| Following our commencement as a computer company in 1993, our small Phuket-based team launched destination portal, Phuket.com in 1995 to become the pioneers in online travel distribution in Asia.
Through the years Asia Web Direct offices opened in Bangkok, Samui, Krabi, Kuala Lumpur and London to serve our growing customer base and business partners. We've also continuously added websites to our portfolio to cover destinations all over Asia and now have 100+ portals in our suite of sites.
Through clever search marketing and word-of-mouth our sites now attract 2.4 million visitors who purchase in excess of 29,000 room nights per month. Hotels and resorts available on our site number approximately 55,000 worldwide, with a focus on Asia.
In February 2008 we took another step towards global expansion by accepting the offer of Australian-based Wotif.com Holdings Limited (Wotif Group) to purchase Asia Web Direct. Wotif Group operates leading online travel brands in the Asia Pacific region and Asia Web Direct fits perfectly within this suite of travel sites.
Although we are now part of a bigger group, Asia Web Direct has maintained our identity and vision. In addition, the merger provided another office in Singapore and increased the size of our team to 180+ staff by combining with the existing members of the Wotif Group in Asia.
Our successes stem from our commitment to service through a broad offering of hotels with competitive deals, exciting travel and tour services and local knowledge. A philosophy of service excellence is also evident through our powerful online tools and platforms that help business partners promote their properties and services to our ever-growing global audience.
User-friendly technologies, sophisticated booking platforms, 'Extranet' inventory management and instant room availability, have combined with our outstanding search engine rankings to set us apart in the highly competitive online accommodation marketplace.
Neil Cumming, Founder and Executive Director, Wotif Group
Neil was one of the UK's first computer programmers. An electronics and mathematics background at the Harwell Atomic Energy Research Centre in England led to a keen interest in IT. As Group Systems Manager at EMI he developed an advanced online real-time sales reservation system for EMI's Thames Television company, for which he was invited to form a separate company. Five successful years on - with the system commanding 85% of the UK market - Neil sold his stake and set sail with his family.
Their journey brought them to Phuket in 1988, which has been his base ever since. It was here Neil started Asia Web Direct in 1993 and, two years later, launched Phuket.com. His real-time reservations experience led to our instant booking system and last-minute reservation system LateStays.com. Heavily involved in the Phuket community, Neil is a past President of the Rotary Club of Patong Beach, a member of the local SKAL club, the British Chamber of Commerce and La Chaine des Rotisseurs of Thailand.
In 2008 Neil sold Asia Web Direct to Australian company, Wotif Group and took on an Executive Director role on the Board of Directors to ensure his brands maintained their vision. Although he is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of the company he is actively involved in strategic aspects and is often seen shuttling between the Phuket and Bangkok offices as well as to Brisbane in Australia for board meetings.