Klook cements position as Asia’s top travel services platform

Rica Delfinado - The Philippine Star

BANGKOK — Klook, Asia’s leading platform for experiences and travel services, posted its strongest business performance to date with an impressive three-fold growth compared to 2019, driven largely by the post-pandemic recovery in the travel and tourism sector.

Despite the constraints of the first full year of travel recovery in Asia, with flight capacity still well below pre-pandemic level, Klook  expects its gross sales to hit  $3 billion this year, cementing its position as the biggest experiences-first platform in the region.

“2023 is proving to be a record year of travelsilience (travel and resilience). Despite the economic challenges and persisting limitations in flight capacities, we’ve achieved astounding growth while cementing our role as the region’s leading experience-first platform,” said Ethan Lin, CEO and co-founder at Klook.

“Travel has evolved into almost an essential human need beyond just pent-up demand, with the desire for authentic experiences at the heart of it all. Looking ahead to major global events like the 2024 Paris Olympic Games and the World Expo in Osaka, we anticipate an even greater development of the entire tourism ecosystem,” he said.

In a recent study surveying Asia-Pacific travelers across 12 origins, experiences emerged as the new coveted currency for the next generation of travelers, with 85 percent of millennials and Gen Z willing to spend and invest in these unique experiences.

With travelers prioritizing experiences and making them a focal point of their trip coupled with their desire to share their discoveries on social media, Klook is doubling down on strengthening its expertise as an experience-first platform.

As travel becomes more intentional, Klook said majority of travelers are also prioritizing experiences and making them a focal point of their trip, with 63 percent booking their experiences before they fly.

According to the survey, more than 90 percent of millennials and Gen Zs place importance on unique and memorable experiences during their travels, with 85 percent signaling a willingness to invest in them during their holiday.

Notably, 89 percent of travelers from the Philippines have a strong desire to spend more on nature and outdoor experiences like island tours and canyoneering, water activities like whale shark watching and parasailing,  and sightseeing experiences through cruises.

As social media becomes top inspiration tool for Gen Z travelers, with more than half using the platform to discover new destinations and experiences, favoring it over search engines and travel guides, the company is also launching Klook Kreators, an industry-first nano to macro influencer affiliate program with social media at its core.

These digital creators will be the brand’s first Social and User-Generated Content (UGC) powered online sales campaign.

While millennials still prefer to use search engines (59 percent), social media comes a very close second (55 percent) indicating its rising influence over how travelers seek out information.

In fact, according to the survey, nine out of 10 millennials and Gen Zs check online reviews before making their bookings, and rely on travel content recommendations on social media when planning holidays.

Eric Gnock Fah, COO and co-founder of Klook, said, “We’re seeing a seismic shift in how these next-gen travelers discover and get inspired for travel. We understand that the next-gen travelers thrive on experiences that are immersive and shareable. That’s why we’re placing our bets on digital creators to shape how our next-generation travelers discover and plan their holidays. This entails delving deep into the world of user-generated content that’s designed to be mobile, bite-sized, and shareable — everything that fuels their wanderlust and enriches their journey.”

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