだかコミカル #GIN #MARUMI #RedPanda #MaruyamaZoo #Sapporo #Hokkaido #ギン #円実 #レッサーパンダ #円山動物園 #札幌 #小熊猫 #redpandas #redpandanation #redpandalove #cute #fuluffy #animal #animals #animalphoto #animalphotos #animalphotography
A post shared by キャットテイル (@cattail.sapporo) on Nov 26, 2017 at 5:12am PST
These fluffy little creatures sometimes called the “lesser panda” or the “red bear cat” are really quite underrated.
Many seem to assume the only pandas in existence are the giant black-and-white ones that are scared of their own sneezes – but these lovable little fellas are more playful than these other pandas and they portray their personalities for almost everyone who goes to visit them.
Delicious dining A post shared by sapporobeer (@sapporobeer.jp) on Nov 9, 2017 at 11:30pm PST
According to the Agoda Travel and Tech study, millennial travelers see food and dining as among their top priorities whilst on holiday.
It’s no wonder therefore why Sapporo – said to be a foodie’s paradise – is popular among travelers. The world-famous Sapporo beer, snow crab, soup curry, and okonomiyaki are just some of the mouth-watering dishes on offer in this very snowy city.
A post shared by Spoonfuls Toronto (@spoonfuls.to) on Nov 27, 2017 at 1:57pm PST
“Travelers from Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines want variety when they’re abroad, so there are a diverse group of destinations emerging as year-end holiday hot spots,” Andrew Edwards, Agoda Global Director for Brand and Communications, said in a statement.
The study took data from over 16,000 respondents across 15 countries to reveal the top up-and-coming destinations for overheating Southeast Asians wishing to cool off in more mild climates across Asia.
Fun in the snow A post shared by ラ・フランス (@nor_mic) on Feb 8, 2017 at 11:22pm PST
For those looking for something more adventurous than feeding red pandas and feasting on Japan’s finest cuisines, then head up to the ski slopes that are just a 20-minute drive from the city center.
Odori Park is hosting the Sapporo snow festival this year, but in between admiring this rare form of art, you can ski, sled, snowboard or scadoo down snow-covered mountains.
A post shared by Modest Eyewear Co. (@modest_eyes) on Oct 24, 2017 at 2:16pm PDT
Other cities Malaysians and Singaporeans like to explore in the later months of the year include London in the UK, South Korea, China and Taiwan.
The post This Japanese city is the perfect place for a winter getaway appeared first on Travel Wire Asia.