Despite recent safety issues surrounding Europe, the continent remain the best-selling destination for agents participating in Travel Revolution 2017, which was held at the Marina Bay Sands over the weekend.
Organised by the Singapore Outbound Travel Agents Association (SOTAA), the three-day travel fair saw a strong turnout despite fewer travel agents this year, said Kay Swee Pin, president of SOTAA.
Travel Revolution 2017. Photo courtesy: Chan Brothers Travel
Kay, who is also SA Tours' managing director, told TTG Asia that the agency outperformed last year’s sales for Europe, a crowd favourite, with Spain, Portugal and the Balkans topping the list.
“It is quite surprising, because it’s only February and (consumers) are already booking for December. In 2016, we had record numbers going to Finland and Norway, so maybe those who have gone have come back and spread the word. We are very optimistic and have pre-booked hundreds of igloos to make sure we cater to the demand,” she said.
Kay added that many are repeat travellers venturing out of Central Europe, with the Balkans especially popular at the fair.
Meanwhile, Chan Brothers Travel expects to achieve its sales target of S$20 million (US$14 million), double that of last year’s edition, based on its performance in the first two days, said its head of marketing communications, Jane Chang.
Chan Brothers Travel saw a surge in demand for Central Europe unlike the previous year where demand leant towards destinations outside of Central Europe.
The tour operator also saw good uptake in new tours introduced this year such as the Southern Lights tours in New Zealand, as well as self-drive campervan convoy tours in Western Australia.
With the spike in sales, Chang commented that infusing creative ideas in mass travel fairs like Travel Revolution 2017 have helped change Singaporeans’ perspective on travels and exposed them to different experiences.