Friday, 28 March 2014

About Bandung , Indonesia

West Java, the one province in Indonesia that rich of the tourism objects that will interest you if you go there. There is one city that really famous in its fashion, that is Bandung. In this region, there is a place that is known as Lembang, the place with the fresh air and comfort place to stay. Lembang has many views in panorama that you must see if you have a chance to go there. Its fresh air and views become the things that interest many tourists to visit there. If you want to fresh your eyes, you can see many tea plantation every side of the road. To go there, you can ride your own car and follow the directions that will guide you.
If you want to go there, this article will guide you to see Lembang Bandung and its tourism objects. There are some places that you can visit, such of them are:



1. Tangkuban Perahu
Tangkuban Perahu is a mountain name that is famous is West Java. You can reach this place after Lembang or around 30 kilometers from Bandung. Here, you will be presented some of great views, like cauldron, mist, and the other views that can be enjoyed. If you want visit there, make sure you come during 7.00 am until 5.00 pm, because after that, this place is close. And you just pay around 13 thousand rupiahs as a ticket. Prepare yourself to bring the mask, because the sulfur smells is really strong. Don’t forget to bring jacket because the cold will enter into your bone. Just sit around there, your bad feelings will be gone, you can also complete your holiday with buy some souvenirs made from there.


2. De’ Ranch
This is the tourism object that always crowded by tourist, domestic even foreigner. You will see all of the ages enjoy spending their time here, from kids up to adults. Here, you will not be bored because you try to ride the horse like a cowboy in America. You can also try to do some outbound activities, for example flying fox, ATV, swimming, fun boat and so on. But, the favorite one activity here is act like a cowboy; you will be facilitated with cowboy clothes. When you ride your horse, you will pass the wide grass-field that is really interesting. After that, you can enjoy yourself with its various culinary, like siomay, karedok, mendoan, and so on.


3. Bosscha Observatory
For the travelers that love with the space things, this place can be a primary place to be visited. Bosscha observatory is a place where you can see all of the space things like stars, planets, and the others. Bosscha is the oldest place to stars observation in Indonesia. This place opens at 2 sections, for the first section, it opens at 9 am until 1 pm and the second one opens at 5 pm until 8 pm. You just need to pay the ticket around 7.500 rupiahs and 10.000 rupiahs for the second section visit. When you are inside, you will feel like you are an expert in astronomy. There are many big telescopes; one of them is the Zeiss telescope that will help you to see some of planets.



And not only that, West Java has been really famous for its natural beauty. In local language this area is called Parahyangan or the land of gods and no wonder since this region is blessed with beautiful landscapes. It is said that God was smiling when he created this land. The biggest city in this area is Bandung which also the administration and cultural center of the region. This city is known as Paris Van Java for a reason. The Dutch colonial era had huge roles created this city as extraordinary one. Surrounded with beautiful natural sceneries, this city is rich of amazing building with art deco styles built in colonial era. Since that time up until now, Bandung is widely recognized as one of the most popular tourism destination in Indonesia. If you are planning to visit this city, these are 8 must see places in greater Bandung area.


1. Ciwidey White Crater
It is undeniably the most popular natural spot in greater Bandung area. This natural wonder is located only 25 KM outside Bandung. The crater is a volcanic crater of ancient volcano. It has amazing white landscape. It won’t be difficult to reach the crater location. You can use public transport right from downtown or use your own vehicle, either car or motorcycle. Ciwidey White Crater is a perfect choice for those who love tracking because the route to the crater is quite challenging.


2. Curug Dago
Curug means waterfall in local Sundanese language and it is easy to guess that it is a natural waterfall. This ‘curug’ is hidden inside the Dago Hill on the Djuanda Forest City Park. The 12 meters high waterfall surrounded with lavish green environment is really eclectic scenery. Located near the downtown is one great factor why it is so popular. Curug Dago is also a historical site as there are two stone inscriptions dated back from 1811 M stated that two Thailand Kings visited the waterfall.


3. Djuanda Forest City Park
This is the forest in the middle of the city. Djuanda City Park is located surrounding Dago Hill. This forest park is a conservation area dated back since colonial era and up until today it becomes a center of the city.


