The Swire Travel name has lived out the last days of its 69-year legacy with the regional TMC officially rebranded to Connexus by the company’s new owner.
On the decision to drop the legacy of Swire, Connexus Travel managing director Gloria Slethaug said: “It was not an issue of whether to give up the brand, it is about providing Connexus Travel with the right platform and resources, i.e. a new brand name to excel into the future. Since the change pertains only to the name we operate under, we will retain our license number (350001) and remain the first travel agent registered in Hong Kong.”
Without a recognised brand name, the company’s key challenge today is building up brand awareness and brand performance, added Slethaug.
“We have already launched a series of campaigns since early November, which includes print and outdoor advertisements, online banners, etc. to build up our brand awareness,” she explained.
She also stressed that management teams, as well as the company’s core values of customer centricity and professional service remain unchanged.
“So far, there is no loss of corporate accounts due to change of ownership. In fact, we continue to have new clients using our service. Moreover, we are also enabled with Concur, and have been supporting a lot of clients in rolling out corporate online booking solutions in the region.”
A spokesperson of the Swire Group said: “John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Limited completed the sales transaction of Swire Travel Limited and its wholly owned subsidiaries to JMI Global Limited in May 2017. The decision is in line with the strategy to refocus management resources on Swire’s core businesses, including property, aviation, beverages, marine services and trading & industrial.”
Swire Group had handed the reins of Swire Travel to new owners as part of a strategy to refocus resources on core businesses and maximise the TMC’s growth potential. Swire Travel shareholdings have been transferred to a private company owned by the founder and chairman of KWG Property Holdings Limited, Kong Jian Min.