Carefree Bali Holidays (2010 – 2011)
Carefree Bali Holidays was founded in 1977. In 2000s, the company was hobbled in carrying out its business competing with other travel agents, and of course with online travel agents.
Together with two of my team in Asia Travel Deals, we brought new spirit to Carefree Bali Holidays and set up new foundation. We successfully brought new clients and handled small group and big group. We also tried to built our B2C online booking but it was not easy as we thought.
In one year with Carefree Bali Holidays, here’s the lesson that I always remember:
- Online booking system is not easy as it looks. Until today, I still meet someone who underestimate the works of building the comprehensive online booking system. I always tell them that they were wrong. It needs strong, experienced and skillful team to design and develop the system. And it won’t happen overnight.
- The era has changed. Conventional (or some says, “traditional”) travel agents should change their way of business to compete with online travel agents. It doesn’t mean that all people book online, but travel agent must increase their speed of service so their customer don’t need to wait for long for the confirmation.
- Depends on our client, sometimes it’s not about the price. When I sealed the deal with our client with big group (almost 300 pax), the reason why they choose our service was simple. Among three travel agents who submitted proposal, only Carefree Bali Holidays who didn’t drop the price. We didn’t want to sacrifice our quality of service, and we frankly told our client. Finally the client chose us eventhough our price is slightly higher than other bidder.
One year with Carefree Bali Holidays was enough and I took an offer to join another startup in Jakarta. At this point, I suddenly realized that I was experienced enough in pre-opening business.