“This is validated by external research, our own research and our growth: Online travel in Asia continued to power on in 2005. (According to an analyst estimates) the online travel market in Asia-Pacific to be worth US$25.6 billion in 2007 more than double that of 2004’s. The proportion of “Internet users who travel at least once a year” who buy travel online is now significant: it ranges from 62 percent to 88 percent across the countries we operate in. This is based on research that ZUJI had commissioned AC Nielsen to conduct in October 2005. Zuji’s year-over-year growth for 2005 was more than 80 percent,” says Ho.

During the last six months, Ho adds following developments have emerged: “An increase in the purchase of upscale and luxury travel products; Our sales of business class airfares have grown significantly in Singapore in a particular; Travellers are flying “cheap” (finding bargain economy class airfares) but splurging on luxury accommodation (say, in a Banyan Tree resort); Luxury cruise sales have been on the increase, particularly in Australia; Our internal research shows a significant proportion (25-30 percent) of online travellers are affluent; Small & medium sized enterprises are buying travel online to save. Up to 30 percent of Zuji Singapore’s sales come from this new segment of online travellers.”

On key in making e-commerce offerings relevant for a diverse Asian marketplace, Ho says it is imperative to understand what consumers want and providing them it, and even exceeding their expectations.

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