Destination management company Buffalo Tours opens Singapore office

SINGAPORE - Buffalo Tours, a destination management company headquartered in Vietnam, opened its Singapore office on Thursday.

Buffalo Tours Singapore will design tour packages with a focus on authentic experiences in Singapore and sell them to overseas tour operators, who may not be familiar with the culture here, said Ms Caroline Tan, its Singapore and Malaysia regional general manager.

The operators will, in turn, sell the packages to inbound visitors.

A street food tour is in the works, where visitors will get to experience Chinatown delicacies, said Ms Tan, who has more than 28 years of experience in the tourism industry. Another upcoming tour takes visitors on a cycling trip to Pulau Ubin, she added.

Mr Tran Trong Kien, chief executive and general manager of Buffalo Tours and its parent company Thien Minh Group (TMG), said: "The launch of our Singapore operations is the first step in our regional expansion, and a very timely development with Singapore celebrating its 50th anniversary, as well as having been listed as the top destination to visit by multiple industry sources."

Global travel company Lonely Planet recently named Singapore the world's No. 1 country to visit in 2015.

According to the Singapore Tourism Board, Singapore welcomed 15.6 million visitors in 2013, up 7 per cent from the year before. They spent $23.5 billion, a year-on-year increase of 2 per cent.

Business travellers numbered 3.5 million, an increase of 3 per cent from the same period in 2012. These visitors spent an estimated S$5.5 billion, excluding sightseeing, entertainment and gaming expenditure.

Buffalo Tours plans to grow its footprint from five to 11 markets by April this year, with the addition of Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Japan and South Korea.

Its Singapore office is a joint venture by TMG and Australian travel agency group, Flight Centre Travel Group.