Transforming a tourism startup

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From travel app Traveloka, a $4 billion start-up in Indonesia is gradually evolving into an experience app to provide life experiences – an emerging sharing economy trend in other countries. Southeast Asian countries

Transforming a tourism startup

When planning a vacation, 27-year-old Dita Listya from Jakarta wanted to find a stylish salon and spend a few hours. Listya eventually switched to travel startup app Traveloka. Traveloka to compare hotel and flight prices while traveling,” says Listya, but can also be used to “find something fun in Jakarta” for the weekend. One of her hobbies is playing virtual games at the mall with her friends. Especially the game where she can transform into a robot and save the city.

Listya is the ideal customer of Traveloka, one of four Indonesian ‘unicorn’ startups valued at more than $1 billion. but also to enjoy living close to home.

This is one of the very important factors in the profitability strategy of any startup. Profitability is also critical to a successful initial public offering (IPO). This is all the more important as the stock market soars against multibillion-dollar ventures like Uber Technologies and WeWork, which are constantly splashing money.

Traveloka was founded in 2012 as a flight aggregator. and quickly switched to flight and hotel booking services. It is accepted by the Indonesian people, especially the new generation. A survey by local research firm Alvara Strategy found Traveloka to be the most popular booking app, with 79% of the nearly 1,200 respondents being regular users. Other competitors, Tiket.com, hold 8.9% and Tiket’s parent company, Blibli.com, hold 5.6%.

Traveloka Group CEO Henry Hendrawan said in an interview with the Nikkei Asian Review that the company is in talks with other potential financial and strategic partners. a destination only for the West. The same goes for Americans who go to Bali, an Indonesian resort island.

Flexible payment options are a good example of an app that’s tailored to the local market. Most western travel sites take credit cards. But less than 5% of Indonesians do not have a credit card. That’s why Traveloka offers so many options. This includes bank transfers and payments at convenience store chain Indomaret. In June 2018, the company launched PayLater, an online installment payment service that doesn’t require a credit card. until now According to Hendrawan, this app is used by 500,000 customers.

Indonesians are aware of the need for tourist loans. because there is no money for such plans. Therefore, we can organize trips just 2 days before departure. PayLater is a feature of Traveloka that allows users to make bookings faster and gives them access to the most affordable packages for their trip, said the company’s analyst Chetan Kapoor. that Traveloka has improved price transparency and “Better and more user-friendly”

Indonesia lacks travel services, so Traveloka found solutions founder Ferry Unardi, the company’s co-founder and CEO, and former Microsoft engineer, who was often frustrated by the difficulty of finding cheap flights between the US and Hometown Indonesia .City of Padang, island of Sumatra

After leaving Microsoft, Unaldi attended Harvard Business School but dropped out after one semester. at Startup 2014 in Jakarta Indonesia He met the country’s growing digital economy. He and his colleagues realized that if they didn’t want to miss this opportunity, they would. they have to start now

When launching Traveloka as a flight search engine, Unardi quickly realized that customers would have to book tickets on the same platform. And hotel booking will be the next step. Travel startup Traveloka has also broken into neighboring markets such as Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines and arrived in Australia in February, launching its latest round of funding of $420 million in April. This includes Singapore’s flagship GIC fund, accelerating the expansion. Online travel agency Expedia raised $350 million in 2017. The new Traveloka Xperience brand now offers more than 15,000 activities and services, to many Southeast Asian users in their cities. , divided into 12 categories. playground, beauty, spa and activities.

Local travel experience

“Exploring life is not just a trip to the city or the countryside, it really happens every weekend,” says Hendrawan. “We no longer think of ourselves as an online travel agency. We are a travel and lifestyle platform that showcases travel for discovery and inspiration.” Traveloka still offers discounts, however, we also offer other perks like skip-the-line privileges at the event

Many companies in the travel industry are improving the customer experience. From availability comparison platforms Airbnb and Klook, a startup backed by SoftBank Group, to low-cost airline AirAsia, it all exists to complement travelers’ journeys as they travel. travel abroad.

When your app provides a more customer experience-focused service. Users will open your app more often Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of WiT Online Travel Agency says: As a result, Push Apps give customers more reasons to come back and pre-order products . This will be the key to building loyalty. frequent visits and finally income

“They’re slashing prices harder than ever…that’s a sign,” said Gaery Undarsa, Tiket’s co-founder and chief marketing officer. we will lower the price But as our business grows The price will go down.”

Its foray into experiential services has made Traveloka not only a competitor to other travel startups, but also a provider of “super apps” like the Indonesian unicorn Go-Jek. over 10 billion US dollars. Another ride-hailing app, Domestic GoLife, allows users to pre-book everything from house cleaning and car washes to massages and hair salons.

At the same time, Super App is expanding into the tourism sector. In May 2020, Go-Jek partnered with Tiket to offer payments and travel discounts using the GoPay cryptocurrency. Grab in Singapore currently offers accommodation through partnerships with Agoda and Booking.com. Hendrawan denied that these super apps pose a direct threat, but it reiterated that the level of customer engagement remained unchanged. He believes that using Traveloka is a different and deeper experience. “Our lifestyle products are not gadgets,” he said, noting that he encourages users to discover new things. “After every transaction They want to share that experience.”

Willson Cuaca, managing partner of East Ventures, a venture capital fund that invested in Traveloka in its first year, said: “If travel is a big deal, one of Traveloka’s investors also agrees. agree with this statement. Cuaca said: “Users who call cars are not loyal to the brand. They are loyal to discounts.” “Loyalty to a good service brand.”

Traveloka hopes Cuaca’s theory will be relevant as they try to overcome the growing stereotypes that plague startups today. for virtual reality (VR) games, she says, “because there are always 50% off promotions.”

Source: Asia Nikkei Review

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