Traveloka is Southeast Asia’s biggest online fintech travel startup that has been quite the hit since its founding back in 2012. President Henry Hendrawan announced that the company has plans to expand from its headquarters based in Jakarta, Indonesia to the mainland countries Thailand and Vietnam, and eventually plans to make its way into the US. After the COVID-19 pandemic devastated the travel industry, this is huge news not just for Travaloka, but could be a positive sign that leisure travel may soon once again become standard in certain parts of the world. This also being in Southeast Asia, which is near Wuhan, China where the pandemic originally caught fire, is especially good news since they have been proven to gain control of the virus early with around 90,000 total cases. As the rest of the world begins to positively turn the tide against COVID-19, whether that be through strict lockdowns or vaccine distribution, it may give us a timeline as to when we might be able to expect daily activities to return to some type of normalcy.
Traveloka’s president Caesar Indra released a statement saying that demand has reached even over pre-pandemic numbers in Vietnam, which should come to no surprise if coronavirus is no longer a threat, as the world has been itching to get out of their houses and onto much needed vacations. This demand may prove to vary in different parts of the world as they return to normal based on the country’s attitudes towards the virus, essentially if they treat it seriously or not, and how much economic hardship they have succumbed to with the inevitable recession hitting some major economies, the US especially. Indra added to his initial statement claiming that “The worst has happened and now we’re well prepared for 2021. Domestic travel is driving recovery.”
To elaborate on Traveloka’s fintech endeavors, Indra said that they plan to implement a “buy now, pay later” service into their app to their nearly 40 million active monthly users. Traveloka has actually launched “Paylater” credit cards with some Indonesia lenders last year to offer customers insurance and wealth management services, which Indra claimed to have been a massive success in that market. On top of this service, they have also been growing local lifestyle services with the help of Singapore sovereign wealth fund to offer customers food delivery, restaurant vouchers, and even rapid COVID-19 testing. If they are able to make the expansion post these fintech updates, Traveloka will have the opportunity to truly revolutionize the travel industry upon its rebirth.