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CTC buys into MISA Travel
Linda Haden, Singapore, December 14, 2011

SINGAPORE’s Commonwealth Travel Corporation Services (CTC Travel) has completed a merger with MISA Travel, a local OTA.


As part of the deal, CTC, a full-service leisure and corporate travel consultancy, will gain an 80 per cent stake in MISA Travel, whose core business lies in online travel ticketing services.


CTC will absorb the various online ticketing channels under MISA Travel's portfolio, including airfares.com.sg, hotels.com.sg, cruises.com.sg, getaways.com.sg, resorts.com.sg, landtours.com.sg, and rails.com.sg.


CTC Travel CEO, Wee Hee Ling, said: “The online portal has been an evolution for travelling trends, and we felt that this was a great chance to embrace this prevalent trend of travel booking to reach out to different travellers. MISA Travel’s online portals stand to offer instant access and affordable options for travel products, which will provide an opportunity for us to manage distressed air tickets and hotel inventory for all travellers."


According to a statement from CTC, the merger marks the beginning of a three-year strategy, which includes “fostering the trend among travellers to book all their travel necessities online, and to enhance and expand the other corporate travel services such as MICE, corporate travel and inbound tours”.


CTC Travel senior vice president, marketing & PR, Alicia Seah, said: “CTC’s strengths lie in its ability to cater to groups and niche segments such as educational tours, MICE and speciality tours for Muslims. Through MISA, which has the technological know-how, we hope to gain more market share, by building our presence online and eventually capturing new markets for the firm."


"Ultimately, we would like to transform CTC into a one-stop shop for all travel needs.”


Stressing that all MISA staff would be retained, Seah told TTG Asia e-Daily that for the time being, the two companies would retain their separate brand identities, although there would be some integration in the areas of product development, marketing, human resources and finance. For instance, CTC-designed products will be sold on MISA’s websites, which might be enhanced with live-booking capabilities at a later stage.


Moving forward, Seah said CTC was planning to open offices in Hong Kong, South Korea and Taiwan over the next three years to service in-country MICE clients. A corporate arm will be developed for each of these offices.


Seah added that CTC was also looking to purchase F&B outlets and hotels, or develop their own concepts, both locally and regionally.


“We want to expand our horizons and embed ourselves in (other) tourism-related businesses. CTC is poised to accelerate our regional growth both vertically and organically,” she said.  

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Good move considering the shift is clearly towards FIT travel and online relevance. This will only spark travel agents/organizations to embrace digital media for advertising and marketing needs. Traditional print media is losing relevance with consumers these days and MISA Travel's online presence and specialty is a much needed bridge to cater to more current trends and consumer segmentation. Plaudits to CTC for making this move.
Posted by: David Song
14-12-2011 21:44:26
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