Industry icon NAN HWA is bracing for tough days ahead but sees opportunity in emerging markets. JASON SHUM believes that quality of service will save the day.

Almost 55 years ago, the company started with express courier/cargo services using Garuda Indonesia Airlines to Indonesian market. In the early 1970’s, Garuda Indonesia Airlines appointed Nan Hwa as their passenger sales agent. Till date, Nan Hwa is the wholesaler of all major carriers in Hong Kong.

Growing China Market 

Like a lot of industries, the growth is coming out of the China Market. Three years ago, Nan Hwa set up a Wholly Own Subsidiary in Guangzhou using CEPA and is one the first travel agent from Hong Kong to obtain the full Outbound travel licence.

Apart from Group tours (eg Wing On, Hong Thai), Nan Hwa is a specialist in all segments of the travel industry. Wholesale business of all major carriers and international hotels gives Nan Hwa a competitive edge in terms of price.

With all the preferred pricing, Nan Hwa also provides corporate customers with the best deal in the market.

“We also offer Meeting, Incentive, Conference and Exhibition (MICE), golf holidays, inbound to Hong Kong and sport events tours,” says Jason Shum, executive director.

Adapt Now!

Shum says: “The buying habits of travel is shifting towards online while the suppliers are going direct to the customers, and this is the major obstacle for traditional travel agents. Providing an online booking tool for customers, 24/7 customer support and bringing more value for customers will be the key factors to overcome this obstacle.”

“The notion that small and medium sized agents will be pulling out or consolidated into the large travel agents due to lack of competitiveness in terms of technology constraint and financial burden will bring us an opportunity to expand to acquire good people with business prospects. I will be very cautious in business expansion in Hong Kong as existing market situation is full of uncertainty and will continue to lag in the coming years. I aim to focus more on China outbound tours to Hong Kong and other hot destinations in the region.”

Days Ahead

“I always need to strike a balance between people and technology. As travel is a people-centric business, it is vital to make use of automation to strengthen our capability to deliver service more efficiently and effectively,” says Shum.

“Good people are invaluable assets to a travel agent notably a traditional one like Nan Hwa, and I believe, we provided a quality of service that is expected and demanded by the market. We maintain well-trained and loyal people in the company. The more we can sustain our competitiveness in the industry in the long run, the better we will be able to serve our customers and partners,” concludes Shum.

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