TravelBiz Monitor

In Conversation

Monday, 06 May, 2019, 11 : 59 AM [IST]
‘We plan to offer 10,000 activities on the platform by year end’

Trodly is a travel technology start-up which helps solve hassles related to discovery and booking of experiential travel and activities online. The technology platform currently has more than 2,000 experiential tours and activities in over 400 destinations across India and Sri Lanka listed for the tech savvy traveller. The company has recently launched the first-of-its-kind B2B Reseller Marketplace for Tours & Activities for travel agencies. Ankit Jindal, CEO and Co-founder, Trodly shared more about its offerings and his plans to build it into a go to platform for experiential tours and activities in the country, with TravelBiz Monitor.

Q. How is a platform like Trodly better equipped to meet the demands and aspirations of new age travellers than a conventional travel agent?
A. The new-age travellers are defining the change in travel. Travellers, especially millennials are leading a much different life than their parents or grandparents. The young professionals today have considerable disposable income, but are limited on time. With digital transformation in almost every field, today’s traveller demands far more control over every aspect of their life. Travel is no different.

Travellers are much more informed and seeking new and unique travel experiences. Thanks to social media and increased reliance on technology, they aspire for specific activities on their trip. Travel planning has become much more than booking just a hotel room or flights. A holiday has become much more than visiting a list of tourist attractions. They research before the trip and in-destination during the trip.

Trodly’s integrated technology all the way to supplier not just makes discovery easy, but also the whole booking experience. Searching for these local activities and travel experiences that would require hours of research, fill online forms or making a call can now be booked in few minutes. Empowered with these digital tools, travellers are increasingly giving local travel agents and bundled packages a pass.

Q. What kind of trends that you see in the travel behaviour of new-age travellers?
A. Most important emerging trend is importance of activities and experiences on a holiday. Travellers are not just picking a hill-station or a beach destination for holiday because they have not been there. They are planning these breaks and holidays around a specific or set of activities. They figure out what they want to do and then choose place where to experience it. For example Rameshwaram had always been a pilgrimage spot, but now young travellers are visiting it because it’s a great destination for sports like SUP and Kayaking.

Q. How many destinations and experiential activities Trodly has on its platform? Your growth plan in terms of destinations, activities, etc.?
A. Trodly currently offers over 2,000 tours and activities across 400+ destinations in India and Sri Lanka. We follow a design-lead user-centric approach in building our products. Trodly started as a destination discovery platform, where using our trip-meter travellers can find destinations and attractions that fits their travel distance requirements. Today, travellers plan their weekend getaway or a multi-day holiday by discovering the most desired experience that fits with their idea of the trip. As a pure online platform, we have always tried to make the whole end-to-end process a great experience for user. This starts with discovery and booking and ends with the fulfilment and feedback.

We plan to have over 10,000 activities on the platform by end of this year. We plan to add more destinations but at the same time offer greater depth on each of the place where we offer activities. The launch in Sri Lanka was a sort of sandbox for us for international expansion and now we are looking to cover more countries by 2020.

Q. How do you sell your products and solutions to travel agents/tour operators? Do you have any business models for B2B partnerships with the trade?
A. We have recently launched a first-of-its-kind B2B Reseller Marketplace for Tours & Activities. This product enables travel agents and small and medium-sized travel businesses. What that means is that now any travel agent and business can offer most suitable tours and activities options to their clientele, without worrying of building a supply. They can grow their businesses to new destinations and across multitude of categories. This has some very exciting possibilities and you will be seeing more from Trodly on this.

Apart from this, we already offer an affiliate programme through API integration to other travel companies such as OTAs and hospitality chains.

Q. What kind of traffic does the platform generate, and also in terms of downloads? How do you try to engage your visitors and customers through the journey and after it?
A. We do close to 100,000 monthly active users on our web platform. Our app is mostly used by paying customers and has been downloaded by over 5,000 customers. We define engagement with our target group on stage basis, pre-booking, post-booking and post-completion. Each phase requires its own channels for engagement from social media to blogs to emails and more. Our app allows real-time messaging between that traveller and operators which proves very useful just before start of the trip.

Q. What are your plans to take the platform to the next level to make it a one-stop shop for travel?
A. We plan to include new destinations and countries to our platform in coming months. Our plan is to become the go-to platform for travellers looking for experiential holidays and activities on their trip. Our vision was simple from the start to bring the ease of bookings flights and hotels to tours and activities space. Interestingly this space has many sub-segments, like sightseeing, adventure, passes each of which require specific innovation in technology to deliver great customer experience. We endeavour to be the pioneers of this space by bringing those innovations to activities segment. And that is going to be our approach to take Trodly ahead.