HONG KONG – Klook has embarked on a multi-stage recovery with the launch of a new home-based experiences initiative in Asia Pacific and Europe to address varying stages of travel demand recovery in different destinations.
The tours and activities booking platform’s new initiative, Klook Home, offers nearly 200 home-based experiences such as Do-It-Yourself (DIY) craft and cooking kits, online workshops, as well as free virtual tours. It has launched this offering in 14 markets across Asia Pacific and Europe.
It plans to kickstart recovery with local experiences, ranging from home-based ones to weekend activities in the city and domestic travel to intra-regional travel as global market conditions gradually improve and travel restrictions ease.
There are early signs of interest in domestic travel, according to Klook’s search data in April. In Asia Pacific and Europe, about 60% of total number of searches were for domestic experiences.
Klook Home will cater to customers in markets with stay-home regulations like Singapore and the Philippines through home-based experiences, while those in Taiwan and Hong Kong that have eased stay-home orders will be able to search for local activities within the city or other cities, such as weekend activities at local attractions, movie tickets and off-the-beaten-path activities.
In markets where recovery is picking up, about 80% of searches in markets like Taiwan and Australia were purely domestic in April. Hong Kong observed a similar trend, with 70% of its total searches solely on domestic experiences.
"COVID-19 has inevitably altered the future of travel and we must continue to be nimble to capture new opportunities," said Eric Gnock Fah, COO and co-founder of Klook.
"Global travel may be some time away from now but we are confident to seize every opportunity, starting with local experiences. What we do now will define how we navigate the future of travel."
A noticeable trend that is expected to continue this year is the growth in adventure and outdoor activities bookings, which saw a three-fold surge globally even before COVID-19.
In recent months, Klook has been making inroads into local experiences with encouraging success.
In April, it piloted a list of local experiences ranging from outdoor tours and activities in South Korea and mainland China, which saw bookings increase by almost two-fold and four-fold month-on-month respectively.
Klook has also launched a private car rental page in May to cater to those who prefer small-group travel to destinations closer to home.
In Taiwan, Klook partnered with the local governments of Tainan and Pingtung in March and May respectively to help traditionally offline merchants digitise their activities and offerings.
It has also rolled out Klook Partners Hub, a resource centre to help merchants keep abreast of the latest updates from the travel industry and Klook's platform.
To help merchants optimise their products and services, Klook will be launching Klook Academy to offer workshops and webinars on topics such as marketing to operational excellence.