SHORT-haul destinations continue to be the region’s go-to choice at least for the time being, Phoenix Marketing Services CEO Darshana Manglani, tells TTN in an informal chat.
“There are two distinct audiences: the masses who look for the inexpensive options and will continue to choose destinations that are close to home and the well-travelled niche, who will consider travel to the US, Mexico and probably Latin America.”
A representation company with select DMC partners, Phoenix Marketing Services was founded in 2013, with a mission to add value to the travel trade by offering in-depth knowledge of destinations, products and services for the destinations they cater to. On the other hand, it also supports the principles by sharing expertise on diverse market segments, current trends and customer preferences enabling them to establish a strong and permanent presence.
Phoenix Marketing Services cater to services in Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Mexico through Condor Travel, one of its oldest partners. “Traditionally, Phoenix Marketing Services has always been strongest in Latin America and now we have also added Mexico to the mix. With Emirates having a direct flight to Mexico, we hope this will work out quite well for us, when long-haul travel picks up in a big way.”
“I see very good potential for Israel from the UAE, provided the visa processes are put in place quickly and efficiently”
– Darshana Manglani
“South American countries suffer from a lack of awareness as a destination. People perceive Latin America as too far, although a Los Angeles flight and a Sao Paolo flight take the same time. There's also a perception about lack of safety in South America, which to a large extent is a myth, but these mindsets don’t change without a personal experience.”
Phoenix Marketing Services also represents partners in Finland (Time Travels), Russia (Isbarus), and in the more popular countries of Georgia and Azerbaijan (GEO Tours) as well as Armenia (Karavi Tours).
“Recently we have added two very exciting DMCs to our offerings: Dolores Travel Services covering Uzbekistan and Central Asia as well as Sar-El Tours & Conferences, one of the largest DMCs in Israel that offers programmes for Israel, Jordan and Egypt. Sar-El Tours & Conferences excels in religious tourism, both Christian or Muslim as well as multi-dimensional school trip products.
“Another unique offering that we promote is our adventure tours by Kiran Goradia Adventures, an Indian DMC that offers the most exciting adventure tours across the globe. Catering to the real adventure buffs, KG adventures trips include an off-road trip from Moscow to St Petersburg, ski camps for students in Austria, E-biking across various European countries, and now the latest offering is Riding Staycation Camps in a palace in India.
“With the objective of making our destinations more interesting, we come up with newer and different options such as our Uzbekistan-Kyrgyzstan package, which includes a multi-country, land crossing and ensures exploring multiple countries.
“We onboard quality partners so we can give agents the value of reliability as well as a new perspective on a trending destination. As an example, this year, we introduced Northern Lights viewing from Russia, which is a very hot selling destination. It's fun, has a lower price point so it’s open to more audiences, and can be clubbed with Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Her other recommendations include an ultra-luxury Amazon cruise from the Peruvian side (with a sauna in your very own cabin), Uzbekistan and Israel. “Uzbekistan is visa on arrival for everyone: this is a great destination for our region. It has a lot of history, a lot of culture, great food, handicrafts, and the people are very hospitable. Highly recommended.
“I see very good potential for Israel from the UAE, provided the visa processes are put in place quickly and efficiently. With six airlines having announced flights and three currently operating between the UAE from Israel, the possibilities of travel are just endless,” concludes Darshana.