Friday, January 31, 2003

Quotable Quotes - Asia Inc. Magazine

January 2003

"Police arrested two hunters on the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido for allegedly shooting three prized racehorses they mistook for wild deer"
Associated Press

"Mobile phones contain gold, silver, copper, palladium, platinum and other precious metals"

International Herald Tribune

"We have many alternatives. Our students can study in New Zealand, Australia, China, Ukraine and even Russia"

Malaysia's deputy education minister Abdul Aziz Shamsuddin on US visa problems

"The world is beginning to act like America's sullen teenager, refusing to obey orders"

Financial Times columnist James Carroll

"What the world is interested in today is quick money, money that comes from speculation and manipulation- overnight money. The greedy have taken over the economy of the world"

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad

"China moves towards one-party pluralism"

Headline in Singapore's Straits Times

"You look at the economic scales- it's going to be an elephant on one side and a mouse on the other"

Singapore's Senior Minister Lee Kuan Yew on the emergence of China as an industrial colossus

"The prevailing wisdom has been that small companies are fast, entrepreneurial, responsive and effective. Large companies are slow, bureaucratic, unresponsive and ineffective. This is sheer nonsense."

IBM Chairman
Louis Gerstner

"Australia looks set to gain the dubious honour of being the 'fattest' country in the world, beating the United States"

Singapore's Straits Times

"A broad coalition of US religious groups is preparing a grass-roots campaign linking fuel efficiency to morality, with some ads asking: 'What Would Jesus Drive?'"

Danny Hakim, New York Times

"It is not illegal to wear an Osama bin Laden mask"

Hong Kong police spokesman

"It was a fateful mistake for Bush to have declared his war a 'war against terrorism'. That made it a war that can't be won"

Columnist William Pfaff, International Herald Tribune

"We will enrol outstanding people from all strata of society because they work for the cause of the party"

Chinese spokesman on admitting businessmen into the communist party

"People in Hong Kong and Singapore go online to browse, compare prices and functions. Then they hop across the street and buy in a shop"

Peter Steyn, Nielsen/ Net-Ratings director, Hong Kong

"Having a clear idea of its destination would enable ASEAN to proceed more rapidly and smoothly on the path of economic integration"

ASEAN Secretary General Rodolfo Severino

Friday, January 17, 2003

Online travel agency shifts sales strategy


In a major change of strategy, Hutchison-Priceline (Travel) will offer published-price travel products, a departure from its loss-making United States counterpart's name-your-own-price model.

The Li Ka-shing controlled online ticketing agency announced the change just two days after rival said it was aimed at capturing 30 per cent of the Asia-Pacific Internet market within three years.

Hutchison-Priceline chief executive Alfredo Gangotena said the online ticketing agency would introduce a new range of discounted, published-price products before the Lunar New Year, starting with hotel bookings and car rental.

"We will expand the products to air tickets and package tours later," he said.

AC Nielsen director Peter Steyn said Priceline's new strategy was partly due to the fact many consumers in Asia were still reluctant to try the online bidding model.

"Priceline recognised that you can't please everybody with the same product offering, so it makes perfect sense to broaden their choices by adding discounted published-price travel products to complement their name-your-own-price products," Mr Steyn said.

Hutchison-Priceline has been advertising the introduction of the United States "name-your-own-price" concept into Asia.

It claims the travel site can help customers save up to 30 per cent from conventional channels.

The online ticketing agency, a 65-35 per cent joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and, was launched in Hong Kong in April last year.

Mr Gangotena said that with the addition of the new published products, customers would be presented with two options that both deliver discounts.

"In peak holiday periods, when prices are higher and availability limited, customers can still name their own price through Priceline," he said.

"Yet if there are no seats or rooms available for specific dates or itineraries, customers can now go straight to our retail options and be confident of getting the best market prices available."

Mr Steyn said online spending in Hong Kong was still low compared with countries such as the US, Europe and Australia where transactions were driven mainly by convenience.

In Hong Kong, shops and travel agencies were a short walk or drive away from most people's homes, he said.

"To increase online shopping in Hong Kong, shoppers need incentives such as lower prices and a wider online product selection than what is available in stores, a high level of online security, and superb service and return policies," Mr Steyn said.