Singapore outbound expects double-digit sales growth this year

OUTBOUND travel companies interviewed at today’s NATAS consumer fair were optimistic about business growth this year, expressing hopes in mid- and longhaul travel in particular, which are seeing robust demand due to a range of factors.

Anthony Chan, group managing director, Chan Brothers Travel said the company was gunning for a 10 per cent increase over S$9 million (US$7.2 million) generated last year, a similar growth rate as 2011’s.

This does not seem unattainable, going by the 10 per cent jump in sales the firm recorded at its pre-NATAS fair.

Said Chan: “Demand for longhaul destinations has been particularly good due to favourable currency exchange rates. At the same time, Japan has made an excellent recovery, and we are quite upbeat.”

Chan’s World Holidays, the company’s first self-owned franchise and bespoke travel agency, also reported brisk business. Chan Brothers Travel’s director of business development, Mary Kheng, said: “By year-end, we expect sales to rise by 50 per cent.”

Another major outbound player, CTC Travel, also had high hopes for farther destinations. Senior vice president, marketing & PR, Alicia Seah, said: “For Eastern Europe, for instance, we expect to see a jump of around 15 to 20 per cent.” Evergreens like China and Taiwan continued to do well, while Japan showed signs of revival, she added.

Business at CTC’s pre-NATAS fair was an estimated 30-50 per cent higher compared to last year.

This year’s NATAS Travel fair saw some 158 exhibitors, including 22 newcomers.

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