, Singapore

Why this local startup thinks it can slam TripAdvisor at least in Southeast Asia

Travelogy.com builds scalable online travel portals with a focus in Southeast Asia.

Started in Aug 2010, Travelogy has two main products: TripZilla.com and ComeSingapore.com. TripZilla is an outbound travel portal that bills itself of offering users in a particular country the 'simplest' way to find and book their travels.

TripZilla has identified 4 major ways people in Singapore purchase their travels:
(1) Book their flights and hotels online
(2) Book via travel agencies
(3) Make a purchase depending on what is the best deal at the moment
(4) Make purchase at travel fairs

TripZilla aggregates all these different channels in one website. For example, if one searches for “Taiwan” on TripZilla, the result will show travel packages and itineraries to Taiwan from travel agents, hotels and flights to Taiwan, travel deals to Taiwan and, if a travel fair is currently running, packages to Taiwan being sold at the fairs.

In summary, when people in Singapore are thinking of travelling, the team at Travelogy wants them to make TripZilla their first stop. To the users, TripZilla claims that it saves them time and money. To the clients, the team boasts that TripZilla is a 'powerful' platform that they can leverage on to market to a highly relevant and targeted audience.

"TripZilla Singapore sees more than 100,000 visits monthly and both traffic and user registrations are growing at >15% every month. It also has an array of clients which includes travel agencies, tourism boards, travel insurance companies, travel fair organisers and group buying sites. Having validated the product in Singapore, the team at Travelogy is now ready to take TripZilla into other Asian countries,"  said co-founder Winnie Tna.

As for ComeSingapore.com, it is a destination marketing platform for inbound visitors. Visitors can use the site for their travel research prior to arrival by accessing the articles, business directory, events calendar, maps and photo gallery. They can also book their accommodations, flights and tours on the site. When they are in Singapore, they can continue to access itineraries, useful tourist information and be updated on the latest events and promotions happening. At the end of their trip, they will be able to share their experience with other travellers via ComeSingapore. In a nutshell, ComeSingapore aims to be a one-stop travel portal that engages visitors at every stage of their trip to Singapore.

According to the team, their value proposition to the users is that they offer free, relevant content and tools that can help visitors with their travel planning and enhance their travel experience. The content and tools are available to the users online, in digital print, and on mobile devices; and with support for multiple languages.

"By being able to reach travellers at every stage of their trip, ComeSingapore can effectively influence users’ buying and booking decisions. This makes ComeSingapore the platform of choice for any business or organization who wishes to reach tourists to Singapore," said Tan.

"Within a year of its launch, ComeSingapore achieved a Google PageRank of 6 and currently sees more than 250,000 visits monthly. With its remarkable SEO performance, it is already the most credible commercial site marketing Singapore as a tourist destination," she added.

In Sept this year, Travelogy secured S$250,000 in funding from Crystal Horse Investments and the Singapore Media Development Authority via the i.JAM Reload scheme. Travelogy is one of the first recipients of the i.JAM Reload grant. With this funding, Tan shared that a makeover of the website with more focus on the user interface and user experience is in the pipeline, and Travelogy hopes to expand to another 2 Asian cities within the next year.

The team sees much opportunity in the travel market within the Southeast Asia region as it is huge and fast growing.

"More and more people are moving online (internet and mobile) to research, plan and book their travels. The tremendous growth of the travel market and this change in consumer behavior creates many opportunities for innovations. The fragmented and niche markets in SEA also offer small startups a better chance to succeed against, and exit to, big online travel players," the team told Singapore Business Review.

Eric Koh, co-founder of Travelogy, is a serial entrepreneur with vast experience in building online startups across multiple verticals. He has had a significant exit on a job board business.

Together with the founder, Winnie Tan, they put together a team with rich online tech experience and decided to fight their startup battle in the travel space.

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