CEO of GlobalTix
Chee Chong Chan is the CEO of GlobalTix, Asia's leading booking and
distribution platform, providing end-to-end solutions for travel
operators and resellers to connect experiences with the world.
Digitalisation is transforming at the speed of light, waiting for no
one. Are we moving in the right direction at the right speed? Or are we
teetering toward slow demise?
These are some of the questions that hit me in the middle of the
night and keep me up. Will we end up like Nokia, who didn’t do anything
wrong but didn’t innovate? Or will we be like Kodak, who invented the
digital camera technology but waited too long to launch for fear of
cannibalising its film business? Is technology only for the big boys who
will eventually gobble up all of us? Questions, and more questions.
Attending the recent CruiseWorld Indonesia 2022 cruise conference in
Jakarta, however, reignited my hopes. I met with many small and
medium-sized agents and shared meaningful conversations with them.
To my surprise, a handful of them are not only surviving, but also thriving! Here are the commonalities among them:
Know yourself, know your customers
For businesses that thrive, they know where their customers are
coming from. They don’t try to target everyone, but they are excellent
in their market.
For example, some agents target Muslim families, some go after
honeymooners, while some cater to luxury travellers requiring high-touch
services. Some specialise in a product offering, such as cruise, or
specific market destination like Japan. The key is that they always know
their customers and why their products suit them.
Adopt technology that suits your needs
Technology adoption needs not be expensive, nor does it have to be
all-encompassing. Most of the smaller agents have taken steps towards
digitalisation — they have started a WhatsApp/Telegram business account
and some form of social media for online presence.
They have also set up accounts with bed banks to get instant hotel
access and work with GlobalTix to access attraction and activity
products. Those tech-savvy businesses created booking links to their
packages to sell on social media. All of them invested time in
understanding technology to grow their business.
Technology isn't a scary thing. It is a tool that helps you achieve great things and lead to discoveries.
While the world is being disrupted, I believe what remains the same
is our ability to add value. It’s not just about having the best
technology but the best customer experience. Technology empowers your
customers – from instant confirmation to customisations and paying in
their preferred methods – it makes things faster, easier, and more
So there is hope. It may sound strange coming from a person that
lives and breathe tech. But technology is not the end-all; it’s just one
piece of the puzzle that makes your travel business successful - we
must also focus on the needs of our customers and ensure they are taken