A Chinese technology start-up with ambitious global expansion plans is exhibiting at all the World Travel Market Portfolio events this year, following its success at WTM London.
Travel aggregator PKFARE aims to be one of the largest online B2B marketplaces and is the latest Chinese travel player looking to make waves worldwide.
It was a first-time exhibitor at WTM London in November 2016, promoting its website which allows agents to book air fares and hotels around the world, with links to consolidators, hotels and global distribution systems such as Amadeus, Sabre and Travelport.
During WTM London, representatives from PKFARE met existing partners from Europe, as well as about 80 new companies which were interested in business deals.
Four of these new companies signed commercial agreements within two months, and a third are in talks about possible co-operation.
Jason Sui, Co-founder and Senior Vice-President for Strategy and Growth, said: “PKFARE is looking for global expansion; WTM London was a good start for us to explore the European market.
“From marketing and branding perspective, it’s a good start for gaining exposure to a new market; from business development perspective, it helped us to get more contacts in a short time; and from a product and strategy perspective, it offered us chances to communicate with international clients in order to get more inspiration about market trends and demands.”
The positive response at WTM London encouraged PKFARE to sign up to exhibit at other WTM events during 2017: WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo (April 4-6); WTM Africa in Cape Town (April 19-21); Arabian Travel Market in Dubai (April 24-27); and WTM London (November 6-8).
Sui continued: “The World Travel Market portfolio of events will give us get more chances to expose our brand, promote our products to targeted clients and provide us with intensive meeting opportunities with potential partners, which is more efficient than single business trips.”
He said the aim of exhibiting is two-fold: to generate as many contacts from targeted business partners as possible – such as travel agencies, tour operators and destination management companies – and to increase brand exposure.
PKFARE was established in June 2014 by 12 founding team members with backgrounds in travel trade, finance, big data and search engines.
It has offices in Beijing, Shenzhen and Hong Kong, with more than 130 members of staff who speak eight languages.
The website was officially launched in August 2015, and now offers content from suppliers in more than 50 countries, covering more than 400 airlines and 400,000 hotels.
It works with partners such as Dnata in Dubai, H.I.S. in Japan, Hana Tour in Korea and Ctrip in China. In 2017, the website aims to triple the number of transactions it completed in 2016 and expand its global footprint.