UK-based luxury travel operator opens in PH
One of the world’s top luxury travel operators has opened shop in the Philippines following the dramatic rise of outbound Filipino tourists availing of luxury trips.
The Philippines is Asia’s “most resilient market” for luxury tours and Filipinos now rank second, behind Singaporeans and ahead of Malaysians, in terms of volume of luxury trips availed over the years, The Travel Corp. (TTC) president for Asia Robin Yap said at the launch of its most exclusive product in Makati City on Friday.
TTC-Asia is partnering with one of the major Philippine travel firms, Rajah Travel Corp., for the marketing of the “Luxury Gold” brand in Manila and Cebu for outbound Filipino tourists in 2018.
Very lucrative market
“The most attractive market for us now is the Philippines because of the family travels. In Singapore, our bookings are usually for Mr. and Mrs. so-and-so, but in the Philippines, it’s the entire family, Mr. and Mrs. plus five or plus six. Our market here is very lucrative,” Yap said in a press conference.
Previously, Filipino travelers would go to international luxury tour operators’ regional offices in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur or Singapore to arrange their trips or else they have to go through a cumbersome process with agents in Manila.
Yap said the increase of disposable income and easy access to tourism information via the internet in recent years led to a “dramatic” increase of luxury travelers from Asia, including the Philippines. He said the Philippine market was the “most resilient” in Asia, seemingly unaffected by local natural calamities or upheavals.
“Philippine people know what luxury is,” he said. TTC travel brochures look more like restaurant menus than the ordinary leaflet.
For Filipino travelers, the TTC will offer its “Chairman’s Collection” trips, which is curated by the London-based company’s founding chair, travel and hotel executive Stanley Tollman, who was inducted to the British Travel and Hospitality Hall of Fame in 2015.
Rajah Travel chair and president Aileen Clemente said more than costlier first-class accommodations and amenities, Filipino luxury travelers valued the “magical” and “blessed” experiences they had.
The travel executives explained that Luxury Gold does not cater exclusively to wealthy people, but to any Filipino traveler or groups of travelers wanting their trips to be a bit more exciting and memorable than usual.
Such travelers, whether professionals, newlyweds or retirees, plan their trips ahead, book early and save enough money.
Citing industry data, Clemente, executive vice president of the Tourism Congress of the Philippines, said many Filipino luxury travelers went for religious trips, with Lourdes, France and the Holy Land as top destinations.
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