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Will livestreaming revolutionise the travel industry?

Image by Kyle Glenn via Unsplash

​While livestreaming has been a mainstay for man consumer-facing e-commerce players, the travel industry is yet to fully embrace it. This is in large part because the industry remains traditional and fragmented in its approach.

However, as users looking for travel and leisure experiences or consumer goods share similar traits, Hong Kong-based travel booking platform Klook is hedging its bets on Klook Live! A new storytelling platform it hopes will transform the travel industry by building a community of like-minded individuals who want entertaining and educational travel and lifestyle content, that will enable them to experience offerings from things-to-do, food and beverage, to staycations.

“Digital savvy users prefer an authentic view of the products before making a purchase and are also increasingly demanding informative and entertaining live video content livestreaming has always been a tool we wanted to introduce and the pandemic has accelerated our roadmap,” says Marcus Yong, the vice president for marketing in Asia Pacific at Klook explains to The Drum.

“For merchants who have always wanted to explore livestreaming but lacked the resources and know-how to do so, Klook Live! is a viable and cost-effective platform for them to bolster consumer engagement and help boost sales.”

Klook believes Klook Live! will also help revive the travel industry, which has been decimated by the Covid-19 pandemic, because it offers an engaging way for merchants to showcase their activities, which can be highly visual or even experiential, and interact with potential customers in real-time.

Yong says it is akin to promotion on steroids, with the ability to convert in real-time through various tools built into the livestream.

“Livestreaming can also open new doors for alternative revenue streams for merchants to explore, from virtual interactive experiences to paid premium content. These features open up new business potential for merchants and can be used as a growth engine to accelerate the travel industry’s recovery from Covid-19,” he explains.

“Separately, we have observed that the desire to explore the world remains strong despite international travel restrictions. Klook Live! can also provide opportunities for experiences and destinations to remain top of mind for travelers, even when they are unable to travel overseas.”

Post-pandemic, Yong believes travel will look very different from what it looked like pre-pandemic as it has forced today’s travelers to be more measured and deliberate. Instead of solely focusing on where to go and what to do for the next trip, travelers now have additional considerations on health and hygiene as well as the risks associated.

He points out travelers will value quality over quantity to seek more curated and intimate experiences. As their need for discovery will likely be powered by technology, the future of travel will increasingly be mobile dominant, where consumption of content, transactions, and interactions, will all happen on mobile.

In addition, Yong predicts travelers will prefer smaller-group trips that are more intimate and personalized, as they become more selective of their traveling environment and companions.

“To cater to the growing demand for free and easy exploration, we launched our dedicated private car rental page earlier in May. This enables users who prefer to explore the open road in small groups to better access, browse, and book their own private cars,” he explains.

“There is also a stronger demand for outdoor adventurous offerings. Even before Covid-19, adventure and outdoor activities bookings surged globally by over 250% year-on-year in 2019, and this is expected to continue in 2020 as travelers seek the outdoors to avoid large crowds.”

He continues: “For example in Taiwan, one of the early markets that began capturing the domestic travel demand, our traffic data in Taiwan for outdoor and island hopping activities surged ten times in June this year. Users are craving for the outdoors and are searching and booking boat rides, snorkeling, and parasailing in Pingtung, Penghu, and more.”

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