The Travel Corporation (TTC) has a new Asia chief, Nicholas Lim, effective today, following the retirement of Robin Yap, who has been named chairman emeritus Asia, a new non-executive ambassadorial role that recognises his 33 years with company.
Lim’s promotion to managing director Asia, reporting to TTC’s CEO Brett Tollman, came after 18 years with the company. Replacing him as president of Trafalgar Asia is Mae Cheah, previously Trafalgar’s regional sales director, who has been with the company for 24 years.
The appointments reflect a value of the family-owned company, now in its fourth generation, to reward loyal staff and promote from within.
Said Tollman: “The company has always been committed to promote and grow seasoned, proven executives. Their knowledge, proven experience and understanding of our business serves as a valuable foundation for our future growth. We are also pleased that Robin will continue to support Nick and his team in his new role as chairman emeritus and we thank him from the bottom of our hearts for the unwavering, remarkable loyalty and dedication which he had displayed during his long tenure with the company.”
Yap made Insight Vacations, Trafalgar and Contiki Holidays – three of TTC’s brands – household names in Asia long before the Asian outbound markets boomed. On filling his shoes, Lim told TTG Asia: “Robin’s 33 years’ (experience) is always going to be hard to beat, but I suppose 18 years with TTC has its advantages, for example, familiarity with the business and culture.”
Lim sees an opportunity for TTC to tap the rising Asian outbound luxury travel market. The company launched its Luxury Gold brand in the Philippines recently, its fastest-growing source market after Singapore.
Lim said: “Moving forth, while my immediate goal is to grow the existing business, there is also a need to further expand our footprint across Asia especially in the luxury travel space. The main challenge, and opportunity, is getting the brands/products out to the markets and agents across Asia.”
Apart from Trafalgar, TTC’s most important brand, Insight Vacations, Luxury Gold and Contiki, Lim is also responsible for the business development in Asia of TTC’s other key brands Uniworld Boutique River Cruises, Red Carnation, Inspiring Journeys and AAT Kings.
“With a strong management team in place in Asia, we are excited to have Nick now help us replicate the fantastic success he’s had for Trafalgar and CostSaver over the past several years, for our other brands now,” said Tollman.
Yap, in a light-hearted moment, said about his new role: “It’s a nice position where ‘I can watch things happen and not having to make things happen’. I have always believed in succession and 2018 seems to be a good year for leadership change, as we have already seen a few in the business. My motto is, when you are on the job, do a good job and when it is time to pass on the baton, pass it on gracefully but always be available when advice is needed and only when asked.
“TTC has an outstanding team in Singapore at all the brands and I am confident the future is going to be awesome led by Nick.”