4. Kampung Gajah
Although it is named Kampung Gajah or Elephant Kampong, you won’t find any elephant at this tourism site. Kampung Gajah is actually an amusement outdoor park. There are so many attractions offered there from horse riding to skyrider and lots more.
 

5. Trans Studio Bandung
The latest modern amusement park in Bandung built by Trans Group, it is the second of its kind after the first one in Makassar. As world class amusement park, it has many great attractions. You better scheduled full day time to visit Trans Studio.


6. Saung Angklung Udjo
The most trending destination today, Saung Angklung Udjo is the performance and workshop center of Angklung music, the traditional bamboo instrument. There are live performances and workshops offered for visitors there.


7. Ciwalk or Cihampelas Walk
Your visit to Banding won’t be perfect without shopping center and there’s no better place to shop than the legenday Cihampelas Street. Ciwalk is the icon of the street, the home of fashion boutiques and factory outlets as well as several culinary counters.
 
8. Jalan Dago
Dago is an area in Bandung, West Java, Indonesia. It covers Jalan H. Juanda (H. Juanda Street) and the surrounding area. The lower (southern) Dago area near Jalan Merdeka is one of the trendy areas of Bandung, with shops, shopping malls, cafes, boutiques, and many restaurants and entertainment centers.

So, if you have a plan to go holiday, Bandung can be your one option to spend your holiday time. Hope this article also can be your guideline if you there. Feel its fresh air, and throw away your bad feelings, and you will feel your body happier than before.

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Can Travel Agents Compete Against Online Travel Agent?

Nowadays it is very difficult and tough situation for the travel agent in terms of getting business and how to survive in the industry. There are so many challenges that they need to face it daily either internally or externally. As we know before this normally whenever we think want to go for holidays we will go and visit travel agent to seek their expertise by suggesting to us and advise where to visit, which destination have better promotion in term of the accommodation or air ticket. By doing this we at least have and idea where to visit, what is the interesting place to visit over there and is it the right time to travel.


 


At this moment travel agencies are being increasingly repressed from the tourism market by a new rival which is internet. Internet has experienced an incredible expansion for a very short period of time, becoming indispensable in almost all spheres of everyday and especially academic life, as well as in tourism. One "click" has become sufficient to take us virtually to any country in the world. Example to give us the insight into numerous offers of touristic destinations, attractions, transport, accommodation, food or other products within the destination.Actually with the current situation we can see the especially in travel industry the internet have taking over all the human element and become more and more redundant. For example when we travel by air, we have self check in and the ability to check in online so that you don't have the inconvenience of having to queue and then talk to a human being. Trains station have pre-booked tickets machines where we can pick up tickets we booked online without heading to a kiosk to collect it. The ticket ballards also take away the need for ticket inspectors on the platforms, and the trains themselves.

 



High street travel agents look set to become extinct because people more likely to book their holidays online. This should be a wakeup call for travel agents or tour operator. Online travel agents or OTA such as Expedia, Agoda, GTA, Booking.com have gained ground in tour sales and traditional travel agent and tour operators are going to need to improve their ability to compete. What they need to do is both agents and tour operators must add real value to the distribution chain to stay relevant.




It becomes a common practice for travellers to book vacations themselves. Normally those younger generation or Gen Y are more towards online bookings. They will read the review from  about the places that they want to visit even though there are advantages if you book with travel agent but people are still book using internet the accommodation and air tickets. 


Whereby the older generation are more prefer human touch, either face to face over a counter or over a phone. The older generation find the internet intimidating or too confusing, preferring a real person to handle their request or enquiry and make their purchase or booking. There is something reassuring about having a real person help you out, but it's becoming scarcer every passing year. 


As a conclusion even though most of the people nowdays are more towards online booking, there are still wide market of people who want to walk into travel agent office and discuss about the deals with travel agent staff who can talk them though hotels, resort and flights and give suggestion based on what you have discussed. You don't get this kind of service from online  booking system which it was built for speed and finding deals rather than interaction and making the booking of your holiday a fun and interesting experience in itself.
For next generations at least the travel agent will be needed to be the intermediate face of business. It will be sad day when the internet fully takes over and the travel agency is no longer required






 













Friday, 21 March 2014

Tips & Trick : Backpacking

Since I've been working in tourism sector. I've listed some good backpacking tips if you are on a budget. Just because you are on a budget doesn't mean you can't have a fun backpacking trip. It does mean being smart , finding ways to cut cost , and having a little extra left over at the end of your trip. With these tips below you will be having a great trip in no time and worry free with your money. 


