Q) What are Exo’s forward bookings like for the forthcoming 2013-14 high season?
Forward bookings are very healthy. We are 30% ahead for bookings year-on-year.
Q) Which destinations/tours are proving most popular?
Myanmar has been the fastest growing destination for Exotissimo over the last year for obvious reasons. However Vietnam has done very well again as has Thailand and we have seen very good growth in Indonesia and Japan. In terms of product, we have seen significant growth in tailor-made touring as people are willing to travel further not just in terms of long-haul but also off-the-beaten track. MICE has also been very strong in Vietnam.
Q) What are Exo’s main guest source markets, and which markets are seeing the strongest growth?
France is our largest source market closely followed by the UK. The UK, Australia, North America and South America have all been growing over the last years. Although these are more traditional markets we are still experience continued growth as travelers continue to demand more exotic destinations and customized itineraries.
Q) Are you seeing any noticeable trends in terms of what your guests are now demanding?
We can clearly see that the modern traveLler is become more discerning and more demanding than ever. We are finding that services and itineraries must be highly personalized and no longer is it enough to merely travel to the latest, off-the-beaten path destinations as travelers are demanding experiences that go deeper and appeal to the individual’s tastes in a more personal way. Requests from our clients are more likely to incorporate specific tastes and often need to meet personal objectives, whether that is a specific activities, such as walking, cycling or a particular cultural interaction, we are finding it more important than ever to be completely aware of what is possible in our destinations and open to finding new ways to travel and meet the client’s needs.
Q) What’s new for Exo in 2014?
The year ahead will see Exo continue to invest in people and training as we recognize the value of having the best people in place to ensure we can meet or beat the expectations of our clients. While at the same time we will refine and improve our technology and websites so we can meet the need to receive information faster and more efficiently than ever. We see 2014 as a very important year for Exo and travel to Asia as improved flight connections and carrying capacity will mean more people are travelling to our destinations than ever, particularly from the nearby Asian markets. Therefore our challenge continues to be to deliver genuinely unique experiences that will exceed the demands of the modern traveler. A challenge we are confident we can meet.