Saturday, July 2, 2016

Undiscovered Central Asia

The lost city of Uzbekistan




Do you know that Central Asia offers more than just one set of tourist attractions?

Do you know that its history had started long before Samarkand and Bukhara reached their glory?

Be among the first ones to explore Central Asia ancient history! Archaeological sites that used to be double-locked both under the earth and behind the Iron Curtain-- are now available for you to visit!

Follow in the footsteps of many devoted Russian, Japanese, French, and German archaeologists, who passionately dug away grey dust--to discover some fantastic artifacts!

The Ancient Silk Road and the journey to Western region by Master Xuanzang Pilgrimage.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Six Reasons Travel Agents Are Back


1. Travel agents offer guidance.
It’s a scary world out there, and even seasoned travelers are a little nervous. Whether the destination they are considering is facing the Zika virus or the threat of terrorism, travelers are more inclined to talk through their concerns, and get unbiased information, from a live agent. “The tips we can give them, the advice, those things you just can’t get booking online,” says travel professional Diane Bower, at CruzDiva Travel in Huntersville, NC.

2. Travel agents give you more for your money.
Agents have access to deals and promotions travelers do not. From cruise lines to hotels to tours, suppliers know their top travel agents and slip them upgrades, bonuses, special offers and early entrance tickets that make their customers feel special, and save them an average $452 per trip.

3. Travelers are frustrated with online travel agencies.
Consumers are wising up. Online travel agencies (OTAs) often advertise one price, and then tack on fees and other hidden charges, or restrictions and blackout dates in the fine print. And there is just too much information out there to sort through. And doing the research is overwhelming. Among travelers who regularly seek information from an OTA when planning a vacation, only 13% typically book their reservations on OTA sites, according to MMGY Global’s 2015 Portrait of American Travelers, compared to 36% in 2014.

4. Better customer service.
While OTAs have call centers to assist customers with basic site navigation, they offer little further support. Travel agents help during the booking process and stay with you to make sure all goes right. And when there is a problem, they are there to intervene—whether it’s a supplier who doesn’t deliver or an emergency that makes them cancel the whole trip. Shawn Fitzpatrick, manager of Marlin Travel in Ontario, says suppliers work with his agency on a case-by-case basis, and often “help us out when needed.” And with an agent, “you have someone advocating for you,” says Stefanie DiBernardo, travel advisor at Contrino Travel, Inc. in Staten Island, NY.

5. Deep knowledge of the destination, and personal understanding of your interests.
Agents often specialize in niche markets, so they can offer even more insight into a specific destination or segment of travel, like LGBT or destination weddings. And they spend a little time getting to know the customer, so they can make recommendations tailored to what you want to do. “It’s almost like your best friend is booking a trip for you,” says DiBernardo.

6. Travel agents’ customer base is skewing toward Millennials.
The percentage of travelers under the age of 35 who prefer to book their vacations through a travel agent increased 50% between 2014 and 2015, reports MMGY Global. They don’t have time to wade through all the options, and they understand there is only one chance to make a vacation perfect. Just as they hire an expert to do their taxes or maintain their garden, they want a knowledgeable professional to help them make this most important decision.

Source from : http://www.travelmarketreport.com/tmrarticle?ttl=Six-Reasons-Travel-Agents-Are-Back#.V263RydEijx.facebook


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Master Xuanzang Journey to the Western Region (Part2 continued to Central Asia)

We have visited Bishkek, the capital city of Kyrgyzstan for our Recce Tour organised by our land operator's to have the first hand information of the Ancient Silk Road and the journey performed by Master Xuanzang (Xuanzang Pilgrimage)


We are surprised to witness the friendliness of their people and development of the city. After our breakfast at China Town in the city. We start to explore and just wonder how Master Xuanzang could have traveled by foot, animals and his caravan acrossed Tian Shan from China.

Tian Shan range taken from the plane
Tian Shan Range at Kyrgyzstan (Photo credit : Aaron Chin)
Lake Issyk Kul
AKSU, is the last city in Xinjiang,China, and the next oasis, Master Xuanzang crossed the TianShan's Bedel pass into Kyrgyzstan. Heavy snows delayed his start and should have provided a warning; in his 40 mile crossing, he lost one third of his men and animals. On the other side of the mountains, Xuanzang and his sadly depleted caravan rested at LAKE ISSYK KUL, “the warm lake”, so-called because it never freezes.