1.    Pack light
The key to backpacking is ‘less is more’. Stick to this rule and you will be all set. Sometimes people love to go overboard and bring six sweaters and ten pairs of jeans. Well guess what , this is not the way to effectively backpack a place. If you are being carried down by too much stuff then you will miss out some great opportunities like seeing more things and catching that last minute train. You also can save money with airlines for not paying extra for overweight luggage.

2.     Leave valuables at home
There is really no need to bring your favorite ring you got for graduation or those earrings Dad gave you for your birthday. When backpacking the idea is to only have the basics on hand. Keep this in mind; only have things on you that you don’t mind too much to replace. Not to say it isn’t a bummer to have to get new clothing if your bag gets swiped, but it is a whole lot easier than something you will really miss not having.

3.     Let someone know
Often people make the mistake of taking off on a trip and not telling family or friends. Even if you don’t want Mom and Dad breathing down your back, it’s a really good idea to let someone back home have a general idea of where you are going and how long you will be gone. Also have a way of getting in touch with you. The last thing you want is for some emergency on your end or at home and having no means of communication.

4.     Get a hostel with a kitchen
When you are booking a hostel check to see if they have a communal kitchen or complimentary breakfast. Often there is a kitchen available for use with some utensils and cooking items. Making a couple meals at your hostel will save you and your friends a lot of money in the long run.

5.     Buy a train pass
If you know you will be backpacking in one area, such as Northern Europe, Southern Europe, or Asia, then you can pre-purchase a train pass that allows you to travel within certain countries for a set amount of time. This elevates the stress of waiting in long lines at train stations. Plus you will end up saving money because you bought in bulk. Just be sure to.


6.     Be careful of pickpockets and scam artists
Many countries, even the most cosmopolitan, have some form of pickpockets or scam artists. These people are trained to feed on tourists. They know right away that you are not a local and that they can take advantage of you. The best way to save money when backpacking is to keep your money close to you. The fastest way to lose money when traveling is having it stolen.

7.     Bring your own snacks
Bringing some energy bars or granola bars with you during the day can help fight off hunger cravings in between meals. Snacks during the day can easily add up to just as much money as a meal. With bars in hand you won’t be spending your money on unnecessary snacks and can save it for other things.

8.    Walk instead of taking a cab
It may feel easier to hop a cab and head to a destination. But don’t do it! Between the mileage cost, tipping, and of course the added secret tourist fee (many cab drivers charge tourists more than locals because they don’t disclose rates) you are looking at a hefty bill. Walking a little extra is good for your body and then environment not to mention your wallet. If something is really out of walking range then take a bus or metro. They tend to run less than $2 in most cities around the world.




DOH B2B Online Booking System

INTRODUCTION

The Internet is here to stay, and many businesses have made their first leap to the Internet with a web site, and many are now moving forwards using the Internet, not only as an advertising and promotion platform, but as an active business platform.

The great thing about the Internet is that it can be used as the great equalizer for small and mid-sized businesses. The smallest Bed and Breakfast can today have as great a web presence as the largest 5 star hotels through their web site.

Whether your site is for yacht charters, horse riding classes, or anything else, if your products and services can be booked, reserved or rented, you may want to try to make the web site work for your business all year round.

You may have asked yourself why so many small businesses are so interested in getting an online reservation system on their web site.

ADVANTAGES TO HAVE ONLINE BOOKING SYSTEM

Let we review on the some of the advantages to have online booking system

1) Open 24/7 to receive reservations


Many customers surf the Internet outside of business hours and they are more likely to make reservations on the spot that trying to remember to call back the next day. Statistics show that more and more bookings today are made during the evening at home online. The reasons for this are two fold. Firstly, many companies now monitor and control Internet access in the workplace, and secondly, nearly every home today has an Internet connection and a PC or laptop. If your normal business hours are 9 to 5, then you have no one to take bookings after 17:00, and this is when we now know most online bookings occur. An Online booking system allows you to receive booking 24 hours a day; therefore, your booking service is always open.

