Asian Travels – 7 Top Places To Visit In Asia

Asia is a wonderful continent and has some of the most beautiful places to visit in the world. This continent is rich in its various cultures and has a history behind everything. A holiday or vacation to this continent is sure to refresh you and give you an insight to some of the most beautiful sites and breathe taking views you have seen. Here are some of the top places you must visit in Asia.

1. Indonesia – Bali
Bali is a small magnificent island which houses the Batubulan Village that are famous for its stone sculptures. The culture it portrays is rich and the Barong dance is a specialty. Do not forget to see the works of the goldsmiths and various handicrafts.

2. Bangkok
This place is famous for its Buddha statues and the reclining Buddha Temple. A must visit is the Erawan Shrine and the Snake Farm located near the shrine. Modern tours include a Safari and Bangkok’s Pattaya and Coral Island.

3. India
It is a country rich in culture and lots to offer. Among the most popular tours would be a boat ride on the Ganges River, The Taj Mahal, Red Fort, Himalayas, and different monuments, temples and churches located all over India. India is also known for its diversified food and the different festivals that are celebrated in this country. This country will keep you spell bound with all it has to offer to you. Do not miss out on this one.

4. Kathmandu
The Kathmandu Durbar Square is a popular spot to learn about the culture of this place and the people. The places to visit include Buddhanikantha temple and the Pashupatinath Temple. The weather in this place is beautiful almost all through the year.

5. China
This is one of the biggest countries in Asia and requires ample time to tour the entire country. But some of the most popular tourist spots include Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City as well as the Temple of Heaven. The Yangtze River Cruise is one of the favourite spots of tourists and also the local citizens as well, where one can share a close relationship with nature. The modern buildings and sky scrapers are a magnificent site.

6. Japan
Tokyo is the most popular city of Japan and is very exciting. Some of its traditional cultures can still be found in the mountain villages of this country. The other popular tourist destinations are the temples, churches and shrines which are situated in the different parts of the country.

7. Turkey
This is one of the most beautiful countries and its culture will captivate you. There are many museums that you can visit like the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations. Some of its other most famous sites are its archaeological sites like Pamukkale’s Hierapolis as well as famous mosques like the Blue Mosque. The Turkish chai is a popularity and a must have. The traditional outfit is a wonder and the people are very friendly.

Asia Cruise – Expert Guide

Ever since Marco Polo returned from his 24-year trek to
China at the end of the 13th century, Asia has beckoned
travelers from around the world to explore its enchanted
lands courtesy of an Asia cruise. Befitting of a
continent that is the largest on Earth, the mesh of
countries that make up this landmass embrace some
mind-blowing extremes. The thickest forests, highest
mountains and longest coastline on the planet all belong
to Asia, as do some of the world’s most varied wildlife
and plant species..

Few places on Earth can offer cruise visitors such a
varied and dramatic experience. From the vestiges of
ancient China to the modern day wealth and opulence
of Singapore and Taipei, an Asia cruise encapsulates
thousands of years of history and diverse cultures in a
single voyage…

When choosing an Asia cruise, tourists are presented
with a variety of cruise routes to pick from. Many Asia
cruises offering a taste of the Orient depart from
Beijing in China, taking in Hong Kong and ports of call
in Japan and along the Chinese coastline. The more
exotic Asia cruises may include stops in Korea,
Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand…

Other Asia cruise options include routes around the Bay
of Bengal, and routes that follow in the footsteps of
Marco Polo’s return sea journey from China in 1293.
The typical duration of an Asia cruise is 12-16 nights,
although extended cruise vacations that take in a
voyage through the South China Sea and Bay of Bengal
can be arranged…

Destination highlights:

China: Beijing – the capital of China – is a ‘must see’
destination on every Asia cruise. The fabled Forbidden
City and Temple Of Heaven, both of which are
accessed through the vastness of Tiananmen Square,
reside in Beijing. Only a short distance from the city is
the Beijing section of the Great Wall of China.

Hong Kong:

A city on an island, Hong Kong is the
antithesis of Beijing. Gleaming towers of power exude
a modern wealth that contrasts sharply with the older
districts of the Chinese capital. Hong Kong is one of the
wealthiest places in the world – something that is very
much in evidence as you walk the numerous districts on
this thirty square-mile chunk of rock.

Singapore:

Singapore is the ultimate exotic destination
on an Asia cruise. Situated at the southern tip of the
Malaysian Peninsula, it represents the furthest point
south an Asia cruise is likely to extend to. Here all year
round warmth, stunning architecture and cuisine that is
truly out of this world combine to make it a stop not to
be missed.

What’s Missing in Your Indirect Channel?

Entering or expanding your presence in the Asia Pacific region invariably requires working with an indirect model engaging channel partners in one form or another, for all or part of your business. There have been many and varied ways of recruiting, enabling and managing your channel partners, just as many agreement types to work with, all well documented, all well researched. We have, over our years of experience, witnessed those that have worked, unfortunately many more that have not. After thirty odd years of business, many organizations in the IT sector continue to struggle with the complexities of an indirect route to market, nowhere more so than in Asia Pacific.

Of course there will be academic nomenclatures for some of the more common scenarios exhibited, however we have provided a slightly more descriptive categorization of those we come across commonly, all have something missing in the relationship.

“Dump and Run’ Model

Mr Vendor recruits Mr Channel Partner, seemingly with all the right criteria followed for selecting the perfect partner. The agreement is negotiated, the contract is signed, hand shakes and bows exchanged. Mr Vendor hands over a box of collateral, some CD’s and manuals, a help desk number, a web address and gets on the next plane returning home, heading straight for the fax machine to collect the flood of orders. Obviously a slight exaggeration, yet not an uncommon approach to partner recruitment.

