Platforms Featured East Asia

Travel platform RateDock launches in Asia

Hong Kong – As technology plays a big part in the ongoing transformation of the travel industry, RateDock has launched a travel platform that connects demand partners to an array of properties that use different connectivity partners with one simple connection.

RateDock aims to empower connections between hotels and travel agencies. It works as a direct interface between the accommodation provider, connectivity partner, and the demand partner, seamlessly connected through the RateDock platform.

The demand partners of RateDock are travel agents, tour operators, and DMCs, as well as travel SMEs. It supports purely from a technical level to facilitate the connection, and it should be noted that all commercial terms and relationships are managed between the accommodation and the demand partner. 

Furthermore, other benefits of the accommodations also include cost-saving support through business matching and direct partnership, as well as ensuring full control of distribution. Using the existing connectivity partner, the property can increase the number of demand partners with one simple connection which improves speed to market and optimizes revenue generation. 

“By connecting to Ratedock, we want to make it easier for properties to automate rate, availability, and booking management processes. On the other hand, demand partners can receive live rates and availability which will improve their ability to compete in the market,” said Marco Bacchilega, the founder and CEO of RateDock.

Platforms Featured APAC

Agoda launches new feature for spontaneous, same-day booking

Singapore – Digital travel platform Agoda has launched GoLocal Tonight, a new feature to allow users to create and plan their spontaneous travel itinerary, a direct response to the increase in demand for last-minute travel searches for same-day and next-day overnight hotel stays. 

Through the platform, travelers looking for spontaneous last-minute travel can benefit from even greater savings from Agoda’s GoLocal Tonight deals when they make a same-day booking.

With the launch of GoLocal Tonight, thousands of hotel and accommodation providers across Asia Pacific have signed up to offer travelers up to 30% additional discount off last-minute reservations.


Data from Agoda noted that Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand are the top three Asia Pacific markets to embrace the impromptu travel experience searching for same-day check-ins. These markets are followed by travelers from Vietnam, Hong Kong, Japan, India, the Philippines, South Korea, and Singapore.

“There’s a growing group of travelers choosing last-minute adventures – couch dwellers who might make spontaneous decisions to either watch a show or book a staycation for the thrill of it. GoLocal Tonight appeals to this new segment of canny, impulse travelers who are looking out for and are incentivized by low prices to take advantage of same-day deals. It’s a win-win for both partners and travelers,” said Enric Casals, regional director at Agoda.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Agoda, Atome forge new partnership on affordable hotel booking options

Singapore – Digital travel platform Agoda has partnered up with installment payment platform Atome in expanding their “buy now, pay later” scheme to Agoda’s payment options for accommodation bookings, initially offered for Singaporean and Malaysian customers.

Under the partnership, users can checkout their Agoda accommodation by selecting Atome on the checkout page. With 34,000 properties available on the Singapore and Malaysia markets, the partnership also hopes to expand the partnership to additional Southeast Asian (Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam) markets as well as Hong Kong and Taiwan by 2021.

“We are always looking for innovative ways to help more people access travel, using tech to simplify the search, booking and payment processes. The launch of our instalment payment offering with Atome will enable Singaporean and Malaysian travellers who might have previously found it inconvenient to pay for their booking in one lump sum to spread the costs over multiple payments by choosing to pay with Atome, without incurring additional costs,” said Darren Makarem, vice president of commercial finance at Agoda.

On the other hand, David Chen, CEO of Atome (pictured) said, “This marks the start of a truly exciting regional partnership with Agoda. Travel and tourism supports so many businesses, livelihoods and economies across Asia. We’re truly humbled to play our part in helping to boost domestic tourism by introducing buy now, pay later payment flexibility and convenience on the Agoda platform today. 

He also added, “As more borders in Asia re-open for travel in 2021, our regional partnership will allow even more Agoda travellers to enjoy this payment convenience and flexibility at checkout, improving the customer experience.”

The partnership starts on December 21 for the Singaporean and Malaysian market.

