Breaking Travel News interview: Sujit Nair, founder, Akqua Sun Group
India-based Akqua Sun Group has been recognised as Asia’s Fastest Growing Destination Management Company.
Here Breaking Travel News sits down with founder, Sujit Nair, to discuss what the title means the brand, what Akqua Sun will be doing in 2013 and where he expects growth to come from in a rapidly developing market.
Breaking Travel News: Akqua Sun Group has been recognised as Asia’s Fastest Growing Destination Management Company by the World Travel Awards. How does it feel to have claimed this prestigious honour?
Sujit Nair: This award is a great honour and a privilege as it recognises all the hard work we have done over the years to build this platform.
It an honour that’s shared with the entire team across all our destination management company’s and sales network, as well as with our trade partners and suppliers who stood by us all the way.
BTN: What do you think it is that separates you from competitors in India, and Asia?
SN: Since the category is “Asia’s Fastest Growing DMC” its essentially a journey we are all engaged in and we are committed to this growth without compromising any of our core principals of quality, value and integrity that’s brought us this far.
As a B-to-B specialist we know our role and our place in the value chain which has built strong partnerships and relationships based on mutual trust and we have delivered consistent quality throughout our network.
We are the DMC who operates in 11 countries and works through our own markets.
It’s these intangibles that really separate us from the herd.
BTN: Can you tell our readers, who might be unaware of your brand, exactly what you bring to the marketplace?
SN: Akqua Sun is a network of DMC’s which span the globe with special emphasis on Asia.
We are currently present in 11 territories and these are Sri Lanka, Maldives, Mauritius, Hong Kong (Macau), China, Thailand, Malaysia, Dubai, USA, South Africa and Russia.
We are a purely B-2-B network which essentially supports travel agents and tour operators in our key source markets with complete destination management solutions, everything from groups, FIT’s, MICE, transfers, excursions etc.
We have five sales networks at present which are India (which by far is the biggest), UAE, Russia, China and Sri Lanka and we are totally focussed on the relationships in these markets which deliver the guests to our DMC network.
BTN: Do you feel World Travel Awards is an important accolade for your brand to have claimed?
SN: The World Travel Awards are the industry benchmark now and its all the more valuable as the recognition comes through a peer generated voting system.
This makes it all the more important as it’s recognition of the work we have done by the very people that we work with.
Akqua Sun Group talks to Breaking Travel News at the WTA Asia Gala Ceremony in Singapore
BTN: Will you be using it in your marketing at all?
SN: From the nomination itself we had incorporated the “nominee” logo in all our marketing communications.
Now that we are the winners in our category we will certainly be using it in all our material.
BTN: Can you tell us a little about what you have planned for 2013 to ensure you remain ahead of the pack and retain the title next year?
SN: We have no plans to expand the DMC network beyond the 11 territories we cover presently.
Our focus in 2013 will be to consolidate the business we have from our primary source markets and explore better ways of distributing our products and inventory.
This will include the launch of a portal for our agents, akquasunb2blive, which will initially contain our entire Maldives inventory.
Over the coming months we will add all destinations and by the end of 2013 out entire network will be accessible online.
Which destination markets do you see growing in important next year for Akqua Sun?
SN: The Akqua Sun destinations account for 36 per cent of the total outbound market from India.
In places such as Mauritius, Maldives, Russia and Hong Kong we can confidently say we are market leaders and we don’t see Indian traffic dropping to any of these destinations.
Add Russia, Middle East and China to the mix and we are present in four of the strongest tourism markets in the world and everyone is vying for a slice of this business.
All our DMC’s are poised for strong and consistent growth over the coming year and we will continue to strengthen our sales network as well as our relationships to ensure this progression.
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