Travel agency stays at forefront

Lee says Apple Vacations' revenue had been growing 7% in the past three years.

Lee says Apple Vacations' revenue had been growing 7% in the past three years.

PETALING JAYA: Apple Vacations & Conventions Sdn Bhd, the Star Business Awards (SOBA) 2013 Best Brand (silver award) winner, aims to stay at the forefront of the Malaysian travel industry by constantly introducing innovative products and services.

The company which prides itself as the “No. 1 Japan Tour Operator” in Malaysia said it had a market share of about 60% in the local travel and tour industry for the middle-upper product range category.

Apple Vacations founders Datuk Seri Lee Ee Hoe and Datuk Seri Koh Yock Heng are also licensed tourist guides and have been in the travel industry for almost their entire careers.

While studying in Japan, Lee, who is the group managing director, said he fell in love with the country and wanted to share the beauty of Japan with the world – which led to Apple Vacations being conceived.

Lee noted that Apple Vacations now offered direct chartered flights to Hokkaido, Japan.

He said Apple Vacations’ revenue had been growing 7% in the past three years and hoped that this trend would continue, moving forward.

He said the company’s annual sales were RM181mil and it made a net profit of RM4mil.

The travel agency was founded in 1996 and is based in Bukit Bintang, Kuala Lumpur. It offers ticketing services as well as inbound and outbound travel packages. Apple Vacations has branch offices in Tokyo, Jakarta, Singapore and Bangkok.

Lee said the challenges that the company had to deal were independent travellers, adding that to cater specifically to this market segment, it offered thematic and private tours.

Those who are interested to book online can also use its website at as it is a one-stop planning and booking platform with global travel content.

First held in 2010, SOBA is now into its fifth year. The event aims to encourage Malaysian companies to grow and excel.

The panel of judges for SOBA include representatives from the Associated Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Branding Association of Malaysia, Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers, Malaysian Advertisers Association, Malaysian Retailer Chains Association, Malaysian Associated Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Media Specialists Association and SMI Association of Malaysia.

The awards this year has seven categories – Best in Marketing, Best Brand, Best in CSR, Best Green Initiative, Best Employer, Best Innovation and Best Global Market.

The three Outstanding Achievement Awards are Rising Star, Entrepreneur of the Year and Malaysian Business of the Year.

For more details, call 03-7967 1388 ext 1240 (Melissa)/1475 (Pei Wen) or log on to Star Business Awards 2014 at