Asia to Africa forays into Latin America, Antarctica

BESPOKE luxury tour operator Asia to Africa Safaris has broadened its offerings to include expeditions to Latin America and Antarctica, and is reflecting this in a rebranding under the name A2A Safaris.

Helping Asian travellers heed the call of the wild for the last 13 years, A2A spent the last two years working on its Latin American offerings.

Recently appointed managing director of A2A Safaris, Kim Nixon, explained: “A2A started by specialising in tours to Africa and began having clients who would travel with us two to three times. A lot of them began to ask ‘Where else can we go? Where else can you take us?’ And that was the impetus for us to begin featuring Antarctica and Latin America.”

The company will be offering tailored itineraries to these two continents under the sub-brand A2A Journeys, which will be officially launched in Singapore next week.

A2A Journeys’ new website was unveiled on October 13, while a renewed A2A Safaris page is still on the way.

“Until now we didn’t actively try to build partnerships with other travel consultants because of the revenue dilution that comes with paying out a commission,” Nixon said.

“Furthermore retailers were not in a very good position to be reasonably informative about the destination before. But this has since changed and we are looking to establish relationships with specific, owner-run retail companies, those that are not mass market in approach.”

Making A2A Journeys possible is the company’s Latin America specialist, Steph Wetherell. “We’re currently focusing on seven destinations – Mexico, Ecuador, the Galapagos, Brazil, Peru, Chile and Antarctica,” she said.

A2A can arrange visits to iconic Latin American attractions such as the Iguazu Falls in Argentina, Machu Picchu in Peru, Argentina’s wine region Mendoza, Southern Patagonia, as well as expeditions on the Amazon River and round the Antarctic Peninsula via Chile.

A2A’s offices in Hong Kong, Manila and Singapore deliver one-third of the company’s businesses respectively, with a little traffic from Malaysia, Japan and Thailand as well.

Said Nixon: “It’s important to have new channels of revenue, but right now ours is segmented between B2B and B2C. What we are working on right now in Hong Kong, Singapore and Manila is specialised photographic expeditions, reaching top photographers with cult-like networks of supporters and then getting them to promote to their base.”

Asked if incentives are a market A2A is keen to pursue, Nixon added that the company is barely scratching the potential of leisure travel in the region and will thus continue to focus on this.

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