Asiatravel.com, MLhuillier ink deal, target Pinoy travellers mart

By: Victor Anthony V. Silva March 02,2017 - 10:34 PM
Michael Lhuillier, president and CEO of MLhuillier Inc., (left) signs the partnership agreement with Nikki Roa (center) and Nemilyn Litan, Asiatravel.com representatives, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The deal was sealed last March 1. CDN PHOTO/VICTOR ANTHONY V. SILVA

Michael Lhuillier, president and CEO of MLhuillier Inc., (left) signs the partnership agreement with Nikki Roa (center) and Nemilyn Litan, Asiatravel.com representatives, at the Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino. The deal was sealed last March 1.
CDN PHOTO/VICTOR ANTHONY V. SILVA

WITH more airlines offering low-cost flights and the increasing spending capacity of Filipinos, more people in the Philippines are now able to fly to different destinations in the country as well as all over the world.

Nemilyn Litan, director for business development and sales for Asiatravel.com in the Philippines, said the availability of low-cost fares is among the driving forces behind the growth of air travel in the country.

“Now, Filipinos get to travel more. Low-cost fares are also within reach online. A person who initially had no plans to travel can immediately change his mind,” she said during the launch of the online travel agency’s partnership with MLhuillier, Inc. on Wednesday evening in Cebu City.

She also cited the continuous network expansion of airlines as a factor that helps drive the increase in domestic air traffic.

Data from the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) showed that the volume of domestic passengers reached 5.84 million in the first quarter of 2016, up by 12 percent from 5.23 million during the same period in 2015.

For the whole 2015, the CAB recorded the total domestic passenger volume at 22.08 million.

Singapore-based Asiatravel has a network of 200,000 hotels in 180 countries, 500 partner carriers, and offers eight million tour packages in both domestic and international destinations.

In its bid to bring these products to a bigger market in the Philippines, the agency has partnered with MLhuillier, the country’s largest provider of financial services, by tapping the latter’s 2,000 branches nationwide.

Litan said Filipinos now have the option to pay for their bookings through any MLhuillier branch and inquire about Travelasia products in these branches as well.

She said they have set up a team to train MLhuillier personnel on how to handle inquiries and bookings in the next three to four months.

With its tagline “Ka-byahe mo ang MLhuillier,” the partnership is set to be officially launched within this month, said Litan.

A website especially made for bookings through MLhuillier will also go online within the same period.

Asiatravel executive vice president Nikki Rocha, for his part, said it has been his dream to bring travel products closer to most Filipinos.

“Unlike in the past, travel products were only available in the cities or areas close to the cities. But with the 2,000 stores of MLhuillier, we can offer competitive and quality products all over the Philippines,” he said.

Michael Lhuillier, MLhuillier president and chief executive officer, said he sees great potential in their partnership with the online agency as more Filipinos are expected to travel.

“As our country becomes more and more progressive, as our country becomes more successful, people will have more money and they would want to see the world,” he said.

Lhuillier said that 25 years ago, the company only offered collateral lending but has since grown into one of the most versatile financial institutions with services including remittance, bills payment, logistics, and insurance among others.

The firm is even planning to expand to add 200 more branches to its more than 2,000 branches nationwide.

“Today, we are looking for those strategic relationships and products that can help us become a true non-bank financial institution for every Filipino. We always look for better ways to serve them and better services to give them. Travel is just one of these things,” said Lhuillier.

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