Klook shakes up travel fair concept with mobile-led fest

"Build your own holiday" wall in Korea Zone

Consumer travel fairs in Singapore are traditionally a marketplace featuring outbound travel agencies and related travel products, as popularised by the long-running NATAS Travel Fair and Travel Revolution: The Event, which are organised by NATAS and Travel Revolution, respectively.

Now, Klook has entered the game with a different kind of travel fair to appeal to the modern breed of travel buyers. The Klook Travel Fest, which concluded in Singapore over October 5 to 6, adopted a flexible “build your own holiday” DIY concept featuring activities, products and services targeted at FITs.

Billed as a “mobile-led” event, the fair showcased tours available on the Klook website and mobile app in eight destination zones, namely, Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South-east Asia, Europe, Australia and the US.

Attendees, who had to register for free entry via the mobile app, could pick up activity pamphlets in these zones with QR codes linking to the product pages.

The event also featured flash deals on select products, talks by travel writers and content producers, themed carousel rides and ball pits, as well as booths by Universal Studios Japan, JR West, Korea Tourism Organisation, among others.

“We realised that traditional travel fairs do not cater to the large and growing pool of FITs, who are mobile-centric and extremely digitally savvy. They are moving away from hyper-scheduled days and packaged reservations; they are also using their mobile devices to manage every aspect of their trips,” noted Marcus Yong, regional marketing director, Southeast Asia, Klook.

This fresh concept, added Yong, caters to more diverse segments of consumers who are drawn to community-driven games, educational talks, workshops and mobile-driven deals.

This year, the event made its rounds to Manila, Kuala Lumpur and Singapore, and drew a total of more than 150,000 attendees. The Manila event registered double the number of bookings compared to its debut edition last year.

As this new breed of travel fair takes root, the next step is to make it more accessible for less tech-savvy travellers, shared Yong.

He expressed: “(We’ve observed that) some of the older generation of travellers still lack the confidence to plan and embrace new travel technologies. We will be taking a more in-depth look into how events like ours can be structured to better empower travellers to plan with confidence. For example, we would prepare more itineraries that are easily adaptable, bite-sized content for complex products and even engaging additional brand ambassadors to help us on site.”

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