SALES and visitorship figures at last weekend's NATAS Travel 2013 may have fallen short of expectations, but travel consultants observed that longhaul business continues to perform well.
With the euro still weak against the Singapore dollar, Europe outperformed other evergreen favourites such as China, Japan and South Korea, destinations which rank among the top five.
CTC Travel's senior vice president of marketing and public relations, Alicia Seah, said bookings to Europe comprised 20 per cent of their sales. She said: “Travellers are attracted to these 10-15-day packages to Europe as they are generally cheaper due to the favourable exchange rate.”
She added that CTC Travel, encouraged by this trend, has created new itineraries into Europe and also launched mono-destination packages for Germany and Italy.
Eva Wu, marketing & communications manager of SA Tours, shared the same sentiment. She said: “We were pretty surprised by the large take-up for our Europe packages and it was far and away the top destination choice.”
Chan Brothers Travel marketing & communications manager, Michelle Yin, also singled out Europe as a “perennial favourite”.
She added that the poor attendance at NATAS Travel could be due to its overlap with the Chinese New Year period.
The fair welcomed 53,344 visitors, down 15 per cent from the same time last year. Initial sales estimates by NATAS are between S$85 million (US$ 69 million) and S$90 million, less than last year’s S$100 million.