A Singapore startup has launched a new tours and attractions booking platform with strong support and backing from the trade, including traditional travel agency Euro-Asia Holidays.
The Native platform offers more than 2,000 products – running the gamut of tours, activities and attraction tickets – across 25 countries and 80 cities, including more than 200 in Singapore.
Co-founder & CEO Bryan Goh told TTG Asia that not only does Native offer similar or even lower prices for attraction tickets than competitors such as Klook and KKday, it also sets itself apart by providing more immersive experiences that have been personally selected to appeal to its target audience.
He explained: “Every single activity on our platform is curated by our team for our target audience, which is the millennials. We’ve realised that today’s millennials are coming into more disposable income and we see them willing to spend a little more on comfortable luxury tours that are immersive.”
Since its launch last August, Native has seen 10 to 20 per cent monthly growth. The startup has just closed its seed round to the tune of seven figures, revealed Goh.
He added that in the next four to five months, Native will launch “additional business units that have not been done in South-east Asia yet” and that will “disrupt the traditional travel agent business quite heavily”.
Seeing an opportunity in the digital space, travel industry veteran Euro-Asia Holidays has lent its support to Native by securing a S$300,000 (US$221,278) grant under the Singapore Tourism Board’s Marketing Innovation Programme.
With this grant, Euro-Asia Holidays and Native will work together on a campaign – titled Beyond the City Lights – to build awareness of the platform and Singapore as a destination.
Campaign initiatives include a contest to identify travel ambassadors, who will create content and share about their experiences in Singapore, as well as a social media call to participate in a social movement towards authenticity.
“The space is big enough for both traditional and digital players. Traditional agencies still focus a lot on personal service; at the same time, we need to transform ourselves and embrace technology,” expressed Wee Hee Ling, CEO, Euro-Asia Holidays.
“The traditional and the new can meet and open up new avenues of business. In fact, we can also become a B2B agent who can harness (startup) technology to service our clients more productively,” she said.