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Who still uses traditional travel agencies? Skillfully keeping up with the trends, online travel startups have been popping up across the globe growing more and more competitive. Many of these startups come from Southeast Asia — a region that is seeing an exceptional tourism boom in the last few years. TripTrus is one of those startups taking advantage of the industry but unlike its competitors, it focuses on individual adventurers while offering unique trips outside of the commercial stream.
Based in Indonesia, TripTrus describes itself as being “the first and only online marketplace for adventure tourism to alternative destinations in Indonesia.” The founders Brahmantya Sakti, Donna Iwan Setiawan and Hari Hoedojo have self-funded the startup and launched the website in beta earlier this year in July. Since then, the site has made more than 225 trip packages available, promoted by more than 55 trip operators.
Most of the other mobile travel startups in Indonesia usually focus on package tours or hotel booking services such as GoIndonesia which is an online hotel reservation website, or Burufly which focuses on domestic tour packages.
The World Tourism Organization (WTO) predicts the global tourism industry will add 66-million jobs by 2020, 50-million of which will be in Asia. Southeast Asia is by far experiencing the highest growth rates in international tourism expenditure.
The first half of 2013 international tourism grew by 6% in Asia and the Pacific which was boosted by a massive 12% Southeast Asia and 7% South Asia. The WTO further notes that tourism expenditure growth is mostly driven by the emerging markets with China, Russia and Brazil leading the charge. Who is to reap the benefits of this lucrative industry?
There are a bunch of travel and tourism startups in Indonesia but one of the things that set TripTrus apart from its competitors is the fact that it offers an online travel marketplace that promotes trip packages outside of the mainstream travel destinations. Although other competitors also offer tour packages, bookings and the works, TripTrus focuses on the individual’s budget, time and interest.
If I wanted to go scuba diving sometime this November with a budget between 1-million and 2-million Indonesian Rupiah, I can do so in Sabang for 1.2-million.
Other startups usually focus on the top destinations for travellers. TripTrus says that while Indonesia is strategically located in the archipelago with hundreds of different cultures and local languages, there are hundreds of destinations that even Indonesians have never visited or even heard of. This is the gap it’s trying to take advantage of.
Not only does the startup offer travellers more information about their ventures, it also gives trip operators trip management tools that allow them to create, promote, and manage their trip packages. The platform acts as a marketplace for leisure trips.
TripTrus also prides itself on its unique customer relation manager (CRM) facility that enables trip operators to create trips, managing payment(s) and instalments by trip participants. It argues that instead of having to sift through mailing lists, Facebook and Twitter in order to find the right package suited for the traveller, users and trip operators can connect via TripTrus. By promoting trip packages on the website, trip operators and travellers will only need to use one site.