Tiket.com’s Challenge: #StayLocalStaySeru — Serving local vacation & online experience for users
Maximising hyperlocal experiences and online content as a product strategy to mitigate and capitalise Covid-19 situation
This is a design test where I am challenged to come up with new product / feature ideas that can help Tiket.com to adapt and thrive in the middle of Covid-19 situation, which impacted the travel and tourism industry badly.
To tackle this issue, I first started the process by delving deeper and mapping the problem, to see what are the root causes of these problems and understand what variables and factors that play a role in this situation. Then, I tried to reframe the problem and look at it holistically, from multiple angles. This is to help me identify new opportunities and generate ideas that can bring value in a more systemic manner.
While Covid-19 and government restriction are the major factors that deliver a major blow to travel industry, there are also other factors that worsen and prolong the situation.
Other factors such as lack of public discipline and uncontrolled mass movement (especially during public holidays) also contribute to the spreading of infections and growing number of new positive cases. This in turns also fuels people’s worry and concern over Covid pandemic and thus driving a bigger decrease of tourism and travel demand.
- How might we provide a way for users to satisfy their need for leisure experience within the existing constraints and in a responsible manner (following the safety and health protocols)?
- How might we capitalise on the current new normal situation to sell competitive products that will enable us not just survive these challenging times, but also thriving?
- How might we, as part of the travel industry, can help other actors within the industry to survive and thrive so that the business and economy starts working again (because our business also depend on the activities and operation of other businesses)?
What can we do?
Simply put, in order to survive and thrive under this problematic situation, we need to deliver innovative solutions and initiatives that can help in breaking the vicious cycle.
These initiatives also need to be a holistic solution that consider the systemic nature of this problem, meaning that we can not deliver a stand-alone idea that works without the support or improvement of other factors in the business and economy ecosystem.
But to deliver a good experience, we also need to support and enable other actors / stakeholders to flourish as well, because our product will rely on them as part of the system as well.
Problem, needs and goal mappings
To face these unprecedented times, we need to adapt the nature and model of the products to suit the conditions and behaviours in the new normal:
Uncertainties and high risk of infection growth rate — focus on lessening movements, more on private experiential products
Based on my own observation, I saw how the growth rate of Covid-19 is still high, the severity level of some regions keep fluctuating and there is a lack of discipline in implementation of health protocol.
All of these variables make it hard to predict whether it’s a wise decision to promote products that encourage public movement and long distance travel, especially when one considers the constant changes and inconsistency in government policies (where each regions have their own local protocols).
That’s why, instead of promoting products that:
- promote high distance travel and run the risk of increasing the spread of infection
- cannot be used because it clashes with the changing travel policy or the area gets lockdown due to unforeseen situational changes (ex: sudden surge in Covid-19 clusters)
It is wiser to develop new products that can be enjoyed within the comfort of users’ home or within short distance of their domicile areas (in town or still within greater area of their city).
Not only they are safer and low-cost, but we can repackage these products as a way to promote hyperlocal tourism and experiential products, therefore also helps in driving the local economies as well.
Experience as a product, feature and added value
As travel becomes a constrained or limited option, we need to find other forms of products/services that we can offer to customers. One way is to offer a form of product / service that satisfy the needs of customers while at the same time accommodate the constraints of physical distancing, lack of traveling / mobility and other forms of safety protocol. I found the answer in experiential products, where experiences can be sold:
- as its own product (activity, event, workshop, online content, etc)
- as an additional value: to be embedded as part of a special package or bundled service (ex: hotel stays with buffet meals, spa relaxation, food testing, etc)
Physical distancing and safety measures -> secluded and private staycation
Provide accommodation and staycation experiences that can be enjoyed in small, private gathering. Instead of festivities, change the perception of holidaying as an intimate and nomadic experiences that bring tranquility and peacefulness, free from the daily grind and the concerns of everyday lives.
