Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bangkok's pain is Bali's gain.

Tuesday, 11th May 2010
Source : WIT 2010 http://www.4hoteliers.com/4hots_nshw.php?mwi=7274

The political unrest in Bangkok has proved to be a boon for Indonesia with travel demand shifting to alternative locations such as Bali and Jakarta, said Robbie Cooke, CEO and managing director of Wotif Group, which opened its fifth Asian office in Bali this week.

Cooke said the group has seen steady growth in sales for Indonesian properties through its sites – Wotif.com, AsiaWebDirect.com and LateStays.com – particularly in bookings for Bali (pictured).

“We're pleased and proud to make our presence in Bali more official with an office and bigger team who can better cater to the needs of our growing base of Indonesian properties and the increasing demand from the customers on our brands in Asia,” he said at the opening party, attended by more than 120 general managers and staff from its top supporting Indonesian hotel partners.

Indonesia is ranked as Wotif.com's fifth most popular Asian region, based on bookings for 2009. Bali was also one of Wotif.com's top five Asian destinations in 2009, together with Singapore, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur.

Welcoming Wotif’s entry to Indonesia, Gerard Guillouet, VP Operations for Accor Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore said the group, which has seven properties operating and four under construction in Indonesia, would be collaborating with Wotif “even more effectively to attract visitors to Indonesia and help develop the local travel market”.

Cooke said that that more Indonesian hoteliers were harnessing the benefits of online distribution.

‘Being locally based means we can work more closely with our hotel partners to ensure they attract the right mix of our customers for their properties.”

Over 800 Indonesian properties are currently listed on Wotif Group's websites (66% of which are in Bali). Earlier this year, Wotif Group received awards from hotel partners in Indonesia recognising its outstanding contributions as an online partner. These included:

* Excellence in Partnership 2009 and 10th Best Production from Discovery Kartika Plaza in Bali
* Best Growth - Asia Pacific Online Travel Agent for Accor Hotels in Bali & Lombok from the Accor Hotel Group

“These awards are a testament to our dedication to our hotel partners and the tangible value we bring to their business. With an increased focus on the region we hope to achieve many more in the next 12 months,” said Cooke.

Picture shows Yusuf IJsseldijk, Wotif Group's Product Director for Thailand, Indonesia and Indochina, with Indonesian staff members at the new Bali offiice

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