Travelling ahead: Cambodia's travel goods industry

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The travel industry is witnessing a remarkable resurgence as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic. This revitalisation of global travel has sparked a soaring demand for travel essentials. Cambodia, renowned for its extensive travel goods—including luggage bags, backpacks, handbags, bag tags for luggage, toiletry bags and other travel accessories—is leading the charge in fulfilling this burgeoning need.

Reports from the Cambodia Travel Goods and Leather Association (CTLA) reveal that the country exported an impressive US$802.65 million worth of travel and leather products in the first half of 2022.

Subsequently, data from the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia (GDCE) further indicates that Cambodia's international trade during that period amounted to US$27.244 billion, marking a 20.158% rise from the equivalent period a year earlier. This highlights the travel goods sector as a pivotal component of the nation’s export economy.

For businesses in Cambodia, this presents a golden window of opportunity to engage with a thriving international market and substantially contribute to the nation's economic growth.

Let's take a deeper look into the travel goods industry to equip your businesses with the vital knowledge and insights needed to succeed in this dynamic market.

Travel goods export phenomenon

Cambodia's travel goods industry is in a transformative stage, influenced by evolving consumer behaviour, global trade accords, and innovations. The recent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the CTLA and the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC), signed on 6 August 2022, was a pivotal moment. This MoU aims to elevate the profile of Cambodian travel goods and leather products globally.

As previously mentioned, the resurgence of global travel in the post-pandemic landscape has led to a significant increase in demand for quality travel goods. This burgeoning demand has been a boon for travel goods stores and luggage bag manufacturers. With travellers seeking quality goods, the sector has seen a rise in officially registered factories and a surge in employment opportunities.

CTLA's honorary president, Ly Kunthai, revealed that around 120 such factories, backed by international investors, notably from China, contribute to this dynamic industry.

Further amplifying this momentum, CTLA signed additional agreements with institutions like the Singapore Cambodia International Academy and Huawei Technologies. These partnerships will facilitate member training, enhance communication technology, and promote green energy solutions in the sector. 

These strategic moves are streamlining exports from Cambodia, such as international baggage shipping, and propelling other locally produced travel goods, such as passport covers, travel bags, travel wallets, travel makeup bags, shoe bags, and more, into the global marketplace.

From local to global: Pioneering success in the travel goods industry

Building on the momentum of Cambodia's burgeoning travel goods export phenomenon, several local companies have capitalised on this growth. Among these success stories, Qi Hang New (Cambodia) stands out as a testament to the industry's potential and opportunities. 

Qi Hang New specialises in producing high-quality travel and luggage goods, such as travel backpacks and luggage straps. Notably, Cambodia exports 80% of its travel goods to the United States (US). 

Factors such as the increasing number of business trips and the growth in leisure tourism have amplified the need for reliable travel accessories. These include travel bags, neck travel pillows, and other essential travel items that enhance the experience.

To penetrate the US market, Qi Hang New formed strategic partnerships with US companies, such as American Traveler, Inc., to understand and cater to the demands of the US consumer. The company is a luggage and travel bag specialist dedicated to bringing their Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) partners’ visions, like Qi Hang New, to the marketplace. 

American Traveler’s extensive experience in sourcing, sales, and design, combined with in-depth research with partners, has helped make Qi Hang New’s travel goods into market-ready products in the US. 

As a result of this strategic partnership, Qi Hang New have successfully exported an impressive 1,228 shipments to the US as of 30 September 2023. 

Future outlook: building progress in Cambodia's travel goods domain

While Cambodia's travel goods industry is already on a growth trajectory, the future holds even more promise. The recent activation of Free Trade Agreements (FTA), such as the Cambodia-China FTA (CCFTA) and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), which both took effect in January 2022, opens up new avenues for market expansion and diversification. These agreements present an optimistic outlook for Cambodia to broaden its export horizons in the travel goods sector.

Moreover, the Cambodia-Korea FTA (CKFTA) took effect on 1 December 2022 after being signed in late October of the same year. This milestone was part of Cambodia's broader trade strategy, including conducting feasibility studies for additional agreements. These studies paved the way for potential FTAs with Japan, India, and Bangladesh. 

The implementation of various FTAs contributes to an optimistic future for Cambodia's travel goods industry, making it a sector to watch in the global market.

Logistics challenges and solutions in travel goods export

International shipping poses several challenges for businesses in the travel goods sector, especially in regulatory compliance. Different countries have distinct rules for businesses exporting goods, including those for travel gear and accessories, even adaptor plugs. Non-compliance can lead to delays, fines, or even confiscation of export goods. 

Additionally, in today's digital age, customers expect real-time tracking and transparency for their orders. Such can boost customer satisfaction and positively impact brand reputation. Moreover, the costs associated with overseas shipping, such as customs duties and taxes, can be prohibitively high. This makes it imperative for businesses to seek out cost-effective and dependable shipping solutions.

This is where DHL Express steps in, offering a comprehensive suite of solutions tailored for the travel goods industry. With a deep understanding of international shipping regulations, DHL Express provides guidance on customs documentation and duties for exporting goods, ensuring a seamless customs clearance process. 

Our state-of-the-art tracking systems offer real-time updates, enhancing transparency and customer satisfaction. Furthermore, DHL Express offers various shipping options, from same-day shipping to next-day shipping, to suit different budgets and requirements, making it easier for businesses to find the most efficient and cost-effective way to ship luggage internationally.

By partnering with DHL Express, businesses can effectively navigate these challenges, ensuring their products reach global customers seamlessly.

Unlock the global potential of your travel goods business

As we've explored, Cambodia's travel goods industry offers a wealth of opportunities for businesses like yours. DHL Express Cambodia is your ideal partner in this journey. We provide shipping solutions to over 220 countries and territories worldwide to help you unlock international growth and meet the soaring global demand for travel goods.

Our GoGreen logistics services align perfectly with the industry's shift towards sustainability, allowing you to export goods, from travel bags for men and women to even aeroplane pillows, in an eco-friendly manner. Beyond environmental benefits, this positions your brand as a leader in responsible logistics, attracting eco-conscious travellers who prioritise sustainability.

Don't let logistics be a barrier; make it your strength. Sign up for a DHL Express business account today and elevate your business to the global stage—efficiently, compliantly, and sustainably.