We just touched down in the wee hours of 24 Feb from Japan. After unpacking our luggage, it is 4am. And yes, we still have to wake up in time for the last day of Natas fair to do our reviews. That is how committed we are to our work!
Not sure if it was due to the last day of Natas, the response seemed lackluster which caught us by surprise. Usually, the real action would start on the last day where the travel operators would throw in all their offers.
As of previous years, the major operators were here. Of course, our main interest lies mainly in Taiwan and what we could offer for our customers. Do beware though, some of the hotels, destinations were “made famous” by Singaporeans. They really had Natas fair to thank.
We remembered there was this particular 民宿(Bed and Breakfast) in Jiufen. They came every year without fail. This year was no exception. Their attitudes at the Natas fair was great, and brochures were attractive too. Reviews were pretty good too. And of course in a fabulous place like Jiufen, nothing could have gone wrong.
So off we went and book their accommodation, expecting great service and great scenery. But it was a trip that went wrong, and very wrong.
If you had been to Jiufen, you would know that the lanes were very small and normal cars could hardly get in. They sent 2 motorcylces to pick us up. Nothing wrong with that, except there was no hospitality. Upon reaching the place, hotel was great, but none of the people bothered with us. They just showed us our keys and off we went. Nothing was spoken at breakfast too. The owners just could not be bother to make any conversations!!!
It was a very lousy experience that we would never forget. Not all Taiwan vendors that came over were worth patronizing. Till this date, this particular vendor still came. Every year, when we passed by their booth, we would make it very obvious not get any of their brochures nor to recommend them to any of our clients.
We pride a lot of services especially for minsu. We would never recommend any places that we ourselves were not comfortable about. We know what good accommodation means to our clients!
Anyway back to Natas, this year nothing has changed much with regards to Taiwan. Most tour operators are still packing a very rush itineraries for most group tour. It was amazing to see how one can travel round the island in 8 days, visiting every inch of Taiwan. Most of the time, the customers would have no idea where they were after the trip. We knew because we went through such trips before and we felt there should be a better way to see this beautiful island.
Some of the major partners that used to come to Natas, was not present this time. Not sure if they were targeting more of the year end market rather than the mid year market. What we could be sure was, we saw a trend of more customers preferring to stay in minsu rather than the normal hotels. That proved that we were on the right track all the while!
On the ending note, we would sum up this Natas fair to be quite a disappointment. Nevertheless, Taiwan remains one of the hottest spots for Singaporeans. Do hurry if you are still hesitating for June holidays. Some of the popular hotels are already packing up!