2) Minimize your workload

If you are not using an online booking system today, then you may still be processing all your bookings manually. A good online booking system will handle all the aspects of the booking. It must at a minimum, do the following :
  • Automatically ensure that bookings can only be received when you have availability
  • Get ALL the information required during the booking process so you dont have to waste time   asking for more information
  • Send out an automated email to the booking party as a confirmation of the booking
  • Automatically update your availability when the booking has been processed
A good booking system will do all this.Also make sure your booking system does not just handle the online bookings, but handles email, phone and walk-in bookings as well.

3) Commission Free

Whether you are paying for direct advertising, or paying a commission for bookings through booking portals, in either case, you are paying a portion of your income to these sources. If you have an online booking system on your own website, you have then cut out the middleman. Another important point when using commissioned portals is that your business is promoting them as much as they are promoting you, and with the Internet, you might as well just focus on promoting your own business.

4) Clear and Simple Overview

Your online booking system should have at least one screen where you can see your availability very quickly and clearly. This removes the need for the old paper book, and allows your reception staff to easily see whether you have availability or not.

Align with the development of the technology and internet some of the big travel agent in Kuala Lumpur are now looking forward to have  their own online booking system. All of them are already realized the important for them to have their own B2B Online Booking Platform. Same goes to my company Discovery Overland Holidays Sdn Bhd. 

HISTORY HOW IT WAS STARTED AT DISCOVERY OVERLAND HOLIDAYS


Let me start a bit a about the history of how our B2B Online Booking Engine how and when it was started. The system is called TravFlex. My company bought this system somewhere in 2007 from the supplier in Thailand. Since our majority client from overseas and we are working in different time zone, management feels like it is important to have our own online booking system. At least we can run the business 24/7 and not only during normal office hour.

Previously when my company bought the system they don't have any specific team  to handle this system. All this while the responsible is been handle by another department which called Tourplan department. Beside taking care this online system, Tourplan department their main task is handling our inhouse booking system. Only last 2 years, management decide there should have a team or department to take care this system in term of maintaining the rate in the system, handle all the problem related to the system while for the booking reservation part still will be handle by the reservation department. Now under this department there are 3 person who will be taking care of this system to make sure everything is run smoothly as planned. Now let's move on to the system capabilities. What is actually this system all about and their capabilities.



The system actually consist  a few module that client need to choose. Each module is charge separately. For my company at this moment we only have this XML Buyer & Seller Module & B2B Module plus the Back Office Administrator Management Module. This TravFlex system is the complete Travel Booking Solution with B2B (Business to Business) Concept. TravFlex is sophisticated Internet-based Reservation System for Hotel booking, Transfer, Sightseeing and Tour packages that can serve any size of Tour Operator in single or multiple locations.

TravFlex is ideal alternative for manually tracking the customers and reservations. Tour Operator no longer need to keep stacks of paper or loose customer details. TravFlex is the latest product of our company. With this booking Engine Tour Operator can connect each other from anywhere on the world.

TravFlex is technologically advanced, web based with back office system that is suitable for Travel Industry in any location or multiple locations. Data transfer is made much easier with less time by effective use of XML Technology.