Online experience: virtual activities, entertainment and digital content
Tiket.com can strive to become a digital platform that provides various forms of online experiences:
- virtual activities -> live experiences where users can participate and interact with (ex: workshops, classes, virtual tours, live performance with meet-and-greet session, etc)
- passive content -> entertainment content or media that can be consumed passively
Both of these two forms of contents can be leveraged for different purposes:
Virtual activities -> as exclusive products that catered to satisfy user’s need for interactive engagement and activities, and for artists, content creators or influencers, it’s a way for their fans engagements
Passive content -> depending on the nature of the product or its creators/sponsors:
- be sold as its own stand alone product (cinema release, production house’ web series, etc)
- a form of marketing / branding initiative (local brands can create and showcase their web series, Tiket.com can create their own mini series / travel documentaries)
- as a form of user engagement and to drive user generated content (create competition where the winner gets free travel / tour package sponsored by Tiket.com and other travel / hospitality industry, and have the winner’s travel stories be showcased in Tiket.com’s platform). As a digital platform, local brands can pay to have their content showcased in Tiket.com’s channel. In a way, this business model mimics a media platform’s advertising business model.
Focus on the hyperlocal — create entertainment and engagement that have smaller footprint, easily accessible, and provides closer intimacy, fostering sense of close community
Hotels and tourism industry can create bundled staycation package that offers additional facilities, experiences and activities. These experiences are provided with the collaboration with local artists and other actors in the creative industry. So customers can experiences not just the comfort of hotel accommodation, but they also get to enjoy special activities (example: performance arts, workshops, private tours or concerts, etc).
The small scale nature of these activities can offer a safe yet intimate experience (customers get the opportunity of having small group workshops, private tours or entertainment). These provide an interactive, face to face interaction that people crave during this pandemic situation.
These hyperlocal tourism can be done in partnership with local government, hotels and local artists and other creative entrepreneurs:
- as part of a campaign that promotes support for creative industries and drive local economy.
- as a way to build local community engagement
- for cultural and learning workshops/events/experiences: a form of interactive education that provide engagement and mental stimulations for children, especially those who are too bored or receive inadequate e-learning experience from their schools
In terms of operational cost-benefit, these initiatives provide benefits such as:
- produce smaller foot prints which means less risk for infection spread and tighter crowd control
- more cost efficient so it can be tested easily, and if it succeed the expectation, this can be replicated easily as a franchise to other areas (scalable).
Product & Feature Concepts
1. Online/Virtual Entertainment and Educational Activities
Provide users with online entertainment and educational activities that can be accessed remotely from home.
- exclusive digital concerts and art performance, with behind the scenes sneak peek and meet-and-greet between the performers and the audiences
- cultural and educational workshops that a limited number of audience can participate in
- interactive educational classes or programs for kids (but with entertainment added value to differentiate itself from e-learning classes, such as historical drama storytelling, animation shows for social and natural sciences, etc)
- long-story format content (cinema release, web series, documentaries, etc)
VALUES & BENEFITS
For the end-users: provide a way to find an virtual entertainment that is affordable and can be easily accessed from the safety of their home. And as a way to contribute content, share their stories and win the prize of free travel.
For the artists, performers and content creators: This serves as an alternative, low-cost platform to sell their service, while at the same time mitigates the physical distancing constraint
For local brands and advertisers: Utilises Tiket.com as a channel and platform to release their branded content, and reach more audiences
2. Hyperlocal events and experiences
Collaborate with local communities (artists, performers, small businesses, etc) to offer a variety of small-scale local activities. This is a way for people to enjoy fun activities within the area of their city. On one hand, this contributes to and supports local business and communities, and on the other hand, this is a way for local government to promote their domestic tourism as well. Example includes:
- small-scale art performances, concerts that provide meet and greet / sneak peek of behind the scenes (additional values that can be offered due to small number of visitors/crowds)
- small group tours to local attractions, cultural heritage or art exhibition / installations
- communities based events and experiences such as storytelling classes to children, skills workshops for small groups, outdoor cinemas, art fairs and bazaars, etc
VALUES & BENEFITS
For the end-users:
- An accessible way to get live experiences and entertainment within a safe distance from their home
- Fosters a sense of belonging and community engagement
For the event organisers, local business and government:
- The program promotes local tourism and serve as a platform to connect local businesses and creative industry with captive target audience
- Potentially can help drive local economy and increase public consumption
- Smaller foot prints, lowering the risk of virus spread / infection, and easier way to ensure tight security and crowd control
3. Remote Travel/Vacation
As international travel becomes an inaccessible option for users (due to travel restriction, closed borders and complicated policy — such as 14-days quarantine), the focus turns inward to local / domestic and even hyperlocal tourism. To capitalize this opportunity, we must find a way to repackage these hyperlocal destinations as ‘a secluded, nomadic getaway experiences’ that offer a unique value but at the same time very affordable and comply to the safety protocol as well.
