To Do In 2016: Discover The Hidden Gem Of Hangzhou

with Ming Tappin

(L - R) Nao Nishihara, CWT Ellison Travel & Tours with Soran Prasad and Steve Martin of Goway.

Steve Martin addresses the group during dinner.

(L - R) Kim Cable & Jocelyn Lee, Travel Best Bets & Karen Chong, Westwood Expedia CruiseShipCenters.

60 agents attended Goway's sold out Asia presentation and dinner event in Vancouver last week. BDM Soran Prasad and Training Facilitator Steve Martin educated the group about Goway's program, highlighting the city of Hangzhou. Steve has just recently returned from Hangzhou and was proud to show us personal photos in his slide show.

While most of us know Beijing, Shanghai and Xian, many including myself, were unfamiliar with smaller cities such as Hangzhou. And I say smaller with tongue in cheek - Hangzhou has a population of 9 million, just a fraction of Shanghai's 24 million. Located just 1 hour southwest by high speed train and famous for the its beautiful West Lake, Grand Canal and tea plantation, Hangzhou in Chinese standards is considered a quiet respite from the bustling metropolis. Much like the Sunshine Coast is to Vancouver or the Muskokas to Toronto. 

Kim Cable and Jocelyn Lee from Travel Best Bets were in attendance and both were glad to learn more about this hidden gem. Seeing Steve's personal photos made a big difference to both agents, and they gained further appreciation of the destination.

When asked about Goway as a supplier, Karen Chong of Westwood Expedia CruiseShipCenters commented that the Goway team has been fantastic in helping her with client bookings, taking the time to answer questions and customizing packages to her clients' specific needs. Nao Nishihara of CWT Ellison Travel & Tours has booked Goway many times and shared the same sentiment about the superb service. She is also happy to hear that Goway will price match and the full customization capability is very appealing to help her grow her Asia business, which she intends to focus on.

The agents' praises were not surprising to me as I learned that Steve himself has been with Goway for 29 years, and most of Goway's destination specialists have been with the company for 15-20 years. With long tenure comes experience and dedication to service - that to me is a strong point in a successful supplier.

Hangzhou can be added as a 4 day side trip to Goway's 11 day China Odyssey package. Apparently, Marco Polo called it the most beautiful and elegant city in the world. Today, the New York Times calls it one of the 52 Places To Go in 2016, and it will be the 1st Chinese city to host the G20 Summit this Fall. Best to tell your clients to discover it soon!

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