Asia continues to hold the interest of European buyers at IT&CM Asia 2022, thanks to its verdant nature landscapes, diverse culture, affordability, as well as safety and security post-lockdown.
Tomasz Dutkiewicz, CEO of Poland-based Amplifica, told TTGmice: “The first destination that (Polish companies) pick for incentive trips beyond Europe is Asia.
“The region is affordable, and is much cheaper than Africa or South America, and offers quality experiences, culture, nature, and is also safe.”
Another European buyer present at IT&CM Asia 2022 who requested anonymity shared that she has noticed a renewed interest in South-east Asia post-lockdown for the same reasons.
“With budgets being the same as pre-Covid, Asia’s affordability on the ground is a big draw,” she said, adding that beach destinations are favoured over cities.
Meanwhile, Dutkiewicz shared that he has already arranged for groups to visit Sri Lanka, India, and Bali in Indonesia. These groups are smaller in size, between 10 to 15 participants. Pre-pandemic, groups used to be larger he observed, ranging from between 50 to 70 people.
He added that Asia is benefitting at the moment as corporates still “wanted to get out” and travel, but unfortunately, the situation in Europe was not favourable due to the ongoing Ukraine-Russia war.
Mihai Luca, director of Travel Smart Info, Romania, shared that his clients were rather inclined towards holding incentive trips in Asia even before lockdowns were over, with clients were asking “when Thailand would open”.
Before borders in Asia reopened, he sent European clients to African countries like Kenya and South Africa, as these were the first to welcome travellers.
One challenge to grapple with now, Luca lamented, is the massive airfare hikes that “shocked” corporates during the planning stages.
However, companies still “need” to send their staff on incentive trips to keep them motivated, after two years of being stuck at home. – Additional reporting by S Puvaneswary