- The type of accommodation commonly found in AirBnb: tree houses, campers, RV, private villas, tiny houses and farm stays
- Camp areas where campers can stay in bungalows or tents that are separated in wide distance from one to another
For the end-users: provides a way to enjoy a unique vacation experience without travelling too far (less hassle) and in a safe manner (complying to the safety measure)
For the business owners: Use this as an opportunity to boost sales and develop new business.
4. Local attractions + staycation accommodation = Hyperlocal tourism packages
The combination of physical distancing policy and closed borders created an opportunity where we can offer a hyperlocal tourism experience for captive target market who are stuck in their local cities, with nowhere to go. Tiket.com can capitalise this opportunity by partnering local tourism, hospitality industry and the creative industry to set a range of tourism packages that include nomadic stay-cation with special offers to special activities and entertainment.
The hyperlocal nature of these packages are also beneficial in terms of crowd control and safety measure because of its small foot prints and reduce the level of public transportation, mobility and movements needed (minimize the risk of infection spreading).
This is the concept model of the new features and products offered in Tiket.com. It shows the structure and relationship of each feature, and what kind of user behavior that we want to promote/create in Tiket.com’s new platform.
Here, we first ask user a simple question: where do you want to spend your vacation? Instead of the usual question”where do you want to go”, we change it to “where do you want to spend your time at”.
This change indicates that we open up the possibilities of user spending their vacation not necessarily by going to somewhere. But by giving them the options of choosing where and how they want to enjoy their vacation:
- within the comfort of their home
- either staycation or doing day-trips within the area of city they are currently living in
- going outside their current city: either going out of town (domestic travel) or overseas (international travel)
LANDING SCREEN: ENTERTAINMENT AT HOME
IN TOWN / DALAM KOTA
IN TOWN: STAYCATION UNIK
IN TOWN: DAYTRIPS & AKTIVITAS LOKAL
IN TOWN: STAYCATION + WISATA LOKAL
IN TOWN: STAYCATION + WISATA LOKAL BOOKING
So those are the product ideas that I think appropriate and helps Tiket.com to not just survive this pandemic situation, but also thriving in it. To mitigate this crisis, come up on top and stay ahead of the curve, we need to be agile, adaptable and always seek other opportunities. Seeking other opportunities means we can’t just depend on maintaining and keeping the status quo. Instead, we have to look at the new trends: to seek what problems, issues and new behaviors that we can turn into insights and opportunities for our own advantages.
To be honest, some of these ideas may seem a bit ‘wild’ or out of field. Maybe these ideas are not directly relevant to Tiket.com’s core products or aligned with the current business model. However, we need to stay open minded and be willing to try, who knows if we can find a way to make these ideas / products as another vertical / product line to diversify Tiket.com’s portfolio and business offerings. Just like how Amazon evolved from a book store to a behemoth of e-commerce platform, sometimes we need to take risk to gain the opportunity gap and keep experimenting until we find our own unique value proposition and able grow the business exponentially.
If these ideas can be developed further, I’m curious to see how we can test the concept. We can do this by doing UX research, testing the prototype and interviewing potential users. This is to get user feedback and validate its viability as a product concept.
Aside from concept testing, we will need to test its business models by doing market research, business analysis (cost-benefit, potential revenue and opportunity size analysis, competitor review, etc), and also by gauging its adoption rate based on market testings (ex: having a demo/sample page with its pricing model, where willing/interested users can fill their contact details in the subscription list). These analysis, research and testings will help us in determining whether these ideas are viable or not.
Anyway, thank you for giving me the opportunity for this challenge. This kind of open-ended question is an interesting challenge that simulates my imagination, critical thinking and creativity. I would love to have your feedback if possible. So, please feel free to give me any suggestion, criticism or feedback!