SOFTWARE OVERVIEW

This are some of the software overview :-

  • Online Hotel Accommodation, Transfer, Sightseeing & Tour Packages and it's related Management
  • Community interface for group and association websites.
  • Return availability with instant confirmation that generates with automatic invoices and related vouchers.
  • Agent can reserve multiple hotels at one time in same or different destinations.
  • Ability for Agent to choose from multiple rates.
  • Ability to charge payments for reservations with the payment gateway to bank accounts.
  • Customizable hotel booking and hotel vouchers and invoices.
  • "Advance Search" for checking the Hotel in any particular city and particular country.
  • Highly Configurable and easy to Use
  • Inventory multi level with MIS reports
  • Analyse Reservation Patterns & automatic Calculations
  • Unlimited user
  • Ready XML API
  • PNR handling
  • Rates management
  • Reservations management
  • External multi rates from different suppliers
  • Additional information management (pictures, facilities, description, Pax type etc)
  • Multi-Currency Pricing management
  • Different selling rates management
  • Online payment management Credit Card, Credit Limit and BOPO (Book Online , Pay Offline)
  • Operational Accounts receivable management
  • Operational Accounts payable management
  • Agent & credit control management
  • Design and printing and control of operational documents, (vouchers, receipts, invoices, itineraries, requests, lists etc.)
  • Tools to analyses Costing and profitability
  • Suppliers and other travel services via XML
  • Interfacing to Internal and external systems.
  • Promotions management - Bonus Night / Last minute booking / Specify & Rolling Early Bird / Minimum Stay / Long Stay pay less
  • Full White Label Private Solution management with accounting
  • XML [buy IN] Platform – connection to unlimited number of suppliers with rates comparison tools
  • XML [sell OUT] Platform for all products and be able to send rates from your own DB or from 3rd party XML suppliers
  • CRM system
  • Multiple rate plan options
  • Multiple room bookings
  • Multiple room type bookings
  • Real Time Inventory
  • Best Child Policy
  • Pre-set package Bookings
  • Online cancellation / Amendment
  • Instant confirmation with automatic email notification
  • E-vouchers
  • Agency / corporate Credit management
  • Reports
  • Nationality of Guest report
  • Product turnover
  • Commission report
  • Agent Gross sales
  • All Production Statistic reports
Here I would like to tell you more about our DOH B2B Online Booking System. How the system works actually.



Normally agent who are interested to use our system they are required to register online with us. What we need from them is their company details basically.From there our e-commerce team  will create agent ID, username & password and send back to them with the user manual




Now they can start to use the system. Once they log in into the system, system will bring them to the first page. In this section agent just fill up the necessary info such as pax passport (nationality), destination country & destination city check in & check out date and how many rooms paxs required and click search. 


After that system will show all the list of hotels that we have key in the rates in to the system. Basically those hotels we have allotment will show first in the list  and followed by hotel we don't have allotment. Allotment means hotel have agreed to reserved to us rooms on guaranteed basis. Which mean whenever client booked, hotel will confirm straight away the room for us. Whereby if we don't have any allotment than is subject to availability upon receive the booking.





Over here agent can see what is the room price , the cancellation policy, hotel information such as the facitlity, hotel description, hotel picture and the maps also can be found it here.



Next step is agent click the book button and system will bring them to this page. Now  agent fill up the guest particular click next button. 



On the last page agent can view the total amount for the booking. Once everything in order and they have agreed with the price and term and condition they just click confirm button. At the same time system will send us  email to inform there is new booking and system also will send the booking form automatically to hotel. Our team just need to follow up with hotel either they have received the email or not. Currently in this system client can booked packages, transfers & tours using the system. But we more focus to hotel bookings only.

Regards to the invoice and hotel voucher agent can get it from the system. 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

About Modding A Campro Engine

CAMPRO is an engine developed by Proton and with the help from Lotus. This engine powers the Proton Gen-2, the Proton Satria Neo, the Proton Waja Campro, the Proton Persona as well as Proton's future models.

There are 3 types of CAMPRO engines which are the 1.3/1.6L IAFM , 1.6L CPS & 1.6L CFE(turbo). The basic Campro engine coded as S4PH is a basic DOHC 16-valve 1.6 L engine that produces 110 bhp (82 kW) @ 6,000 rpm of power and 148 N·m (109 ft·lbf) of torque. The S4PH engine can be fitted with Cam Profile Switching (CPS) and Variable Inlet Manifold (VIM) technology. While for the S4PE DOHC 16-valve 1.3 L engine, it is able to produce 94 bhp (70 kW) @ 6,000 rpm and the torque of 120 N·m (89 ft·lbf) @ 4,000 rpm. However the S4PH engine seems to be quite powerful at higher revs, its performance is reportedly sluggish at lower revs.

This is proven by driving uphill, where drivers who drive the manual transmission version have to periodically shift between 2nd gear and 3rd gear. This is due to its torque dip in the crucial 2,000-3,000 rpm range where the torque actually decreases before picking up back to the maximum torque at 4,000 rpm. This torque characteristic can be clearly seen in manufacturer published engine performance curves.. Ok guys, don't let this drawback stop you from modifying. This is because CAMPRO engine does have some potential and it can be modified easily and the result will sure surprise you. If going down to NA (naturally aspirated) path, with some modifications you can easily up the HP approximate 140-150hp on engine. If going to FI (forced induction) path, the low boost turbo systems will easily produce more HP compare to NA path.

