Leo’s travel journal

Leo’s travel journal and other juicy bits…

Posts Tagged ‘Hotel

Off for a break!

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Okay guys, I’m heading off to Redang tomorrow morning, followed by Tanjong Jara on Sunday.

An indepth review of both, Berjaya Redang Beach & Spa Resort and Tanjong Jara Resort coming up.

And yes, I’m still contemplating shutting this blog down. =)

Written by Leo

12 July 2007 at 10:46

Posted in Travel

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From Warsaw with love…

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Did you know that Warsaw was the birthplace of the infamous pianist / composer, Frédéric Franciszek Chopin? His seemingly impossible to play pieces remain the pièce de résistance for many aspiring pianist worldwide. There’s even an international piano competition named after him.

This post may be a tad boring to you guys, but this is what I do on a work day when I’m travelling. I am writing this while Chopin’s Waltz No. 1 in Eb is playing on my computer.

To those of you who don’t already know, I am working with a leading travel group in Malaysia, focusing in inbound tours (bringing foreign tourists into Malaysia). And no, I am not a tour guide! My portfolios include product and business development, marketing, public relations and communications.

The trip starts way before I actually board the plane to my destinations, approximately 3 – 4 weeks to be exact.

My trips are always planned before or after a major trade show(s); usually in the first, third and fourth quarter of the year. In this trip’s case, it was the ITB in Berlin and MITT in Moscow. In these trade shows, we meet up with existing and prospective outbound tour operator clients. As there was a 1 week gap in between the shows, I had a discussion with my boss, Mr. Italian CEO to decide on new areas that we should develop business from. It was thus decided Eastern Europe was the new frontier.

So I planned Estonia and Poland. The purpose of this trip was more on fact finding and I am to submit a feasibility study on developing these new markets. This is done by meeting major outbound tour operators in the respective countries and gauge Malaysia’s popularity and potential as a destination to sell.

Next, I proceed to search for information on these tour operators through various channels like the Tourism Malaysia offices in charge of these countries, airline friends, and other tour operators in competing countries like Thailand.

I then decide on the dates that I will be in each country and make appointments with the respective tour operators.

I wake up in the morning to a sumptuous breakfast (in this case at the coffeeshop of my hotel).
On the logistics side, I have to liaise with my associate in the sister company doing outbound tour operating (bringing people out) to book my flight and get the best available connections. Taking into account the flight time (it is always the best to take a night flight to Europe out of Asia, so you leave at night from Kuala Lumpur and arrive in Europe in the morning to avoid the highly dreaded jetlag). In my case, I usually take the Star Alliance (Singapore Airlines and Lufthansa combination) due to its wide network in Europe. Visa requirements are taken care upon issuance of my ticket.

Next – the hotels. I would usually book online as it is averagely more cost effective to book European hotels online. I also do read up on the new cities that I visit to find out more on the culture, places of interests, learn common phrases like greetings and how to get around. I try to select the best possible places to stay in this order – location, quality of the hotel and last but not least, price.

Being an ex-hotelier, I am still suckered by nice little touches like these turndown chocolates, and tomorrow’s weather forecast.
Then there’s calling the credit card and mobile companies to notify them of my travels.

The actual travelling itself is rather mundane, I must say. 21 days away from home, alone and in the cold most of the time takes its toll on the spirit.

Yes, I do get to travel a big deal, however in this trip; it is 4 countries, 3 different time zones, in and out of airports 10 times, in and out of hotels 8 times. Not so fun after all? You bet.

It is a tedious job, but hey someone’s gotta do it!

Written by Leo

16 March 2007 at 21:42