People On The MoveInnovation is much more than new products or fancy tools. Hear from Emily Lim, who's charged to spearhead innovation and revenue growth at Holiday Tours & Travel.

The new role of innovation in travel agencies

|
Innovation in businesses comes in a combination of processes, structures, technology, tools and new products.
Innovation in businesses comes in a combination of processes, structures, technology, tools and new products. Photo Credit: Gettyimages/ipopba

Nowadays, innovation is the biggest driver of business growth and travel agencies can no longer afford to be passive. Innovation allows business to expand beyond the horizon and find opportunities as travel returns.

Holiday Tours & Travel's executive vice president - revenue & innovation Emily Lim shares her insights into the opportunities and challenges around innovation in the travel landscape, and how the company is responding to the return of travel demand. 

You recently joined Holiday Tours & Travel (HTT) as executive vice president - revenue & innovation. What does your role at HTT entail? What are your goals?

Yes, I joined in January as executive vice president - revenue & innovation. My role is around the development of revenue growth strategies across all verticals — leisure, corporate travel or MICE. The innovation bit comes in various formats — innovation through process, structure, tech, fancy tools or new products. Our goal is really to give our customers the confidence to travel and provide the best travel experience there is. Not an easy goal to achieve!

You’re a branding and marketing expert, and you count management experience at digital-first businesses such as TruTrip and Lion & Lion. How has your background helped in your current role?

The main attribute or strategic tactic my background has contributed to HTT is how to deliver better CX in every step of the way. How do we make any customer journeys (and we know this can get really fragmented) better, faster may it be offline or online. And of course there’s the fun stuff like big ideas, collaborations or partnerships but for now we are focusing on helping our customers travel with confidence.

Emily Lim, who counts stints at TruTrip and Lion & Lion, is now the executive vice president at Holiday Tours & Travel.
Emily Lim, who counts stints at TruTrip and Lion & Lion, is now the executive vice president at Holiday Tours & Travel.

What innovative practices do you hope to implement in the business?

Automating processes! It sounds boring but absolutely critical.

As travel comes back what’s the biggest pain point for travellers right now? How is HTT responding to that?

I would say biggest fear, not pain. The question most asked is, ‘What happens if I get Covid?’. We have our Travel Safety Promise, which has launched on the 8 March, and here, our promise helps answer all our customers' questions and worries. We also actively plan with our customers on what to do in the event of any crisis or emergency. As a result of our service and dedication, we have helped four Malaysian government ministries travel to the Dubai Expo and back home safely.

It’s 2022. Are there any examples of how technology is being used in other industries that travel agents should take note of?

I think one big example of how technology is being used in other industries that travel agents should take into consideration is design. You won’t see us in the race of building the ultimate super-app that's for sure. Of course there’s the fancy stuff like AI, big data, predictive analytics, augmented reality, crypto, NFTs, e-wallets, etc. But yeah look at how amazing Airbnb looks and feels!

HTT is stepping up focus on luxury travel and setting up a luxury arm. What are the reasons driving this?

It really stems from the thought of delivering the best travel experience with good customer service. Sounds simple but it means so much to us and will mean a lot more to our customers.

What travel trends are you seeing from Malaysia?

I think the key trend is that everyone is ready to travel! Just where to go and how to travel safely!

Power to the People
April - June 2022 eBook

Tough times never last, but tough people do. Just look to these resilient travel agents, who bounce back stronger from the pandemic.

Read Now



JDS Travel News JDS Viewpoints JDS Africa/MI