Traveltek has opened a regional office in Hong Kong marking its entry into the north Asian travel market.
The new base is headed up by Simon Leung who previously held senior roles with Amadeus and Travelport in Asia and most recently ran his own travel technology consultancy in China.
As business development manager for north Asia, Leung is responsible for Traveltek’s presence in Hong Kong, Macau, China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan.
The move sees the Glasgow-based travel technology specialist introduce its dynamic packaging and cruise booking technology to the booming leisure travel market in the region.
It comes just weeks after the company opened a Middle East regional office in Dubai and as part of ambitious global expansion plans.
Traveltek is growing its international footprint after securing an investment of £5.3 million from private equity fund manager YFM at the end of last year.
Leung said: “Traveltek has the potential to revolutionise the way in which travel companies in north Asia sell travel.
“It is not only the first provider in the region to offer travel agencies the ability to dynamically package cruise with flights, accommodation and other ancillaries, but its API connection is new to the market too.”
Traveltek said its entry into Asia comes as World Travel Monitor data revealed outbound travel from the region increased 11% year on year during the first eight months of 2016.
Growth was led by China (+18%) followed by the Republic of Korea (+11%).
Holiday travel dominated in Asia, accounting for 81% of all trips, with bookings for sun-and-beach travel growing 20% between January and August 2016.
Demand for countryside and city trips, as well as touring holidays, also picked up, with year-on-year increases of 15%, 8% and 2% respectively.
Asia’s cruise industry is also growing rapidly, with passenger numbers from the region rocketing 40% from 774,536 in 2012 to 2.08 million in 2015, according to Cruise Lines International Association.
“There is still work to be done to educate the Asian travel industry about the potential of the cruise market, but as companies start to realise its revenue- and commission-earning benefits, Traveltek has a key role to play in providing the technology to help them maximise sales,” added Leung.
The company is kicking off its launch in north Asia with a Traveltek Business Breakfast, scheduled for October.
Local travel agents and key industry stakeholders will be invited to the event, which will include presentations from Traveltek, Scottish Development International’s Hong Kong office and a cruise industry professional.
The firm is also taking part in a number of high-profile events this month to raise awareness of its new North Asia operation and its industry expertise.
President and chief executive, Kenny Picken, is due to speak at the Travolution Forum Asia in Macau on September 13 and Leung will be speaking at the Smart Tourism Conference in Chengdu the following day.