Platforms Featured Southeast Asia

Agoda’s new HygienePlus feature answers to accommodation hygiene standards

Singapore – In response to customer feedback that hygiene plays a major role in the lookout for new accommodations, online travel agency Agoda recently announced HygienePlus, a new verification feature that shows how hotels and other accommodations maintain hygiene standards within their premises.

The feature provides an extensive checklist that accommodations have to follow in regards to sanitary and hygiene protocols which include safety protocol trainings, contactless check in/check out, temperature check, mandatory wearing of face masks, disinfection of rooms, sterilization of equipment, and signs to observe proper social distancing.

 According to Agoda’s latest survey, Asian travelers noted “Hygiene Standard Listings” as a top priority for checking in at accommodations. The survey also revealed “Daily Room Disinfection” and “Daily Disinfection of general areas” to be the most important hygiene measures travelers expect to be implemented by hotels and other accommodation providers.

“People are raring to travel again but need the reassurance that hygiene measures at their destination are rigorous. Hoteliers and accommodation providers need to regain the confidence of travelers and have been working hard to implement safety measures to do so. HygienePlus quickly and easily identifies hotels that are ensuring a safe and hygienic environment,” Omri Morgenstern, chief operating officer at Agoda stated.

Platforms East Asia

Consumer travel spending among Chinese on uptick in mid-year, says study

Hong Kong, China – Consumer travel spending among the Chinese has been on an upward trend during the first half of the year, according to a study by iClick. 

Duty-free products in Hainan province saw RMB 1.07 billion (US$167 million) in sales from July 1 to 15, with daily sales hitting RMB 71 million (US$10.3 million), a 30 percent rise over daily sales in June. iClick said the boost was helped by an increase in the tax free shopping quota in Hainan from RMB 28,000 (US$4,261) to RMB 100,000 (US$14,451) per person each year.

When the coronavirus pandemic took its toll early this year, the situation has dampened the confidence of many Chinese consumers at the onset.  During the pandemic, surveys were conducted to find out how consumers feel about the situation.

In February, 49% of consumers expressed their optimism that the economy will recover in 2-3 months, while another 49% believes that the adverse impact of the pandemic will last 6-12 months or longer. As the signs of economic rebound began to manifest, optimism among the Chinese consumers gradually improved to 53% while pessimism fell to 40%.

Although more people are travelling with daily flights returning to nearly 80% of pre-epidemic volume in China in the month of July, there are still those that are staying on-ground and spending their money on local purchases. 

The 6.18 midyear shopping festival brought in a reported RMB 1 trillion (US$144.5 billion) with Tmall Global direct reporting a GMV growth of 199% year-on-year and JD International enjoying a 110% boost over last year’s sales.

Main Feature Platforms ANZ

Mo’orea, Great Southern Region are top spots for Aussie, Kiwi travelers in 2021: study

Australia – In the middle of months-long country lockdowns and travel restrictions, Australian and Kiwi locals are showing eagerness to travel with South Pacific island Mo’orea in French Polynesia and the Great Southern Region in Western Australia topping their destination wishlist for 2021, said a study by Australian-owned travel platform Vacaay.

The findings were based on users’ planned itineraries on Vacaay’s platform. Among their eyed destinations is also Whitsundays Islands in Queensland landing on the third spot. Canterbury region in New Zealand and North Australia’s Arnhem Land were also on travelers’ radar, entering the list as the fourth and fifth most favored destination respectively.

The study has also identified travel practices which are expected to be key trends by next year such as slow travel, with travelers’ itinerary having fewer destinations but with longer stay. Travelers are also forecast to indulge in luxurious travel experiences, with travelers having reserved a disposable income amid the lockdown.

Vacaay CEO Pete McKeon said, “In 2020 the world became a lot smaller. For some of us, the dream of travel stopped five kilometers from the front door, while others had an entire state as their playground. But no matter the restrictions, Australians have proven to be tenacious travelers. We’re greedily exploring our own backyard, sometimes literally, and we’re keeping the dream of travel well and truly alive for 2021,”