Asia – The Best Travel Destination

If the time has come for your vacation or a holiday getaway, read this article before making your plans. There are many places of great beauty and interest to be seen in the USA and Europe. But, whether transportation, touring, theme park, or food and lodging, it is expensive. This article is written for every traveler, whether a backpacker on a budget, or a first class – five star traveler.

Travel in Asia is inexpensive and opens the door to different cultural experiences. Planning can be for a short holiday, an extended stay, or choices of laying the groundwork for the ultimate stay, retirement. Nowadays, with so many opportunities to make money using the Internet it is not out of the question to “retire” early.

Medical Tourism in Asia growing in popularity. It is high quality and affordable. Just one of International standard hospitals in Bangkok serves 400,000 international patients annually, In the USA cataract surgery for one eye runs around $8,000. At a prestigious International hospital in Thailand cataract surgery can be performed on both eyes for around $2,500. It is possible to have quality medical care, and an Asian holiday, for a fraction of the cost of the same procedure in the USA.

Let us take a tantalizing glimpse at just some of the countries.

Thailand – Land of Smiles. Often referred to as the most exotic country in Southeast Asia. A visit to the Grand Palace in Bangkok for sure. Trips to a floating market or to the Bridge on the River Kwai. From pristine beaches in the Southern Islands to the Northern mountains with its waterfalls, elephants bathing in mountain streams, and Hill Tribe villages.

India – Delhi is one of the oldest continually inhabited cities in the world. India Gate, an imposing structure, has emerged as one of the most popular tourist spots in Delhi. The Red Fort Delhi, a masterpiece of architecture, is a popular spot. A trip to India would not be complete without a visit to Agra, famous as the site of one of the world’s most romantic, graceful and photographed buildings, the Taj Mahal.

Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos – Three small countries neighboring Thailand. Each opens a different world of exploration. Cambodia – the highlight is visiting Angkor Wat, an architectural masterpiece constructed in the jungle in the early 12th century. Vietnam – is a varied country, offering beaches, mountains and hundreds of years of history from the ancient Cham Towers to remnants from the Vietnam War. Laos – savor the crafts, culture and hospitality of Laos with a river trip, visits to ancient temples, gorgeous palaces, and traditional villages.

Nepal – Adventure, travel, trekking, birding, wildlife, and cultural & overland Safaris. Take an air flight along the Himalayas and view magnificent Mount Everest. Nearby, discover the serene beauty of Tibet, the country which inspired the Dalai Lama.

Indonesia – Jakarta, the capital city of the world’s fourth most-populous nation. Bali is Indonesia’s main holiday destination. Flores is a pretty lush green island with forests, palm and banana trees, rice fields and many volcanoes. Highlights are the three small offshore islands of “Gillis” that invite snorkeling, diving and relaxing. For hikers, a climb to the top of the volcano Rijani.

Philippines – An island nation comprising over 7,000 islands in the western Pacific Ocean.
Manila, the bustling capital has powerful reminders of the country’s past, along with attractive parks, fine museums, and exhilarating nightlife. The Ifugao Rice Terraces are a testimony to the early technological advancement of the Ifugao people. Take a jeepney ride to the market. Be brave, try balut, a Philippine delicacy. Go diving in the Visayas.

Singapore – Shopping on famous Orchard Road, the dream of every woman. The Night Safari at Singapore Zoo is fabulous. Chinatown, a little glitzy, but you can buy all the souvenirs you want there. Interestingly, one of Singapore’s most beautiful Hindu temples is smack dab in the middle of Chinatown. Decide if a Singapore Sling is worth the hype in the Long Bar at Raffles Hotel. There’s more to Singapore than urban glitz, like rambling in the rain forest of Bukit Timah Nature Reserve.

Japan – Tokyo is the capital city and home of the Imperial Residence and Emperor’s Palace. Select a popular destination or region in Japan and explore its attractions. Ride the Bullet Train to the magnificent city of Kyoto. Visit Hiroshima and the Peace Memorial Park. Castles, temples, gardens, the list of top destinations in Japan is too long for this article..

Taiwan – Taipei, the country’s booming, vibrant capital remains steeped in Chinese, Japanese and native Taiwanese cultures. Some of its most impressive sights include the Grand Hotel, topped by the largest Classical Chinese roof in the world, the Shihlin Night Market, the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial with the National Theater and Concert Hall located directly across from each other on the grounds. A popular day trip is Tailuge (Taroko Gorge), considered one of the natural wonders of the world.

Hong Kong – the Pearl of East and jewel of The Orient. Nathan Road is lined with shops, restaurants, nightspots and cheap places to stay. If you’re in Hong Kong with the little ones, they’ll probably appreciate Ocean Park (aquarium), Water World (swimming pools and water slides), and of course Disneyland. If you’re in Hong Kong for more than a few days, then there’s plenty of outlying islands to discover.

It is often said that for the traveler that has seen it all and done it all, there is still Katmandu, Nepal. And, that too is in Asia!

If you do not visit Asia, you will be missing not only a paradise of affordable travel, but the chance to see an alternative living location. For retirees, it is luxury living for pennies, not just getting by on their pension. Asia, a paradise experience is waiting for you.

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.

Uncover the Mysteries of Asia

Have you been to Asia? Have you explored the beauty of Asia? If no is your answer, you have missed a bit of your life. Asia has a lot to show to the people and to tourists as well. Asia houses some of the best tropical countries which is very much ideal to those who would like to get a taste of hot summer weather. It is more than perfect especially for tourists from the west who always have cool temperature. There are actually many things that Asia could offer and not just those beaches. There are spots here that have been recorded as one of the wonders of the world. There are also places which has a wide and interesting history to share to newcomers. Asia is known as the largest continent and with its size comes a lot of places to explore.

Where to Go in Asia

If you are the type of person looking for tropical beaches, you can visit the islands of the Philippines like Boracay, Cam Sur, Siargao and Palawan. There are also beaches in Thailand, Bali in Indonesia and Langkawi in Malaysia. If you are the person who loves looking at temples and historical figures, Thailand is the place to be. If you are looking for great cuisine and a lot of modern tourists’ spots, you can go to Singapore. If you love to shop, you can go to Hong Kong. If you would also like to see some of the wonders of the world, you can go to China for the Great Wall of China, to the Philippines for the Banaue Rice Terraces, etc. Aside from that all Asian countries offer a wide array of tasty and delicious food. Anywhere you go, there is always something interesting to eat. You can always look at each country and search them via the internet and see more of their famous spots.

Revealing Some Secrets in Asia

This may no longer be a secret to some but one of the most visited places in Asia is Johor Bahru. It is a city located in Malaysia that connects the country to Singapore. This city is highly visited because it is highly urbanized, has the best shopping experience and has many attractions to visit to. These attractions may not be like those in Thailand but they have a few to boast. Aside from that, this city is one place where Singaporeans and Malaysians meet and greet, have fun and enjoy the night away! Aside from Johor Bahru another place which hasn’t been explored that much is Burau Bay which is found in Langkawi. Just like famous beaches, this place boasts a nice and seductive beach and shore line. It is also surrounded by wild rainforests. This town is yet to be discovered for some people since this beach front is not that famous as of now.

Those are just some of the many and thousands places you have to uncover in Asia. There are so many attractions to see that a month’s trip wouldn’t be able to cover it all. Once you arrive in Asia, you will be greeted by great and colorful culture along with hospitable people. Enjoy your travel soon!