Clearly partnerships require commitment from both parties. On one side the commitment to enable and transfer skills and knowledge, on the other a commitment to provide capable resources and focus, and a mutual commitment to agree a business plan, with continued review and measurement.

“Show Me Yours First – Stand Off” Model

These agreements take a form where Mr Vendor won’t provide anything or make any significant commitments until Mr Channel Partner first shows some commitment to the ’cause’, maybe hiring dedicated staff, allocating marketing budget or opening the ‘kimono’ up to the customer list.

Mr Channel Partner on the other hand hesitates to provide or commit precious funds and resources until Mr Vendor shows an active desire to support through supplying qualified leads, committing to free training or allocating resources to work with Mr Channels Partner resources. After a time with each waiting for the other to make the first move and not living up to expectations, little if any business is written and the partnership fades with both parties moving on to other pastures.

‘Indirect Is Cheaper’ Model

Many unfortunately still look to the indirect channel model as a free or cheap entry into a market with an expectation of huge success. The indirect model in any of its forms requires discounts, infrastructure and support, by implication there is a cost to this. It should NEVER be considered free.

What should be expected from any indirect channel model is a broader reach into previously unavailable markets with access to domain expertise and or regional experience at a better return for each dollar of outlay. Straight forward, right? Not for all unfortunately.

One all too common example is relatively successful and established organizations making the decision to change to the ‘cheap’ indirect model, significantly downsizing or closing local operations, not implementing a channel enablement and support infrastructure, nor managing the customer expectations. The expectation being revenue and maintenance renewals will continue and grow and the partners would carry on business as usual. The results, not surprisingly, are usually massive drops in revenue, defection of customers, partner dissatisfaction, low staff morale and competitor successes.

‘The Silver Bullet’ Model

Many organizations enter a market such as Asia Pacific looking for the ‘silver bullet’ channel partner, the one that has the contacts, the relationships, technical and sales skills, support infrastructure to sell and support their products – the obvious choice for the desired market segment. Of course this is the perfect scenario. What is often missed is that these channel partners (likely larger organizations) will have a sales force paid on gross profit, already committed to selling known products from multiple vendors with targets like any other sales force.

Ask yourself the question: Will a salesperson focus on a new, unknown, difficult to sell product with a slightly higher margin or will they go and achieve their quota with what they know and what is currently selling, even though the margin may be slightly lower?

‘Committed Start-Up’ Model

Relative to the above, seemingly a reasonable approach. Mr Start Up Partner will be keen to prove themselves, hungry for revenue, eager to impress, often with a specific domain expertise and driven to build their business. Everything that one could want in a sales force. Sometimes. What about resource availability and quality? What about scalability? Smaller organizations will be juggling issues like cash-flow, breadth of relationships, depth of contacts? Again, there are numerous examples of these well intentioned ‘partnerships gone wrong’.

‘You Need Us More Than We Need You’ Model

Typically either Mr Vendor or Mr Channel Partner are a recognized brand in their specific market, sometimes even both. The one more recognized in the market to which the other wants access plays hard ball, or more often, an individual charged with the relationship, suddenly wants to show their value and plays hard ball. A relationship built on animosity from the outset, destined for the ‘seemed like a good idea at the time’ pile. These relationships do have much to offer when executed correctly but can be difficult to manage or negotiate if either party believes they are in the dominant position with little to gain.

If all of these scenarios sound unfamiliar … then credit to your channel people, they should be rewarded handsomely as your channel is most likely working well for you, with mutual benefit.

But if any sound a little too familiar then … the big question! “What IS missing in my indirect channel?”

It’s not difficult to search out the plethora of material on the ‘6 things’ or maybe even ’12 things’ you must do to make a channel partnerships work. Or, on how to select your channel partners with what criteria etc. All these will have valid guidelines, all will have important aspects you should take note of and incorporate in your channel approach. Most will highlight aspects of company alignment, market segmentation, sales processes, clear rules of engagement and documentation of mutual expectations combined with constant, open communications, some identify a need to support your channel partner through resources and infrastructure, even funding of direct sales support during the enablement stage. All of which is correct and important.

Personally I like to boil things down to their simplest level, a common denominator or two. In this instance there is a fundamental state of mind that determines whether the partnership will succeed or fail, the one thing in the scenarios above that is missing.

A level of desire and ability to INVEST.

Each of the scenarios fail due to a lack of investment and we are not talking only of financial investment. We are talking about investment in all its forms – time, resources, focus, commitment and financial.

The ‘dump and run’ model lacks investment in support and commitment; ‘show me yours first’ lacks investment in the relationship and building trust; ‘indirect is cheaper’ lacks investment in many areas and so on. I’m sure you get the point.

Think of it this way, you would not expect your bank to pay you a dividend or interest income if you have zero dollars invested in your account. So it is amusing and somewhat worrying when speaking with seasoned and generally successful executives who seek to expand into Asia Pacific, actively avoiding investment in their channel development, yet they maintain high expectations of results. This is no more important than in Asia Pacific, a region accepted as requiring a strong indirect channel strategy to succeed, built on commitment, relationships and mutual trust.

The summary

The key to a successful channel partner strategy and in turn a business that will grow and gain strength year on year is simply, a commitment to invest appropriately based on the returns required and expected. Namely in the areas of:

o Understanding the market through research and segmentation.

o Partner selection and due diligence.

o Partner enablement (resource allocation & execution support).

o Support infrastructure and partner management.

o Communication, relationship and trust building.

o Regular and focused reviews.

Like all good things, successful, mutually beneficial relationships require commitment, focus and effort – there are no short cuts, there is no money for nothing. Your outcomes, returns and profit is directly proportional to your desire and ability to invest in your channels.