Making instant connections

Thuan Dao, founder of BedLinker in Vietnam, is on a mission to leave tedious B2B booking processes behind.

Having spent 15 years working in reservation management, e-commerce and sales in Vietnam’s five-star hotels like Vinpearl and Sheraton Saigon Hotel & Tower, Thuan Dao noted several reoccurring issues.

Thuan Dao: speed, accessibility of information among the advantages of bringing B2B booking process online

He said: “Tour operators and travel agents work closely with hotels, and I saw a lot of problems. The main issue is because the booking process is offline, a lot of time is spent on the phone and can be time-consuming and costly.”

Aiming to use technology to tackle the problem, the 38-year-old recruited the help of a team of technology experts in India to create an online hotel B2B e-commerce platform, BedLinker.com, for travel buyers and sellers.

Thuan explained: “If you bring this process online, travel agents and tour operators (can better access) all of the information. They can check availability, rates and make bookings directly.”

Hotels and resorts pay a commission on bookings, with an additional option for suppliers to sign a wholesale contract. Here products are marked up by BedLinker.com, and resold to agencies.

“I knew technology could solve these issues,” said Thuan, who launched BedLinker in 2017. The Ho Chi Minh City-based startup now boasts a team of 20.

Already boasting a portfolio of products, BedLinker’s sister site, BedAllocator.com, is a booking engine software dubbed a “one-stop hotel chain platform”, and can be linked to BedLinker accounts. Buyers can search room availability, rates and book online.

A third product is EZbookmeetings.com, an online marketplace that caters to the MICE and business events sector. Clients can search for meeting spaces, book online and request additional amenities, such as tea and coffee, flip charts and audio equipment.

All three products have been launched, and Thuan is currently in talks with investors to further expand the business, such as by developing a similar online platform offering tours and tour packages. He also has his sights set on launching his products globally.

He said: “I wanted to give agents a platform where buyers can pick the best supplier with good rates and make bookings immediately.”

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