Learn from the experts, take heed of technology currently shaping the travel landscape and pick up new ideas on how to do business better
WHO Helping travellers to make sense of Cambodia’s fragmented transport sector – which ranges widely in price, service and quality – was the aim of CamboTicket’s founders Shivam Tripathi, based in Cambodia, and Rahul Amand, based in Singapore.
Founded in 2014, the dynamic duo went on to develop a back-end system and delivered training to equip its more than 40 partners with the skills to shift online, as many local operators still manage operations manually.
WHAT CamboTicket sells tickets for buses, private taxis and vehicles, and ferries to more than 80 destinations in Cambodia, and cross-border trips to and from Laos, Vietnam and Thailand.
The platform provides information on the swathe of bus companies, ferries and vehicles available in the country, presenting timetables, reliability, prices and safety ratings, as well as the option to book online in one portal.
With an aim to bring the local market in line with international standards, CamboTicket works with operators to train them in transferring their operations online.
“We wanted to do something that would help the local tourism market. A lot of things are still managed manually here,” said Tripathi. “They still call bus companies and record using pen and paper.”
To date, they have trained and brought 25 per cent of Cambodian operators online.
WHY “When we launched, there was a big absence of information,” said Tripathi. “What are the true prices? What kind of buses are used, are they punctual, are they reliable, are they safe? We provide this information with transparency.”
CamboTicket brings all this information together, with the option for travellers to book online. A live chat option also allows users to ask questions about their forthcoming trip. Today, the team of 10 engage in 17 to 18 hours of live chat daily.
TARGET The start-up recently secured US$100,000 investment and won a US$7,000 grant after being crowned runner-up in the Mekong Business Initiative Tourism programme.
It plans to continue reaching out to the local market, as well as growing beyond the transport sector to bridge gaps in other areas of the travel and tourism segment. This includes tours and experiences, which Tripathi refers to as “fragmented and unorganised”, and hotels.
“The hotel market is saturated but we still see opportunities, especially with budget accommodation,” said Tripathi.
Additional plans include extending to Laos and Myanmar. “These are undeveloped countries where technology levels are low,” he said. “We have done the hard work in Cambodia, and are confident we can do the same in other countries.”
We wanted to do something that would help the local tourism market. A lot of things are still managed manually (in Cambodia).
Shivam Tripathi, co-founder, CamboTicket