Asian activities booking platform Klook heads to the Americas
Travel activities booking platform Klook will open an office in the U.S. after sensing a rising tide of Asian independent travelers to the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
Klook plans on having a U.S. team operational from January in either San Francisco or New York. The team will source travel activities in the Americas that fit Asian travelers’ interests, and ramp up outbound marketing.
Klook’s president and co-founder Eric Gnock Fah would not go into details on how big the team will be, only saying “the U.S. market is so dynamic, our local team will be moving rapidly and work in an agile way.”
“We hope to create a notable impact to both activity providers and travelers in the U.S. by the end of 2018,” he added. “Our [Asian] travelers will start to see more diverse offerings in the Americas from the end of Q1 in 2018.”
The company also aims to tap the U.S. market heading to Asia. Klook currently has offices in 13 cities including its headquarters in Hong Kong.
‘Right time for the Americas’
Klook’s success in Asia has hinged on helping Asian travelers book services at the last minute or upon arrival in destination. These include local transportation, Wi-Fi, single-day tours, outdoor excursions, and food and dining options. Other platforms often require users to book more than 24 hours in advance and don’t offer a best-price guarantee.
As Asia’s largest in-destination travel activities booking platform, Klook’s goal is to help U.S. travel providers tap into the fastest-growing travel markets in the world like Greater China, South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand.
The U.S. outbound opportunity
Gnock Fah believes its strong supply network and exclusive benefits from direct partnerships will give it an edge for U.S. travelers headed to Asia. As of October 25, it claimed over 30,000 attractions, tours, activities, and essential travel services offered in more than 120 destinations, with over 3,000 industry partners.
Upcoming international events like Winter Olympics and Summer Olympics held in South Korea and Japan in 2018 and 2020, respectively, pose another opportunity.
Klook is also cementing its mobile-first and instant confirmation solutions, and creating personalized experiences through artificial intelligence tools since demand for spontaneous travel will keep growing. Its statistics show that 50 percent of users book Klook upon arrival, and 70 percent of those bookings are made via mobile.
The company is investing in voice search technology along with personalized experiences for users. Some of these features will likely be rolled out by mid-2018.
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