COVID-19 travel restrictions have been easing since April and the travel industry is seeing signs of recovery.
Acting General Manager of Sabre Brunei Travel Network Abdul Halim bin Haji Abdul Rahman expressed his gratitude to the authorities for the reopening of the international borders and their support for travel recovery. The industry is now optimistic that they will be able to achieve 85 per cent of total bookings made during the fair in 2019, he added.
Speaking to the Bulletin following the press conference on the comeback of the much-anticipated Sabre Brunei Travel Fair onTuesday, Abdul Halim said, “At Sabre Brunei we are seeing recovery since the lifting of travel restrictions in April, especially in the number of bookings.
On average, the booking rate is at 65 per cent of the pre-pandemic period.”
He also shared that the number of travellers is definitely increasing as recorded in recent research conducted by Sabre Asia Pacific, with corporate travel agents and travel management companies across 21 countries including Brunei.
Response from the travel agents was also very encouraging and there’s strong optimism among the majority to see a return to pre-pandemic corporate travel levels, while some expect a travel boom within the next 12 months.
“At Sabre Brunei, we have observed travel agents retrieving their staff and requesting for additional workstations. We also see airlines increasing their flight frequencies and re-opening more destinations despite facing challenges such as manpower shortage and increased operational cost.”
Sabre is also drawing up plans and activities to enhance recovery for the travel industry and is in talks with airlines for more collaborations.
Additionally, they are also looking to increase the productivity of travel agents by capitalising on the use of products and systems such as the point of sales, Sabre Red 360 and mid-back-office systems such as PowerSuite.
“We are in the process of migrating our travel agents to PowerSuite Cloud as part of Sabre’s global partnership with Google,” he said.
For the travel fair, Sabre Brunei has recorded a strong participation rate, with 47 booths set up at the fair including newcomer Halim Tours and Travel.
Insurance service providers along with national tourist offices pavilion, such as Tourism Malaysia Promotion Board will also joining the fair.
Straits Central Agencies (SCA), one of the active travel agents, is also looking forward to another successful travel fair following the pandemic hiatus.
To celebrate its 55 years of service, SCA has just launched a lucky draw.
Besides air tickets, SCA is also running promotions for Aqiqah/Korban and Kurma, and are giving away BND10 off for every tickets purchase to Malaysia, courtesy of Tourism Malaysia Brunei, for the first 300 customers.
There will also be small giveaways token for the first 200 customers registered to the SCA mailing list.