THE FIRST TRAVEL AND TOUR COMPANY IN THE EAST COAST TO SIGN SCANIA ECOLUTION PARTNERSHIP
The Eastern coastal states of Peninsular Malaysia are lined with beautiful white sandy beaches and picturesque villages that charm tourists, domestic and foreign alike. This fact gave rise to the number of Travel and Tour Agencies in the hope of making a living by bringing local tourists to spend school term holiday packages and foreign tourist in a bid to escape the concrete jungle, to the states of Kelantan, Pahang and Terengganu to experience their natural landscape offerings.
In 2009, the inflow of holidaymakers into Terengganu gave birth to the establishment of Norma Travel and Tours Sdn Bhd (Norma Travel) by its founder, the late Che Abdullah bin Abdul Rahman who started by transporting tourists from the airport to the beach resorts and hotels in Terengganu as an airport taxi driver. With the demise of the founder, Norma Travel was taken over by his eldest son Kamal Ariffin Che Abdullah and daughter Nor Aishah Che Abdullah. In 2011, Che Alias bin Zakaria, a Public University diploma graduate and certificate holder of the Level 3 Sijil Kemahiran Malaysia in Tourism, joined Norma Travel as the Manager and tied the knot with Nor Aishah. With his knowledge and expertise in the Tourism industry, especially as a Tour Leader between 2008 and 2011 from his previous travel company, he made valuable contacts in Tourism Malaysia enabling Norma to secure their inbound Travel and Tour permit for the whole Peninsular.
THE BUSINESS SWITCH THAT WORKED
Norma Travel’s business saw a turn for the better when it first started focusing on holiday packages to the four corners of the Peninsular. However, after a good sprint up till end of 2011 online travel bookings became rampant and caused the erosion of the traditional Travel agent bookings.
“It was then when we decided to start focusing on transportation in 2012 and concentrated on securing tenders from governmental institutions such as University Malaysia Terengganu (UMT) in Kuala Terengganu. However, we still accept confirmed bookings for holiday packages upon request from direct customers,” stated Che Alias.
Norma Travel survived the COVID-19 pandemic by securing long-term bookings of their Hire and Drive business at the Kuala Terengganu airport with six cars of which four units are booked for up to 5 years by, a health and security services multi-national company. Serving as an offshore medical unit, this company made use of Norma Travel hired vehicle to transport their workers from their living quarters in Kuala Terengganu, Kerteh and Chukai to Kemaman Supply Base, Kerteh Airport and Pulau Duyung Jetty Terminal.
It was also quite opportune for Norma Travel to land a contract for their vans and buses to take University Malaysia Terengganu students and lecturers for study and field trips all over Peninsular Malaysia, so much so that they had to purchase two MPVs to cater for the spillover in bookings.
The decision to switch focus from offering mainly Travel and Tour packages to transportation was a good move by Norma Travel as it provided the necessary defensive measures by providing sufficient cash-flow for them to withstand the rather harmful pandemic period.
THE FIRST SCANIA EXPERIENCE
Norma Travel tasted their first Scania coach experience in 2015 when the business needed a good and reliable coach and a deal was struck with Scania Credit to secure a Scania K360 IB4x2NB. Today, Norma operates 3 Scania coaches with subscriptions for Scania Maintenance for 2 years and one unit with Scania Fleet Management System Control 10.
“We are presently on the road to recovery after the change of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to Recovery MCO and the Scania coaches are contributing significantly towards the reduction of our operational costs due to the consistent savings in fuel consumption. For example, what used to cost us RM700 for fuel for a round trip to Kuala Lumpur is now costing only RM500 with our Scania buses,” stated Che Alias
THE SCANIA WORKSHOP – A WELCOMED MOVE.
The opening of the Scania branch/workshop in the industrial area in Gong Badak, Kuala Terengganu was well accepted by many Scania loyalists. This led to the purchase of two of the Scania coaches in 2016 and 2017. Now they do not have to waste precious time sending their coaches to be maintained in Pahang or Kelantan.
“I am also very pleased with the improvement in after-sales service and was rather impressed when a phone call from Sweden came in to enquire about the performance of the Scania Malaysia’s after-sales service towards Norma Travel. To me, this gesture reflected the commitment that Scania is continuously practicing to ensure that their after-sales services are up to mark on the promises that was made to customers when sales are done,” smiled Che Alias with contentment.
KEEPING THE SCANIA ECOLUTION PARTNERSHIP ACTIVE
When this Scania Ecolution partnership programme was introduced to Norma Travel, Che Alias quickly got the Board to agree in signing the agreement for all three of their Scania coaches as it was well within Che Alias’ belief that we should take care of the environment because we are able to and because we are in control. It was all a question of whether we want to or not. And this was also in line with the Eco-tourism course of caring for the environment by Tourism Malaysia that Che Alias participated in.
Scania Ecolution is a partnership between Scania and customers with the aim to reduce carbon footprint via total solutions. Fuel consumption, vehicle behavior and driver behaviour will be monitored on a monthly basis and will result in reducing fuel consumption and the emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere while lowering the costs of operation.
To date Norma Travel has reduced its CO2 emissions by 1,249 kg which is equivalent to planting approximately 57 trees that has been flourishing for the past one year, and that is only the beginning.
As the first major manufacturer of heavy commercial vehicles, Scania’s far-reaching climate targets have officially been approved by the Science Based Target initiative (SBTi). Scania is committed to achieving the Paris agreement goals of limiting global warming to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. And the Scania Ecolution partnership with customers like Norma Travel, has helped to create the necessary awareness among all Scania’s customers all over the world to follow suit.
THE RIGHT FORMULA FOR THE FORESEABLE FUTURE
The Travel and Tour business has always been a very service-oriented business. Those who go that extra mile by giving VIP treatment to their customers at the right price will win, and are assured of repeat business, and good word-of-mouth publicity will undoubtedly result in good referral business. A Scania coach that will take them safely and comfortably to their destinations fits the bill as the right mode of transportation to complete Norma Travel’s formula for success.
“Apart from pushing hard in the area of tendered projects from government agencies, we are also looking at diversification in Norma Travel’s business such as express coach services for short stints in an around Terengganu. If this happens, Scania coaches will be our first preference to add on to our fleet,” revealed Che Alias.
To assure Norma Travel of sustainability, Che Alias is seriously looking at the Scania Driver services package and believes that this additional training will ensure Norma Travel’s profitability and sustainability going into the future.
Seen here, Scania express coach model K360 IB4x2NB used by Norma Travel with Ecolution sticker attached on it. This coach is financed by Scania Credit Malaysia with subscriptions for Scania Maintenance for 2 years and Fleet Management System Control 10.
Norma Travel’s business saw a turn for the better when it first started focusing on holiday packages to the four corners of the Peninsular. Seen here, Encik Alias, Manager of Norma Travel is watching out for customers boarding the express coach.
Seen here, one of Norma Travel driver is posing in the Scania express coach. Norma travel is seriously looking at the Scania Driver services package and believes that this additional training will ensure Norma Travel’s profitability and sustainability going into the future.
Norma Travel has reduced its CO2 emissions by 1,249 kg which is equivalent to planting approximately 57 trees that has been flourishing for the past one year, and that is only the beginning. Seen here, Mr. Alias (second from the left) and his team are posing in front of their Scania express coach.
Scania coaches has contributed significantly towards the reduction of Norma Travel’s operational cost due to the consistent savings in fuel, especially on the road to the recovery after the change of the Movement Control Order (MCO) to Recovery MCO. Seen here, Mr. Alias, Manager of Norma Travel is doing interview for their Ecolution partnership with Scania.