BookingSamoa is the first local online travel agency driven by the needs and capabilities of the micro, small and medium-sized tourism operators. BookingSamoa provides all Samoan tourism operators with an online capability, along with a suite of integrated business apps for tourism operators to manage and improve their businesses whilst helping them to deliver world-class travel experiences.
A partnership to extend BookingSamoa’s existing custom online platform, designed to assist small tourism operators in Samoa. The platform supports an online presence to create a more level playing field with larger operators and increase bookings and revenue in preparation for recovery.
Micro and small tourism operators in Samoa have limited capacity to market themselves online, take bookings and process payments. This makes it difficult for smaller tourism operators, particularly those based in rural and remote areas to provide services to tourists, limiting their ability to create jobs and potentially resulting in reduced spend per tourist in Samoa. To add to that, 48% of travellers do not book tours until they are at their destination and only 20% book online.
About the initiative
This initiative aims to extend BookingSamoa’s existing custom online platform, designed to assist small tourism operators in Samoa. The online platform includes a website marketplace, back-end inventory management for suppliers and an app for operators to manage bookings and communicate with tourists. By expanding the online platform, the initiative aims to create a more level playing field for tourism operators with a wider economic impact from increased employment in the sector.
In the second phase of the initiative, BookingSamoa aims to establish hubs, where their customer service team can represent operators in high traffic areas. The locations for the hubs have yet to be determined but may include the airport, ferry terminals and larger resorts. Tourism operators can also choose to run a kiosk to accept payments and issue receipts for bookings immediately, creating a self-service capability that addresses the social distancing concerns of a post-COVID-19 travel environment.
Benefiting an industry with high female representation
Women play a major role in the tourism sector and will benefit from the jobs and income that is generated. As well as providing income opportunities, BookingSamoa has considered the impact of its own business on women and the ways it can remove barriers to promote women’s participation in the business. BookingSamoa has introduced flexible work arrangements, extended maternity leave and uses empowering language in their communications and provides advice on safeguarding for solo female travellers.
Hear from the team at Booking Samoa
“The project will enable M/SMEs to compete on a level playing field with larger operators. The BookingSamoa Tourism Network will enable M/SMEs to become visible and bookable online, offer airport transfers as an additional service, and receive representation in Apia for those based in rural areas. M/SMEs will also be enabled to operate their businesses more effectively and efficiently using the BookingSamoa SaaS Business Solutions. Samoa’s tourism S/SMEs will now be better equipped to recover from the devastating economic impact of COVID-19.” Geoff Cullen, Chief Operating Officer, BookingSamoa