Chief executive John Powell said the move was part of the company’s strategy of providing high margins and support to travel agents who direct online bookings through FIA.
As an incentive, travel agents are being offered 15% commission on all FIA tours booked online, and 10% if it’s part of a promotion.
FIA’s ‘deal direct’ initiative for travel agents provides travellers with online access to some of the best deals available in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and one of the world’s most rapidly emerging destinations, Burma. The FIA program even covers North Korea. FIA is also releasing a new ‘Footsteps in Style’ product, which will concentrate on the luxury end of the market.
The new Australian office will manage local bookings for FIA’s 2012 program of 50 South East Asia tours including 23 unique tours of Vietnam. Retail prices for FIA’s popular week-long North Vietnam Escape are AUD566 while costs for the Gourmet Spicy Vietnam tour begin at AUD1500.
Powell said that FIA’s philosophy is to pass on to travel agents, and therefore the public, the great savings it can make by cutting out the mid-market. FIA is offering them savings that previously were only available if they dealt direct with overseas tour providers.
Powell and his team project that 250,000 Australians will visit Vietnam this year, providing a major market for travel agents booking budget through to luxury tours for first-time and repeat visitors. FIA has developed a wide variety of travel options and styles that cater for singles, couples and families.
Interest is increasing significantly for luxury river cruising on the Mekong as well as Halong Bay boating, culinary experiences, and adventure travel including walking, trekking and cycle tours. These options are in addition to the popular Saigon, Hoi An, and Hanoi destinations tours.
Footsteps in Asia focuses on safe, sustainable, quality tours that ensure an enjoyable and fulfilling travel experience at great online prices.
The company has offices in Australia, Vietnam, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia and is a member of the Australian Travel Compensation Fund.
Edited by: Peter Needham