BANGKOK, 5 May 2017: A new online travel portal named traveliko announced its imminent launch, Thursday, during a press conference hosted in Bangkok.
The specially developed web portal was designed from scratch to promote fair, ethical, value-added travel, while helping users make the world a better place.
Following beta version tests over three years, traveliko is being launched by a group of hospitality professionals.
They claim their venture will be alternative to paying high commissions paid to the dominant global OTAs.
During the launch, a company executive claimed global OTAs were having a negative impact on the quality of services provided to guests.
“We want to give power back to the hotels so that they, in turn, can increase the overall satisfaction of their customers,” the start-up venture claimed during its presentation.
“Traveliko is a socially conscious hotel booking platform, an independent alternative to the giant online corporations that have transformed the industry landscape in recent years,” said the company’s co-founder and Chief Operations Officer Yann Gouriou.
Its team works directly with hotel partners and claims to offer guests the best available rate.
The agency takes a flat 10% commission from the hotel, which is up to 50% less than most OTAs currently dominating the market.
It also claims to donate 20% of the net commission earned on each booking to project-oriented charities selected by users in the countries they plan to visit.
The system tracks these contributions to charity, awarding Karma Points to users every time they book and donate. Karma Points are also earned through referrals, reviews and other online engagement.
“When you book through traveliko, you can allocate a donation to the type of charity you feel most strongly about – Animals, People or the Planet. We partner with organisations such as Socialgiver in Thailand, as well as global charities including UNICEF and WWF to help fund projects we can commit to and report back on to our customers,” explained co-founder and chief financial officer Martijn Dekker.
“Surprisingly few customers are aware that the hotels they see on the first page of a search when using one of the big OTAs, are not necessarily the hotels that would fit them best. They are simply hotels that are commercially more interesting and more profitable to the OTA,” Dekker explained.
Traveliko claims to break that business model by providing a non-partial map display with all the hotels equally visible and categorised by filters that the user controls.
It has already signed agreements with a number of international hospitality companies, including Absolute Hotel Services, Centara Hotels and Resorts, Dusit International and Red Planet Hotels.
Traveliko’s brand ambassador Natalie Glebova said: “If all the existing online travel agents gave back 20% of their commissions to worthy causes, the travel industry could make an enormous difference in terms of helping the world’s underprivileged people, protecting endangered animals and preserving the natural environment.”
Natalie Glebova is a Russian-Canadian TV host, dancer, model, and beauty queen who won Miss Universe Canada 2005 and later that year won Miss Universe 2005 in Thailand.