When Thailand emerged from its first Covid-19 lockdown last year, Jeff Chan knew he had to find new channels to sell the services of Skydive Thailand, a civil aviation business he co-founded in 2018. The Chinese travel agents and OTAs OTAs Online travel agency A web-based marketplace that allows consumers to book travel products and services, including flights, accommodation, tours and activities. that once sent hordes of tourists to his skydiving facility in Rayong—a two-hour drive from Bangkok—were either in hibernation or focused on domestic tourism offerings.
Shopping with the times
How Shopee, Lazada, Tokopedia are becoming travel agents in SE Asia
Electronics, home appliances, fashion,...island cruise? The pandemic is rewriting how travel sellers are viewing e-commerce platforms like Shopee, Lazada, and Tokopedia. But selling a travel experience on an online marketplace isn’t as straightforward as selling a smartphone
As international visitor spend plunged 77.1% in 2020, travel operators in Southeast Asia are dipping their toes in e-commerce to woo domestic consumers
E-commerce’s discount strategy has led to more consumers discovering local attractions and tours, driving bookings during online shopping festivals
This has led travel reservation system providers like GlobalTix, which received a US$2.2 million fund injection in April, to expand its tech stack
But e-commerce platforms are primarily a marketplace for goods, not services and experiences, which is a space dominated by OTAs