After more than five years with MCI, Smith takes the helm at the Singapore-based DMC as Bob Guy retires.
Loyalty marketing expert, Matthew Smith, recently joined Destination Asia as general manager, tasked with leading the 34-strong team in Singapore. Backed by 18 years of experience in the business events and travel industry, Smith is also looking to drive new business initiatives and create a “family-culture” within the company.
A few months into his new role, we sat down with Smith to find out his plans for the future:
How have you settled into your new role as GM of Destination Asia Singapore?
To be honest my first few months have been hectic to say the least. Getting up to speed on the business and finding my feet has been an exciting challenge. I have focused on observing the current operations and team, meeting all our key partners locally to discuss some of the changes and plans I will be focusing on for 2019 to innovate and expand our offer. The team here at DA Singapore are very experienced and have been a huge help in supporting me. They are completely behind the changes I have communicated.
Tell us more about these changes. How do you plan to lead the team into 2019 and beyond?
Firstly, there is no magic formula. I will keep to what has worked for me and my previous teams in the past. I will focus on relationships built on trust with our suppliers, honest and clear communication with my teams, customer service excellence, and innovating new products that will meet and exceed the markets expectations.
Next year is already looking like a strong year for DA Singapore and some of the early changes we have made to our processes and concepts have already had an immediate impact with our clients and conversion rates. I am excited about some of the possible new opportunities that I am looking at currently, which will increase our presence by tapping new markets and new services.
After leading MCI’s Performance Improvement division for more than five years, what’s it like to take the reins as GM?
MCI was an outstanding company to work for and the team was like a family to me. The success and culture we built was definitely worth all the hard work. However, the opportunity to join Destination Asia, who is a partner I had worked with on a number of successful projects, was something that I was drawn to. With DA joining forces with DNATA this has opened up a lot of new global opportunities, and the leadership team at DA head office are completely supportive of our goals and direction here in Singapore.
I am most looking forward to building another family-like culture within DA Singapore, one which empowers staff to take chances and gives opportunities to grow and better themselves.
Having the ability to sell Singapore as a destination is also something I am very excited about. Singapore is always developing and is currently a hot destination for MICE and leisure travellers, so we want to ensure we make the most out of this opportunity and offer our guests something authentic and memorable.
Smith takes the reins of Destination Asia Singapore from Bob Guy, who recently retired after eight years as managing director. Guy set up the Singapore office in October 2010 alongside James Reed and Gill Guy.