Trafalgar mulls a Singapore programme

GUIDED holidays company Trafalgar is considering running a Singapore programme in 2014.

Gavin Tollman, Trafalgar’s CEO, revealed this when asked which new Asian destinations he was looking at, having launched Japan recently.

“You may see Trafalgar coaches in Singapore one of these days, 2014 maybe.

“Singapore is not difficult to sell – it’s how it relates to what we’re trying to do,” said Tollman, referring to Trafalgar’s repositioning as “the insider”, offering passengers new components such as Be My Guest, Hidden Treasures and Unique Insights.

Meanwhile, he said Japan was selling “okay”.

“It’s an expensive destination. We don’t have a lot of departures, just 11 or 12 (a year). We went to Japan because we have a large outbound programme and it’s a small way of us giving back to it (after the tsunami),” said Tollman.

As a source, business from Singapore has “more than doubled” since Trafalgar opened a regional office in the city in late 2011. The office, led by regional director Nick Lim, was Trafalgar’s sales office of the year for 2012.

Previously, Trafalgar was represented by Holiday Tours. Tollman said opening its own office gave Trafalgar the ability to communicate its new repositioning directly and retrain consultants to sell experiences rather than “the nuts and bolts”.

Singapore, Malaysia and the Philippines remain key source markets where Trafalgar will put its focus, while the company will start to harness potential markets such as China, with Mandarin-speaking itineraries running soon.

Tollman said 2013 would be a mixed year. “The industry is still facing challenging times. I don’t believe we are about to enter a sustained growth period.

“But we’re seeing green shoots, no doubt, around the world. For Trafalgar, it’ll be a year of the sun peeking out from time to time. By no means perfect blue skies with no humidity, but a good year nevertheless.”

Some two million passengers travel with The Travel Corporation annually, with Trafalgar as the largest brand in the family of 20-plus brands.

– Read more in View from the Top, TTG Asia January 25 issue

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