SAMMITR SMART DRIVE aims to tap into growing FIT market

Email

“SAMMITR SMART DRIVE”, the innovation-driven travel & Logistic services service provider, is introducing a new and exciting travel model with an on-demand platform to penetrate the Foreign Individual Tourism (FIT) market, particularly aiming at young Chinese tourists who plan their own trips online and have high purchasing power. SAMMITR is also moving forward with its development of a Post-Tour for the MICE market (Meeting, Incentives, Conventions and Exhibitions) to drive the tourism industry.

Mrs. Patcharin Posirisuk, Chief Executive Officer of Sammitr Smart Mobility Co., Ltd., a subsidiary of SAMMITR Group Holding, a leading integrated solutions company for automotive and logistics industries, says that SAMMITR SMART DRIVE or SSD is one of an extended business from being a Manufacturing Base to a Service & Solutions Platform, a crucial move in ensuring the future growth of SAMMITR Group.

SAMMITR SMART DRIVE is a new platform for the tourist’s trip advisor service designed to match customers’ needs for convenience and safety. The major target groups are domestic travelers especially young tourists, women and families who have lots of baggage and do not need to drive themselves, as well as foreign travelers. In the initial stages, the company will focus on the FIT market, mainly Chinese and European travelers who prefer to travel independently, plan their own specialized itineraries, and book their transportation and accommodation.

Statistics reveal that China is a fast-growing FIT market,Chinese group tours accounted for 44% while FIT is expected to represent 50% in 2020 up from 42% last year.

“More and more Chinese people, especially younger travellers between the ages of 20 and 34 have access to the internet. This FIT group search for information and prefer to choose destinations, book accommodation and reserve airline tickets by themselves. They look for new exotic tourist attractions online and hire local tour guides to visit places they feel will be interesting. SAMMITR SMART DRIVE is a service provider that perfectly meets the lifestyles of the whole FIT group,” Ms. Patcharin says.

The Kasikorn Research Center estimates that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in 2019 will grow by 2-4% to 39 million. The Fiscal Policy Office earlier confirmed that the number of foreign tourist arrivals in January 2019 rose by 4.9% to 3.72 million, must of it due to growth in the Chinese tourist market, which accounted for 10.3%, the highest record in the past 7 months. Meanwhile, the Chinese outbound tourism outlook in May 2019 showed that Thailand ranked the top destination for their overseas trips. The buoyant growth in Chinese tourism is a key factor in the business expansion of SAMMITR SMART DRIVE.

Ms. Patcharin further explained that the company has placed emphasis on developing online marketing campaigns to reach foreign tourists. For Chinese customers, the company communicates via the WeChat platform while promoting travel planning and promotions via www.ctrip.com. This is the largest online travel agency in China and provides a full range of travel services including air ticketing, accommodation reservation, and railway ticketing. Ctrip.com International also has strategic partners providing services in many countries and particularly in such major tourist destinations as Hong Kong, Singapore, London, New York and Thailand.

Moreover, the company has set up a team to communicate with customers in English and Chinese via E-mail, its Call Center and the SSD Counter on the ground floor or ICONSIAM. These offer foreign customers easy access to Sammitr Smart Drive services.

SAMMITR SMART DRIVE operates on the concept “Your Trusted Smart Drive Partner— Safe, Comfort, Convenience and Agility” and offers smart customized vehicles for travellers and logistics as well as travel planning throughout the country.

The target groups are tourists who need vehicles that are flexible and have the space to transport heavy and large-sized belongings such as extra large size luggage bags for equipment, golf bag,wheelchairs, scuba equipment and bicycles. The services are suitable for both individual travellers and caravan groups. In the initial stage, the company is providing travel services for distances not exceeding 450 kilometers from Bangkok, covering 38 provinces. In the second stage, the company will expand the service to include major tourist cities and eventually offer services nationwide.

SAMMITR SMART DRIVE provides innovative services through a smart on-demand platform offering customers the opportunity to plan their own trips and access information on tourist attractions in English and Chinese. Travelers can check routes, budgets, book services and pay via the leading payment gateways on smartphones that support both Andoid and iOS platforms.

The services are categorized into 3Ps. The first is the P2P Transfer service, which provides smart point-to-point transfer services to destinations in Bangkok and 37 provinces with prices starting at 840 baht. The second is PIN&GO, which takes customers to their desired destination and allows travelers to choose the routes to the destinations. A minimum 3 hours of service per trip is required and prices range from 1,500-6,000 baht. The third P covers one-day Packages for mix & match trips at prices that vary from 6,000-30,000 baht.

In addition, SAMMITR SMART DRIVE provides exceptional and unique services in four dimensions. 1) The Smart Vehicle is the first model of the Toyota Hilux Revo roof conversion to support belongings weighing more than 500 kilograms. The vehicle is also equipped with modern equipment including a sliding tray with baggage space underneath, a speed warning system, an IoT-based sensor to check engine capacity and a CCTV system for safe driving; 2) The Smart Driver, which provides well-trained drivers from the SAMMITR Smart Drive Academy; 3) the Smart Service that offers customers the opportunity to select the service type to meet their individual needs; and 4) Smart Support via the Call Center, an assistance system connecting the Onboard Driver and Transportation Management Center (TMC) to control, examine and find travel routes. It also serves as the coordination center to assist customers stay safe throughout their journey.

SAMMITR SMART DRIVE has received a positive response from Thai and foreign travelers and has obtained several new clients through word of mouth. It currently serves an average of 300-500 clients per month, of which foreigners represent 30% and Thais 70%. Online pre-booking account for 80% while On-demand bookings account for  20%. SSD Counter at ICONSIAM  90% serves  Last Minute bookings.

Furthermore, the company is planning to penetrate the MICE market and serve travelers with higher purchasing power than general tourists. In this respect, SSD has partnered with MICE operators including event professionals and domestic management companies (DMC) as well as MICE organizations in the public and private sectors including the Thailand Convention and Exhibition Bureau (TCEB) with the goal of strengthening their capability to bid for big events. SSD is also collaborating with such strategic partners as travel agents, independent tour guides, tourism clusters, tourism federations and various trade show organizations to promote SSD services. The company also joins MICE operators to provide its services at Point of Purchase (POP).

“MICE customers travel in large groups. Therefore, we mainly focus on executives with medium to high-end enterprises who have the authority to plan post-tour programs or business negotiations after participating in the events. They prefer private tours that offer safety and the flexibility to visit places as part of a day trip. We are able to design customized packages based on the style and budget of each group such as P2P Transfer Service between airports and hotels, PIN & Go for traveling during the day to visit trade partners in various places, and finally the Package for tourism and recreational activities. We offer a variety of packages for customers to choose in advance,” Ms. Patcharin concluded.

For service reservations, visit www.sammitrsmartdrive.com or contact the 24-hour Call Center at 090-898-2000 and the SSD Shop on G floor, Sook Siam Zone, ICONSIAM.