Phuket-based Records Healthy Growth in Troubled Times

Share Article is seeing further signs of recovery in the travel industry despite ongoing challenges in the global economic recovery, aviation industry and civil unrest in Bangkok.

Real People, Real Service, Real Choice is a Phuket-based company. We have enjoyed complete continuity in our normal business operations, and have not suffered from 'forced' office closure or the necessity to relocate to temporary satellite offices. reports healthy growth for the first half of 2010, as positive business trends in the global travel sector continue to counter challenges from volcanic ash and unrest in Bangkok.

Converted hotel bookings are up over 23% in 2010 compared to the same period in 2009 (1 Jan-19 May). This bullish surge is also only eight per cent off 2008 figures, which was the second best year in the company's 10-year history. Chief Information Officer, Olivier Dombey, said that despite the impact of Bangkok’s continued unrest on Thailand's travel industry, the company’s year to date results were not surprising. They confirmed that the company’s strategy to diversify key business markets and mitigate risk from any adverse event was working.

"Everyone knows that travellers are cancelling all non-essential trips to Bangkok. However continues to see an upward demand trend as these trips are rescheduled and the global economy continues to recover."

According to Mr Dombey, three important factors are driving the company's growth: customers with existing reservations are switching from Bangkok to other destinations rather than cancelling; low season rates were allowing bargain hunters to grab great hotel deals in Asia, and's unique location has become a competitive advantage.

" is a Phuket-based company. We have enjoyed complete continuity in our normal business operations, and have not suffered from 'forced' office closure or the necessity to relocate to temporary satellite offices, as might have been the case if we were based in Bangkok.

"Our management and staff have been able to get to work without having to worry about their personal safety. No disruption in operations has translated into substantial business growth for both our company and the destination (Phuket) as a whole," Mr Dombey, added.

He said reported a 36 % increase in bookings to Phuket year-to-date 2010 compared to the same period in 2009. Furthermore, Phuket has maintained this upward trend even as the level of unrest in Bangkok has intensified. For the period of 10 April to 19 May bookings to Phuket increased by over 10 % compared to the same period in 2009.

Other markets have also seen substantial growth in hotel bookings. In Asia, Singapore is up 200 % compared to 2009, while bookings to Bali are up 33 %. In Europe, Paris is enjoying a 100 % increase in bookings year-to-date, while London hotel bookings have risen 25% during 2010 compared to last year.

Mr Dombey said: “ is optimistic because its capacity to service customers from Phuket remains unaffected.

“Our strategy to capture the resilient markets mentioned is identical to our core business brand equity. Which is to offer customers the lowest hotel rates for properties worldwide, while respecting our hotel partner’s requirement for global rate parity across a variety of distribution channels.”

About is a leader in worldwide hotel bookings and a pioneer in online customer service, providing the inside track to the best deals and discounts for hotels in more than 100 countries. Founded in 1999, the company’s multi-lingual website offers eight languages – English, Chinese, Japanese, French, German, Spanish, Italian, and Korean – supported by a 24-hour customer service centre staffed by native speakers in each language. The company employs over 300 staff with offices in Thailand, Malaysia and China.

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Tom Racette
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