Modern Tokmok at Issyk Kul
At TOKMOK in 628 C.E., Xuanzang met the Great Khan of the Western Turks who was at the height of his powers. Xuanzang gave him the letter and gifts from the King of Gaochang. (now Turpan)  Although he had achieved hegemony in part of the Tarim basin, the Great Khan’s relations with the Tang Emperor in Chang’an (now Xian) were friendly and he welcomed Xuanzang and his party to stay.


Journey to be continued ...


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Hong Kong airport goes ahead with passenger levy despite protest


HONG Kong International Airport will implement the controversial airport construction fee from August 1 despite earlier objection from the trade. Airlines will tax departing passengers, including origin-destination and transit passengers, when air tickets are issued. The fee is being collected to fund the expansion of the airport, which includes a third runway.

Agents interviewed do not welcome the decision, although they predict the fee is unlikely to deter travel to and from Hong Kong.

Eastrip Travel general manager Jacky Chan said: “It’s not a good move but I think Hongkongers will get used to it eventually. We have no say anyway as it’s government policy. I also have reservations on whether we really need a third runway.” 

Wing Wong, managing director of W Travel thinks it’s unfair for departing passengers to be taxed. “I think our government should bear part of the construction cost. It’s not fair for end-users to foot the bill,” he said. 

Paul Leung, managing director of Holiday World Tours, is worried the fee will dent the city’s reputation as a destination. He said: “The airport is perceived as an infrastructure funded and built by the government. Visitors may psychologically not feel good for paying for airport upgrades they can’t use now.“Still, I personally support the idea of a third runway because of passenger saturation. Planes also have to queue longer before taking off and we need the infrastructure to fuel future growth.”

SOURCE :Prudence Lui, Hong Kong @ TTG Asia 

Friday, June 3, 2016

Go Behind The Scenes of A Travel Agent

Before we prepare any tour itinerary. The Travel Professionals will make a Recce Tour (Fam - Tour) for the inspection of the places of interest, hotels, food, safety, planning day to day program, time and distance of travel and more...first hand before your arrival to any destination.


We will visit some of the hotels that we may use for our tour program - Hotels inspection.

Travel agent has a good collaboration between the local tour operators and the hoteliers. Their relationship with the hotels has been long establised, as we would always like to pick the best hotels for our guests., such as a good location, good breakfast, free wifi, comfortable rooms with nice bath-room attached with full amenities, hair dryer, fridge, TV , coffee/tea making facility, room service, F&B, business center, entertainment outlet and more. Last but not least we will be offered the lowest rate from the hotels as the volume given by our local tour operators to the respective hotels..

We will also inspect some of our coaches used for our tour programme - Coach inspection and human quality.
Safety is our utmost priority concerned for our traveller. The quality of our coaches should not be more than 5 years and must be in tip top conditions. Most of the European countries, Asian or Asean has implemented a stress test to drivers or coach captain before they are allowed to take charge of the tourist coaches. Please find attached the rules and regulation for our Drivers & Coaches in EEC countries. Website:https://www.gov.uk/drivers-hours/eu-rules

Human Quality

Our Guides & Tour Manager:
Sharing smiles. The human quality is essential for you to feel welcome. Our guides has been specially trained and under go examination by the Tourism Board of their respective country. They are speacially chosen because of their vast knowledge of the region and their experiance of the culture and countries of our traveller. Their extensive training allow them respect the needs and sentivities of all our clients

Meals quality and Food tasting evaluation...
We know how important is for some of our travellers to be able to dine at restaurants that provide cuisine from their own country. As I was born and bred in Malaysia with my vast experience of our difference cultures and the varieties of food offer here. Our tours breakfast will include a hearty breakfast buffet. However for lunches or dinner, we will always gives you the possibilities to the food similar to our home country's or to taste the local specialties. But we do not forget savoring the local cuisine is also a way to experience the country and its culture. We may take every option is available, be it - Western, Asian, Chinese, Indians, and any other International chains of restaurants.

For incentive tours, meeting and seminars, our travel consultants will discuss and design an exclusive trip thereby creating a unique experience according to your budget and requirements. Theme dinners and parties, product launches are some of the events that can be tied in with incentives.
Our experienced incentives team has done countless such programmes.

 
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