Name of Recipient:
Mr. Ong Han Jie
Mr. Wong Yew Hoon
In the recent years, the travel industry has been experiencing an exponential growth in business. Living in a fast-paced society, the demand to go abroad to spend one’s holiday is rapidly increasing. While there may be various reasons for one to do so, people generally travel to relax and rejuvenate, explore places that they have never been to and to taste the delicious cuisine from a different region. In fact, taking a holiday can be beneficial, as it allows an individual to enjoy life a little more and perhaps, have greater life satisfaction.
EU Asia Holidays Pte Ltd, inaugurated in 2013, is one travel agency that was formed due to the overwhelming requests from its other division’s clients, to offer short haul destinations. As its name suggests, the company focuses on four popular Asian countries, specifically, Korea, Japan, Taiwan and China. On the other hand, their parent company, EU Holidays Pte Ltd, provides exotic tours and concentrates primarily on European and American continents. Armed with professional customer service officers and tour leaders, the company promises a happy experience when you plan your holiday with them.
At EU Asia, every tour package is carefully planned and priced at the best interest of its customers. If you do not wish to travel in large groups, there are also non-group tours for travellers to tour the country free and easy. Over the years, the company has gained much recognition and is currently labelled as a destination specialist or in other words, a country expert, by Singapore’s number one travel portal, Tripzilla. Undoubtedly, EU Asia has become one of the rising name within its industry.
Despite the company’s success, Managing Director, Mr. Ong, shared that his entrepreneurial journey was indeed full of ups and downs. Like any other small-medium enterprise, the company encountered numerous tough circumstances during the early days. When EU Holidays was initiated, it was challenging to fixate their travel packages on only two continents. Furthermore, travelling to Europe and America is expensive, resulting in a smaller customer base. To add on, Mr. Ong had difficulties acquiring skilled individuals to plan for their packages and itineraries.
In the recent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus outbreak, EU Asia was also badly affected as many of its clients had cancelled their trips to Korea so as to avoid the bug. Although the epidemic was beyond the company’s control, they had to make refunds to their customers. Also, Japan’s rising cost of living has deterred many from having their holiday there as its pricing will almost be equivalent to travelling to Europe. “Being in this market is not easy, as the country’s safety, economic situation and so forth, can affect our business adversely,” said Mr. Ong
Nonetheless, the team at EU Asia works tirelessly to achieve excellence – this includes delivering remarkable customer service. Being a relatively new travel company, EU Asia strives to do its best to stay ahead of its competitors. Apart from coming up with special itineraries, the company has also assigned a capable group of sales staff, planners and managers to manage each destination. According to Mr. Ong, every employee is trained and most of the sales staff have attained the tour leader certification.
EU Asia also prides itself on having a personal touch with their clients. Hence, their flagship store, located at Chinatown, displays an opening concept. Mr. Ong later mentioned that the travel packages that they have are usually themed and are not ‘the traditional kinds you will see in other companies’. Working closely with the relevant tourism boards, EU Asia ensures that their itineraries hold creativity and is appealing to all. More than that, the company is also the sole travel agency to be selling tours for Shoiyudo, Japan, a beautiful destination rarely explored.
To Mr. Ong, entrepreneurship means to work as a team and to do something that will stand out. He cited his customers as his source of motivation as he feels that EU Asia would not have become what it is today without them. As a parting message, he encouraged individuals who are seeking to start their own business to have perseverance when they meet problems and be committed to their work.
133 New Bridge Road, Chinatown Point