Indonesia-based OTA Traveloka has launched a proprietary flight-plus-hotel booking engine as it continues to add new product lines and expand into other south-east Asian markets.
Caesar Indra, senior vice-president of business development at Traveloka, told Tnooz that “the majority of our tech is built in-house by our engineering team so we can make sure the back-end works for our specific markets.”
Flight-plus-hotel was launched in response to demand from customers, many of whom were booking the components of the package separately. “We surveyed 20,000 users and found that 57% of them wanted to be able to book packages because of the convenience and price benefits,” he said.
Customers are presented with a package price, decided by an “proprietary algorithm.” Traveloka contracts hotels directly, giving it a flexibility in terms of price it can offer.
Flight-plus-hotel comes after its recently launched loyalty scheme, which gives users points for standalone flight and hotel bookings. Again, the tech to power this has been built in house, with Indra saying that it will be expanded to cover all products on the site.
Train tickets are another recent addition to its line-up. Traveloka has built its own front-end but the channel is powered by Indonesia’s state-owned railway company’s own search and book engine.
Its tours, activities and attractions channel is a mix of direct and indirect content. Suppliers can access Traveloka by uploading their inventory to an in-house platform. Indra said the business is “very excited” about this line as it introduces the site to people who are looking for admission tickets for attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore.
He said that Traveloka is the number one OTA in Indonesia, but has aspirations to become the leading OTA for south-east Asia. It has specific points of sale in Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines, with its in-house engineering team working on localised versions.
“Payments is an area we work very hard on,” he said. “So as well as credit cards we also allow bank transfers and other offline options, such as in Thailand where customers can pay offline at 7/11 convenience stores.”
The “majority” of Traveloka’s business comes through its app, which has been downloaded 15 million times. Again, the in-house engineering team oversees its development, with Indra stating the importance of using the app “to reinforce our position as a pioneer in the OTA market around customer service.” Indra highlighted that users can change their flight tickets within its app, rather than have to contact the airlines directly, as an example of its innovation-led approach.