CNG Travel Group has signed a hotel inventory distribution agreement with Sharp, a Korean travel distributors and service provider.
With its growing presence on the global business stage, Korea is the world’s 13th largest travel and tourism market with an economic value estimated at US$88 billion this year. Travel and tourism accounts for around 7.3% of Korea’s GDP and is forecast to grow by 6% a year between 2006 and 2015 (source: WTTC).
The deal reinforces CNG’s presence in the strategically important Far Eastern market. Earlier this year, CNG agreed an exclusive distribution deal with Ctrip.com International Ltd, a leading consolidator of hotel accommodation and airline tickets in China. In June 2004, CNG signed a partnership deal with Sojitz Corporation, a leading Japanese conglomerate, to distribute its private rate hotel inventory in the Japanese travel market.
Tim Wright, CNG senior vice president for business development in EMEA, said: “Sharp’s leading presence in the Korean travel market will provide a strategically important distribution channel for CNG, helping meet the fast-growing needs of Korean leisure and business travellers visiting Europe and the USA. We’re honoured to have joined forces with Sharp and look forward to building a solid business base that benefits us both, as well as Korean agencies, corporations and travellers.”
S. S. Paik, president of Sharp Inc., commented: “Inbound and outbound travel is a major business activity in Korea, with a corresponding demand for quality travel products and services. Our deal with CNG will provide Korean agents and their customers with enhanced hotel accommodation choice and value. CNG’s private rate hotel programme, with its advanced search and booking technology, is a welcome addition to our service portfolio.”