It’s bleedingly obvious that the demands of modern travellers are forcing travel companies to rethink how to meet them in a more responsible and sustainable way.
The new type of traveller wants to hop off the beaten path to find unique and shareable experiences, delving deep into the destination they are visiting.
In order to meet these new demands, travel tech player Klook takes a three-fold approach. The first way is by diversifying supply, according to the company’s marketing director for Australia and New Zealand, Jonathan Williams.
“We think this is really important in terms of spreading out the demand and popularity for iconic locations to some of the lesser-known destinations and attractions,” he told attendees at Travel DAZE 2019 last week in Sydney.
“This is actually where the idea of Klook was born; about how you bring more of these less-visited attractions at a big scale onto a platform and help them to find people, and reduce the burden on those luxury attractions.”
Once the supply has been diversified, the next step is for Klook to digitise it. Williams believes this is something that the tours and activities segment of the tourism industry is really lagging behind in.
“In our industry, one out of two suppliers are actually quite small – they generate less than $250,000 in revenue,” he explained.
“They’re companies like scuba diving tours or day trips, and these are places where they’ve just relied on passing traffic before, or people coming spontaneously.
“But if you look at our industry compared to the whole tourism segment, we lag far behind. About 15 per cent of the tours and activities companies are online.
“You compare that with the 61 per cent of the rest of the industry, which includes flights and hotels, and we’ve really got a lot of catching up to do to help bring these businesses online and digitise them.”
Klook does its part by giving these small suppliers the tools to digitise, and then connects them to local distribution partners.
“Then we allow them to connect to a user experience which helps travellers to find them and book them as easy as possible,” Williams said.
“But then we go even further. As well as our consumer app, which helps people to actually book activities and discover them, we also do one for merchants that helps them manage all their inventory and calendar, to actually scan the phones of the people that are arriving with their tickets, and then even respond to reviews.
“This is really important, because often this technology is just not available at these places.”
The third and perhaps the most vital element of Klook’s approach, is connecting the modern traveller to these experiences, and Williams believes the key to delivering on this is live availability.
“One of the most important things we can do when we’re increasing the supply on our platform is to enable them to actually give them live availability and connect them to that demand, so the modern traveller who’s in the destination feels spontaneous and wants to make a decision there and then can do so,” he said.
“Since 2016, we’ve seen as much as a nine-times increase in travellers booking on the same day. So, the change is real, the behaviour is happening in-destination, and there will only continue to be more who do so in the coming years.”
Kudos to all the sponsors for Travel DAZE 2019, which you can check out below…