However, not all mods are for power though, there are many area's of braking and suspension that any stock car can always be improved with. Along with other drive line upgrades, you can have a smooth reliable car, with improved handling, and provide that little bit of sporty power to keep most people satisfied.

So I would like to compile a list of modification that can be done for CAMPRO engine. This section is to be used as a guide in your modification


Normal Campro Engine S4PH 1.6 L DOHC


Proton S4PE 1.3L CAMPRO ENGINE with IAFM (Intake Air-Fuel Module)


Proton S4PH 1.6L CAMPRO ENGINE with Cam Profile Switching (CPS)


Proton CamPro CFE 1.6L engine is the light-pressure intercooled turbocharged version of the 1.6-litre CamPro engine.

Mild Modification

The mild modifications are designed for the every day driver, wanting improvements across the board without sacrificing road comfort, fuel economy or driveability.

1. Air Filters and Cold Air Intake Kits


 Open-pod air filter system


Drop-in air filter system.

The factory air box system on these vehicles, is quite restrictive.

1. Fitment of an aftermarket replacement air filter. You can get it from K&N or Simota which this will improved air flow and throttle response

2. Fitment of a Cold Air Intake Kit.

The Cold air kit relocates to the front bumper, pulling cold air especially where utilized with a aftermarket front bumper. Any aftermarket open pod filter is fine. The plastic pipe kit I honestly recommend, other than being the cheapest, is one of the best bang for dollar modifications you can do.

2. Exhaust System Upgrade


If you have done a good job for the intake system, now is the time to do something about the exhaust system.

Upgrading the exhaust system is one of the most beneficial modification and gain the most HP compare to others. In short, it worth the money to change the exhaust system. However, before you start to change the exhaust system, you must make a decision on until which level you plan to mod your car. 
Mild, medium or extreme modification has totally different exhaust size modification. Why I advised you to make the decision before moding the car because  you can save up some money for this modification. To be honest, I wasted a lot of money for my satria's exhaust system. This is because I changed the exhaust for 1.5L engine then change again for MIVEC engine and then change again for my current 4G93T . So you can imagine how much I had wasted for only the exhaust system. For moding the exhaust system, I suggested few guidelines as following:-

1. Naturally Aspirated - Stock ECU- You are only after mild improvements to make the car sportier, but don't intend to do any real serious mods. This being the case stick with replacement of the stock exhaust with either a rear muffler upgrade only 1.7" flow oval shaped unit, or complete it with a 1.7" press bent exhaust system with new muffler and resonator. Cat converter should remain stock (or better just trash it ~but you are not being kind to mother nature after that). Any larger on the system would not provide without sufficient more expensive mods, any real gains.

2. Naturally Aspirated - Piggy Back ECU - you are after mild to medium improvements to make the car sportier, with slightly more than average vehicle modifications. This being the case, I recommend a 2" diameter replacement exhaust with a new resonator and muffler. No need to go mandrel bent unless you have money to throw away. This setup will handle the majority of modifications I have listed short of turbo systems

3. Naturally Aspirated -Standalone ECU - okay you are an extreme modder. Twin throttle bodies, camshafts the list goes on. I recommend in this case either a 2.2" mandrel bent system

4. Turbo Charged - either from 2.5" to 3" is more than enough for a CAMPRO bolt on turbo.

3. Suspension Upgrade - Level 1 (Sport Springs)


Basically at this point you are still have a midly modified vehicle and want to just improve the looks slightly and handling. I recommend in this situation the following :-

1. Replacement of stock springs with some lowering/harder sport springs - either 30mm or 50mm lowered units depending upon how low & hardened (my current car is 7K front / 5k rear) you want to go .

2. Fitment of a sway bar. Reduces body roll without reducing drive ability.

3. Fitment of a strut brace. Reduces the tendancy of the vehicle to float on the road and makes it less sensitive to changes in road camber, resulting in less need to constantly adjust the steering wheel to keep the car driving straight.

This package will proved a well balanced vehicle, capable of handling corners at higher speeds, will feel safer at higher speeds especially above 100km/hr. The steering will feel more precise and you will have overall more confidence in pushing the vehicle harder.

For next entry , will update on how medium mods is done. Thanks!