Australia’s Webjet has launched FIT Ruums, a wholesale travel distributor operating under its WebBeds FZ division, to offer an array of travel services, such as hotel rooms and transfers, to the Asian travel trade.
Daryl Lee, the newly-appointed director of WebBeds FZ, said: “The rising affluence of Asian countries is driving a new travelling class – a shift away from groups and towards FIT.”
This means requiring a different set of distribution tools to better cater to this segment of customers. “The consumer buying behavior varies by market and different people like to book travel through different mediums which means a fragmented distribution landscape that requires good aggregators to support for sustainable growth,” he explained.
Lee adds that he isn’t too worried about being a newcomer to the scene, as he believes the travel supply chain is welcoming of distribution diversification to mitigate sales risk.
When asked why they are entering the market now, he said: “Asia-Pacific is the second biggest source market in the world and we have seen a strong transition from group travel to FIT in recent years.
“Therefore, the market requires a lot more support and will benefit from a true pan-Asian specialist which the market lacks today.”
FIT Ruums, based in Singapore, has plans to expand across the region. Satellite offices are already open in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan with additional locations in Japan, Thailand, India and Indonesia being planned to open in 2017.
Future expansion into the Philippines, Vietnam and Malaysia is currently being considered.