Tell me how to reach the huge Chinese market in Phuket The Phuket News The Phuket News Kata Rocks The Phuket News Outrigger Laguna Phuket Resort and Villas
The Phuket News Business News
The Phuket News Phuket | Thailand | World | Business | Q&A | Weird World XML, RSS, Feed
The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News

Mob rule on the Web

PHUKET: An innovative new accommodation booking site, Travelmob.com, launched officially in Phuket on Tuesday, aimed at delivering “non-traditional” places to stay.


Alasdair Forbes

Monday 23 July 2012, 04:46PM


Turochas Fuad (left) and Prashant Kirtane of Travelmob.com.
Turochas Fuad (left) and Prashant Kirtane of Travelmob.com.

Turochas “T” Fuad from Indonesia, the site’s CEO, and Prashant Kirtane from India, the Chief Technical Officer, explained that the site will not carry hotels or resorts, thereby conveniently avoiding head-on competition with giants such as Agoda or Expedia.

Instead, it already carries a portfolio of “thousands of hosts” ranging from a houseboat in Kerala to a ski lodge in Japan and a clifftop villa in Bali called Oh My God.

“Theoretically, if you have a spare couch and you want to list it, there will probably be someone who wants to sleep on it,” Mr Fuad explained.

Apart from avoiding hotels and resorts, the site has a number of innovative aspects. For a start, unlike many conventional villa rental sites, listings are free, with Travelmob making its money from charging guests a service fee of up to 12 per cent.

“So the hosts have nothing to lose by listing. If it doesn’t work for them, they can take the listing down,” Mr Fuad said.

Both hosts and guests have access to a dashboard, which allows them to set many more parameters than usual.

Guests can comment on a property they have stayed in – which is not so unusual – but it also works the other way round: hosts can comment on guests, so that guests who break the TV or spill red wine all over the white silk upholstery may find booking a gorgeous villa difficult.

Hosts have between 24 and 48 hours to respond to a booking enquiry, with the site set up to allow direct dialogue between the two parties (without phone numbers or email addresses so that hosts and guests don’t do a private deal outside the system).

Payments are not made to a host until 24 hours after the check-in time, with the aim of ensuring that guests are satisfied before their money leaves their pocket.

Coast Beach Club

All of this adds a human element that most accommodation booking sites lack

Payments, using PayPal or credit cards, can be made or received in 13 currencies, 10 of them Asian currencies.

Good ratings by guests for a property automatically push it up the search ratings, and vice-versa.

The Singapore-based duo have plenty of infotech experience. Mr Fuad helped push Yahoo’s mobile business in southeast Asia before moving to Skype as managing director for Asia. Mr Kirtane was most recently senior director of engineering for Yahoo’s video division globally.

They say they are not worried about copycat competition. “We have experience,” said Mr Fuad, “and Travelmob is not so easy to replicate.”

The site is currently in English, Vietnamese, Thai, Bahasa Indonesia and traditional and simplified Chinese, but more will follow, especially Russian.

Is this a start-up aimed at making enough noise that it will be bought up by one of the giants? Mr Fuad says no. “We’re in it for the long term,” he said.

Travelmob.com is also on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. There’s a US$50 discount for anyone booking by August 9.

 

 

The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Comment on this story
comments powered by Disqus
The Phuket News
The Phuket News The Phuket News The Phuket News
The Phuket News
Share this
The Phuket News
Have a news tip-off? Click here
The Phuket News
Related stories
The Phuket News
Phuket community
The Phuket News
Bangkok Hospital Phuket
THAI VISA
PHUKET NEWS
Phuket
Thailand
World
Business
Q A
Weird World
ARCHIVE
POLL
CURRENCY
WEATHER
PHUKET TIDE TABLE
The Phuket News PHUKET LIFE
Phuket Arts
Phuket Community
Phuket Dining
Phuket Education
Phuket Entertainment
Phuket Environment
Phuket Health
Phuket People
Phuket Travel
Photo Galleries
COLOURING BOOK
The Phuket News PHUKET SPORT
Phuket
Thailand
World
SURF REPORT
PREDICTIONS
The Phuket News PHUKET CLASSIFIEDS
Phuket Buy and Sell
Phuket Jobs
Phuket Property
Phuket Cars and Boats
Phuket Community
Phuket Services
SEARCH CLASSIFIEDS
POST CLASSIFIED
The Phuket News The Phuket News PHUKET EVENTS
Phuket Event listings
Phuket Event calendar
Buy Tickets
POST EVENT
The Phuket News PHUKET DIRECTORY
Phuket Bars, pubs and clubs
Phuket Hotels and villas
Phuket Restaurants
Phuket Yellow Pages
POST LISTING
The Phuket News BARGAINS
The Phuket News ABOUT US
The Company
Distribution points
Subscribe
Advertise with us
Pay for advert
Contact us
CONTESTS
Content Google Map
Site map
Australian Visa Services
 
Currency - The Phuket News   Weather Report - The Phuket News   Surf Report - The Phuket News
LinkedIn - The Phuket News   Twitter - The Phuket News   YouTube - The Phuket News   Facebook - The Phuket News
Copyright © 2016 Class Act Media. All rights reserved. | Website usage terms and conditions | Privacy and Confidentiality Statement.