Traveliko was developed by a group of travelers and hoteliers who concerned about the increasingly unbalanced commercial landscape in the global hospitality and travel industry.They decided innovative measures were urgently needed to re-balance travel business ethics,to give back pricing control to hotels and to set a code of honour benchmark for online hotel and hospitality services
Hotel Intel persuaded the Chief Operating Officer & Co-Founder** **of Traveliko, Yann Gouriou, to talk about the industry and the opportunities it presents, as well as how travellers today should expect better service from hotels and how they can help improve that service at the same time.
How do you plan to win this game? How can you offer cheaper rates / better deals for customers than the other OTAs?
“We didn’t start Traveliko to win the game. Many refer to the relationship between the OTAs and the hotels as an “ongoing war” but we believe Online Travel Agents (OTAs) have been instrumental in taking the hospitality industry to the next level and into the 21st century. Traveliko is the next generation of that work and a natural evolution for the hotel industry. There have been many lessons learned over the last 20 years as hotels have developed a closer relationship with OTAs. Responding to those lessons, as well as new demands from a new generation of tech savvy travelers, is at the core of Traveliko.
It is not about cheaper rates. Everyone in the industry knows that rate parity practice demands that all distribution partners get the same rate. This is a very complex issue, but to summarize briefly: if you see a room cheaper on one OTA, it’s either because the hotel is running a special promotion for the OTA’s “members”, or because there are some discrepancies in how the price is being displayed – without taxes for example, or by playing with exchange rate fluctuations. There are also situations that arise where certain OTAs decide to take less profit and undercut the market in order to appear cheaper. Those issues have been creating a lot of tension between hotels and their distribution partners, it is becoming more and more difficult for hotels to stay in control.
Traveliko charges lower commissions, but we also encourage hotels to offer our customers added value via our platform that directly benefit travellers but stay inline with profit margins. In other words, Traveliko provides a framework for hoteliers to create a better experience which offers a feedback loop, in the form of analytics, back to the hotels.”
Apart from 10% commission and giving back to society, what other incentives are there for hotels that want to work with you?
The 10% commission rate is by far the main reason hotels want to work with us. But, we also believe in creating a synergistic relationship with our hotel customers. We do not spend our marketing budget on Google Ad words, for example, to bid against our customers on their own keywords. We believe that to be predatory. Instead, we use analytics and metrics to understand their customers better, and we have worked closely with large hotel chains in Southeast Asia to find out what they actually want from a new OTA in terms of features and services. The two most requested features that came up were 1. better insights into customers and their behavior and 2. different ways to sell their inventory and supplementary products such as packages, Spa, F&B and Activities.
For end customers, why would they book with Traveliko?
Surprisingly few customers are aware that the hotels they see on the first page of a search, when using one of the big OTAs, are not necessarily the hotels that would fit them best. They are simply hotels that are commercially more interesting and likely more profitable to the OTA. Traveliko breaks that paradigm by providing a non-partial map display with all the hotels equally visible but with the right kind of customized filters.
Traveliko is all about showing you what fits you best. We focus on how travelers like to travel and we suggest them hotels that fit their existing lifestyles. This gives travelers the best choice and they will be overall happier with the hotel they stay with. We have also created a loyalty program that encourage traveler to engage with us and hotels more.
The main point is that we feel strongly about the charitable aspects that Traveliko represents and we have pledged to donate 20% of the net commission we earn for each booking to charitable organizations. In practice, the users will be allocating our donation to the cause of their choice – Animal , People or Planet – at the end of the booking process. Traveliko partners with local grassroots organizations and NGOs in those places where we operate to offer projects we can commit to and report back on to our customers.
What’s your marketing plan to this to kick this all off?
We cannot and do not want to compete against our giant online competitors who have very large budgets to spend on Google Ads and other search engines on a yearly basis.
Traveliko aims to disrupt the online booking industry by becoming a bespoke online travel agent through offering better services using our new technology platform, our rewards and referral program, by word-of-mouth, through social media, and through genuine PR activities. Our brand pillars carry our marketing message and we intend to change the travel industry in a similar way. Organic farming and product awareness are already changing the food industry. People eat better. We want to create an opportunity for people to travel and stay better. Once customers try Traveliko for the first time, they will know what we mean and there will be no reason for them to book with other OTAs.