The Jakarta Post
Travel and lifestyle app Traveloka is collaborating with tourism technology company PT Atourin Teknologi Nusantara to hold virtual tours.
Set as part of the Traveloka’s Online Xperience feature, the virtual tours offer 15 destinations in seven provinces in Indonesia. Currently, visitors can start exploring numerous locations in Bali under certain themes and more destinations will be gradually added, in such locations as East Nusa Tenggara, West Nusa Tenggara, Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Maluku and Papua.
One of the virtual tours in Bali, dubbed “Negara: Uniqueness of West Bali”, allows visitors to learn about the makepung (water buffalo race), visit Medewi Beach, which is known as a surfers’ paradise, observe the Bunut Bolong, a huge tree with a large hole in its trunk, travel to Ekasari Tourism Village where its residents adhere to different religions and explore West Bali National Park.
Hosted by licensed guides, each tour will last for 60 to 90 minutes via video conference platform Zoom with prices starting from Rp 50,000 (US$3.40). Visitors can also find out more about the destinations by interacting with the guides and can plan for their future trips when the pandemic ends.
Terry Santoso, Traveloka Xperience’s head of marketing, said that the tour could be a promotional tool for travelers in countries where the app is available; help guides to innovate and stay productive; develop digitization of the travel industry; and expand people’s access to a wide array of tourism products.
“We’re also boosting the recovery of tourism as we’ll be connecting the virtual tours with artificial intelligence and big data marketing. Those who participate in the tours will receive recommendations from our app about where they can stay, how to reach the destinations by land and air transportation, as well as the nearest restaurants,” Terry said during a press conference on Thursday.
Terry said the virtual tours were based on people’s online activities as they adjusted to the stay-at-home policy. Google keyword search volume trends saw a fourfold increase in "online classes" from March to April. Furthermore, according to Traveloka’s weekly customer survey about COVID-19 from March to April, 78 percent of its respondents wanted to gain new experiences at home while waiting for the pandemic to subside.
Traveloka’s internal survey also recorded a more than 30 percent increase in people’s confidence in traveling in June compared with the previous three months, when the pandemic had just started. “This reveals business and innovation opportunities for associations, the government and other digital platforms to inspire reactivation of Indonesia’s travel industry,” said Terry.
Prior to its collaboration with Traveloka, Atourin organized various virtual trips and virtual tour training workshops for tour guides in Indonesia.
Based on data from July to September, over 900 travelers joined the virtual trips. The majority of participants were aged 20 to 30 and wanted to ease their minds from work pressures by spending two to three hours on the trips.
“With a focus on domestic [destinations] only, the number [of participants] was already huge. We’re certain that if we provide international [destinations], the number will be very high,” said CEO of Atourin Benarivo Triadi Putra. “By collaborating with Traveloka, hopefully we can reach out to more tourists in Indonesia.” (wir)
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