Singapore-based startup BeMyGuest is a free-to-list online travel platform, which aggregates local tourist activities from both individuals and SMEs, and then distributes them to different marketing channels.
Clement Wong, CEO and founder of BeMyGuest, started the company in October 2012. He thinks that tourist activities, like local cooking classes or private guides, are the final frontiers of travel distribution, cause when we look at the airlines, hotels, car rentals, everything has been pretty much digitalized, standardized and distributed. However, the only way we can find local tourist activities now is through search engines, he said.
BeMyGuest aims to build a platform to bring local tourist activities together and help the tourist suppliers to further the market beyond their own websites. The contents from suppliers will be digitalized and standardized. Before being distributed to all kinds of marketing channels, the content will be rewritten by professional travel writers and optimized for search engines.
Most of BeMyGuest’s customers are women (accounting for 75% of the total) aged between 25 to 35 from Southeast Asia. The site is primarily targeted at female customers because they are usually the ones who make travel decisions, Wong added. The website is filled with visuals and beautiful scenic spot pictures to fit the online purchasing habits of female users.
The platform will integrate tourist activities at wholesale prices and pocket a 20% commission fee from the suppliers. BeMyGuest is now No.1 in Southeast Asia in terms of inventory number and website traffic, said Wong. He added that the company has recorded more than $300K of sales in 2013 and this figure is expected to hit $1 million this year.
BeMyGuest expanded at an accelerated speed since last year. It has received $402,000 angel fund in October 2013 and more funding from South Korea’s online travel agency Tidesquare. The site also acquired a competitor Indiescapes earlier this year. To further the expansion, the company is making forays to Northeast Asia market, hoping to capture Korean, Japanese and Chinese markets within the next 12-24 months, said Wong.
The company is supported by a 20-member group headed by Clement Wong, who once served in research and marketing roles at Euromonitor International, Travelport and PhoCusWright, and Blanca Menchaca, former global head of online marketing at travel search site of Wego. It is planning to setting up offices in Philippine, China and Thailand in the near future.
BeMyGuest just emerged as winner out of hundreds of startups from all across Asia at the ChannelNewsAsia Startup Competition.
Clement Wong, CEO & Founder of BeMyGuest
image credit: BeMyGuest