It’s been nearly six years since Eric Gnock Fah co-founded Klook, the travel experiences booking platform that has grown at such an explosive rate it’s already reached unicorn status—a startup valued at more than US$1 billion—and he’s not planning on slowing down anytime soon. In fact, the mobile-first business—more than 75 per cent of bookings originate on the Klook app—which harnesses the power of technology to satiate our 21st-century appetites for instant gratification experiential entertainment, is in the throes of rapid-response expansion, pivoting to meet millennial and Gen Z market demands as they emerge. Because, as it turns out, kids these days want way more from a double-decker city bus tour than to tick the boxes off a must-see attractions list—they want a social media moment.
“I think just within these five years, this whole social-driven type of travel has gotten a lot more prevalent,” Eric tells Tatler. “Now, we focus a bit more on customising our experiences with the operators to be Instagram-friendly—or to have that component. The problem in the industry is that a lot of tour operators are traditional industry people who used to service the baby boomer market and retired people from the US and Europe. Saying, ‘You need to make it more Instagrammable’—it’s something very new to them. That’s where we come in, provide data, provide some learnings and then we work with them to create experiences.”
If you open the Klook app and type ‘Instagram’ into the search bar, more than 100 keyworded experiences appear—from the usual suspects, like a 12-hour bestInstagram-spots-of-Bali day tour that boasts 738 user reviews averaging 4.9/5.0 stars, to a three-hour retro clothing rental experience in Bukchon Hanok, a 600-year-old traditional village in the middle of Seoul. There’s even an “Instagram-worthy” rainbow grilled cheese sandwich experience at The Peak in Hong Kong—pretty much a guaranteed social media slam-dunk with 376 reviews averaging 4.5/5.0 stars. Cashing in on the social sharing economy via real-world experiences seems like a stroke of genius—and it’s this method of data use and trendspotting, combined with a well-networked front line of more than 2,000 on-the-ground curators spread across 29 offices worldwide, that places Klook solidly ahead of the curve.
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