What was the inspiration for Easia Travel and its sister DMC Easia Active to create a range of self-guided tours?
A growing demand for freedom and flexibility
Millennials and Gen-Zers are present and future consumers and have become even more important to the travel industry due to Covid-19. Sole reliance on retirees and baby boomers offers more of a risk than ever, especially in the short term as safety fears will most likely linger even after vaccination plans have taken place.
To tap this challenging market will (in most cases) mean a significant adaption by Travel Agents and Tour Operator to the independent, younger demographics, with an increase in demand for more freedom & flexibility when planning and purchasing tours and travel services.
With the rise of smart phones, wearables, mobile apps, 4 & 5G infrastructure and more, the adaption and integration of technology can be seen in almost every part of our daily lives.
Due to this growing infusion of digitization, travel consumers are increasingly expecting to see the integration of modern and mobile based services & digital solutions, in not only the consideration and purchase stages of their travel experience but also within the journey itself.
The Covid-19 inspired decline of group tours
Whether we like it or not, many months of imposed physical distancing and preventive “bubbles” have changed the way people move and interact socially.
This behavioral shift, coupled with an increased vigilance towards safety and hygiene, makes it possible that travelers who would previously have opted for group tours are now more inclined to travel individually or with a small group of close friends or relatives, raising the risk and lowering the profit margins of SIC journeys for agents.
Care for the planet…
Pre-Covid-19, everyone in travel, from suppliers to consumers, were already well aware of the need for responsible and sustainable travel solutions.
While the pandemic may have temporarily shifted priorities in the short term, the reality check of the environmental impact of our actions and consciousness of our planet’s fragility will most likely increase.
All ESGT include tips for responsible travel and a code of conduct that give guidelines for travelers on how to reduce their footprint and enhance their positive impact while visiting a destination.
… & local communities
The economic impact of the cancellation of travel has been dramatic in many areas of the world, especially those without established government support networks, unemployment allowance or benefit schemes for those on furlough. Essentially, everyone in Southeast Asia working in travel, or depending on travelers for their business model, have totally lost their income stream.
Awareness of this impact of travel bans is likely to create empathy for destinations that rely heavily on tourism, and returning travelers will be conscious that when they do travel again, they will favor helping to restore economic stability through their travel spending.
For most of our self-guided tours we aim to include vetted stops and tips for food, drinks, shops and cultural interactions that not only introduce travelers to the best authentic local dishes, arts & handcrafts or cultural experiences, but also aim at helping travelers spend their money at family or locally owned businesses.
A new product line to future-proof your business
By complementing your existing product portfolio with ESGT, you will be able to offer increasingly sophisticated and interactive ways for travelers to navigate through an attraction, destination or location themselves, while also availing many of the benefits of traditional tour guides and group experiences.
- Entice your travelers with exciting experiences and mobile itineraries that offer increased freedom and flexibility without compromising on quality, safety and cost
- Innovatively expand your product range with digital services that cater to a growing tech-savvy consumer base
- Provide private, independent and contactless travel solutions to couples, families, younger audiences and open new market opportunities to the true FIT segment who would not opt for group travel otherwise
- Every ESGT is designed keeping the core values of Easia in mind, with sustainability of paramount importance while also encouraging responsible local interactions
- Each ESGT offers digital solutions to travel, yet enhances connection with local communities in lesser-visited areas that will directly benefit from tourist spending
Itineraries can be 100% customized to your brand and your customers’ preferred travel styles. Depending on expected volume or turnover, ESGT itineraries can also be co-created and tailored with specialized, unique production to precisely match your brand’s needs.
Aside from all the reasons mentioned above, the success of adding ESGT to your product portfolio will depend on your business model, as well as the individual wishes of your travelers. It will be up to you and your team to determine the right solution for your travelers; be it guided tours, self-guided tours, or a ‘hybrid’ mix of both.
As stated in our first article; here at Easia we love guided tours and always will. It’s what we do and what we do best. Our self-guided tours should be seen as complementary to guided tours and not as a replacement. Aside from providing you with additional innovative options to crafting creative and interesting journeys in Southeast Asia, our self-guided tours are designed to enable you to reach new markets, without compromising on quality, safety and cost.
Or perhaps you’re still puzzled as to how this could help your business?
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Interested in reading more about Easia Self-Guided Tours (ESGT)?
Check out the other informative articles in our ESGT explainer series: