Like other countries with Muslim-majority populations, Indonesia celebrates Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr with a week-long public holiday. For many, it’s the favoured time to travel with family and friends. As one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country, Bali experiences a significant surge of tourists during the holy month every year.
Last year, a 97 percent increase in flight arrivals was reported at Bali’s international airport following Eid Al-Fitr. According to Bali airport spokesman Arie Ahsanurrohim, in 2017, more than 300 extra flights were added to the regular flights scheduled in order to accommodate the rush of tourists flying into Bali for the holiday. Meanwhile, hotel operators in Bali reported a major uptick in occupancy, with a nearly 100 percent increase in hotel bookings during the period of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
Ramadan this year will be from May 15 until June 14, with Eid al-Fitr celebrations beginning on Friday, June 15. With the Ramadan travel rush about to get underway, here are five tech solutions that will help tour and activities operators in Bali manage the inevitable customer surge and maximise revenue during the peak travel period.
A 2017 study from Google Indonesia reveals that people tend to spend beyond their cash ability during Ramadan. The study showed a 60 percent increase in credit card payments during the season, and a 20 percent increase in credit card promotions.
Following this trend, tour and activities operators offering multiple payment options and e-payment features will win more sales during Ramadan. In Indonesia, e-payments enablers such as DokuPay, Veritrans, or FinPay, can help merchants accept electronic payment methods via credit cards or bank transfers. BeMyGuest also provides instant payment gateways designed to suit multiple currencies and modes of payment, including PayPal.
Recommendation solutions are currently integrated in 99 percent of all successful travel-related products. Most online travel agencies (OTAs) now provide personalised suggestions based on recent searches and bookings. For instance, when searching on Booking.com for flights to Bali, several accommodation suggestions will be offered along with the search results.
Enabling this tech will allow tour and activities operators in Bali to maximise revenue through upsells by giving a personalised recommendations such as car rental deals, new local attractions, or special offers on tour packages. Currently, there are many recommendation engine softwares available on the market. Some of the best ones are Apptus, Celebrus, and Qubit.
There are no two ways about it. When it comes to hospitality, convenience is king. In recent years, industry leaders have been utilising smart concierge services, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), to provide a fast and seamless customer experience for travellers. Popular travel booking service Kayak, for example, has incorporated an AI-powered travel assistant which allows travellers to plan trips directly via the Facebook Messenger app.
Tour and activities operators in Bali would do well to look into integrating AI-powered travel concierge services into their platforms. This can help to automate customer support and assist with various basic inquiries such as booking flights, making hotel reservations, and finding the cheapest deals. It can also give valuable suggestions about popular tourist destinations during the peak Ramadan season. Some available chatbot platforms for businesses in the country include Kata.ai, AIchat, and Asiabots.
Social media brings travel inspiration to the masses, and tour operators who know how to connect with travellers on social media will definitely thrive this peak season. A recent study shows that 87 percent of travellers now look to social media for travel inspiration, while 97 percent will post their travel experiences on social media. When it comes to the holy month, travellers increasingly look for ideas during the first 25 days of Ramadan, while a massive 350 percent increase in travel searches is observed right after Eid al-Fitr. To tour and activities operators aiming to engage with their customers, this is crucial. Reaching consumers on social media during this period of surge can certainly help win more Ramadan sales.
Operators can stay on top their Ramadan marketing campaigns with social media management platforms such as Buffer, Hootsuite, or PostPlanner. With these platforms, operators can create integrated marketing campaigns, post Ramadan-related deals, as well as new offers and travel inspiration posts. They can also encourage user-generated content and directly engage with their potential customers one-on-one.
During the Ramadan rush, everything happens twice as fast. Peak season means regular website updates are mandatory. Sometimes offers get updated, other times tickets for featured activities are sold out, and so on. It is essential that information gets updated in real-time this year in Bali, and operators need a backend system that allows administrators to make necessary website changes easily and seamlessly convey the updates directly to customers.
A powerful and intuitive Content Management System (CMS) allows operators to easily update the content and images on their websites with little or no web programming or technical knowledge.
BeMyGuest has a number of digital solutions for suppliers of attractions, tours and activities to streamline operations and simplify content management, instant booking and channel management. Find out more here.