Sunday, March 3, 2024

Digitalization aids Boracay hotels in post-Covid rebound

Travel platform Klook Philippines said it has been seeing continued growth and interest for Boracay and other domestic destinations led by the digital transformation of travel.

Tourism in the Philippines is on a rebound, travel platform Klook said

“Tourism is one of the sectors most negatively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. With the easing of restrictions and the general public eagerness to travel, the tourism industry is in a position to take advantage of this pent-up demand. However, the main goal here is not just survival but also sustainability, and we believe that digital transformation is crucial in helping big and small businesses not just survive, but thrive,” Michelle Ho, Klook GM for Philippines and Thailand, said.

Hannah Hotel and Southwest are two examples of Klook merchants who are reaping the benefits of digitalization. A commonality between the two is the marked increase in sales upon enlisting their businesses on Klook.

Hannah Hotel Boracay started out as Hannah’s Holiday Huts with 5 bahay kubos (nipa huts) in the early 90s and relied on word of mouth to gain customers. Shortly after, the hotel started partnering with different travel agencies and has slowly evolved into a 35-room accommodation with guests coming from local and international visitors, but as with most in the hospitality industry, Hannah Hotel suffered during the pandemic.

It was then that the hotel partnered with Klook to reach more guests online. This allowed the family-run business to benefit from Klook’s steady incline in bookings per month and saw a year-on-year growth of 500% on room nights and 600% on revenue in Q1 2023 as compared to Q1 2022. The hotel was also able to offer more customized packages and organize all-in transfers to customers.

“It is important to adapt and keep up with technology for the improvement of business processes and the business as a whole. Klook enables seamless shifts and provides a wider platform for tourism business, especially for small-medium enterprises,” Gaby Morillo, marketing manager of Hannah Hotel Boracay, said.

Southwest has been operating since the early 90s, providing transportation services in Boracay, Bohol, Iloilo, Cebu, Bacolod, and Manila.

The company found their customers by collaborating with hotels, travel agencies, corporate tie-ups and airport walk-ins.  With the additional partnership with Klook, Southwest was able to reach more guests and found a 10 to 15% increase in monthly revenue growth.

Southwest shared that Klook has helped them improve their brand presence, increase their sales and provided marketing for their service on online platforms.

Hannah Hotel Boracay and Southwest have both experienced positive growth after digitizing with Klook. By connecting local SMEs to more potential customers through the use of digital tools, Klook has made the discoverability of activities and booking easier and hassle-free.

“Those who may not have the resources to digitize on their own could easily get online presence via our platform and leverage on the prospect of widening their customer base beyond those within their normal reach. We also take the extra effort to ensure that they are familiar with the tools they can maximize to grow their businesses via Klook,” shared Ho.

“Our goal this year is to help more local businesses thrive through our platform and open up more opportunities for them not just for domestic travel, but also increase the possibilities for international inbound bookings as well,” Ho said.

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