Tripaneer interview, marketplaces to offer the best experience to customers

In the world of tours and activities providers, being focused on a certain target can bring benefit both to the company and to travellers. For a person who is looking for activities around one of his/her interests, being able to choose among different products in different destinations, but on the same portal, is an useful way to choose the best holiday. As OTAs are constantly expanding their intermediation activity, smaller but equally competitive marketplaces are specialising in specific segments.

Twissen interviewed Robert den Hollander, Founder & CEO at Tripaneer, a company owning several portals which are focused on different activities and experiences. Twissen and Robert discussed about BookYogaRetreats, a multi-brand marketplace part of Tripaneer offering the opportunity to choose among several providers of yoga activities or package tours around the world.

Twissen: How was the idea of BookYogaRetreats born?
Robert den Hollander: The idea for BookYogaRetreats.com actually stemmed from my first theme travel website idea – BookMartialArts.com – a website which focuses on offering a comprehensive overview of martial arts training camps worldwide.
At the time, I found that the demand for this particular theme (martial arts) was not very high so the team and I decided to seek out 2 additional theme travel websites to launch together with BookMartialArts.com. From the market research and due-diligence we conducted, we found that there’s high demand for yoga focused travel packages so we decided to launch BookYogaRetreats.com along with our culinary theme travel site, BookCulinaryVacations.com. We launched all three simultaneously back in 2012.

Tw: Can you introduce your team and your headquarters?
RdH: Sure, it’d be my pleasure. When we first started out, the entire team consisted of only three members and myself. Fast forward to five years later, I’m proud to share that we have over 180 team members working at Tripaneer. Around 30 of them are working at our headquarter office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, while the rest of our team are spread across 16 different Countries (26 nationalities) all over the globe.
Today, I lead Tripaneer as the CEO and founder alongside Tim Kuis (coFounder and Chief Marketing Officer), Mario Silva (coFounder and Chief Technology Officer), Rina Okrina Tri Widanti (Head of Operations), Vaibhav Pandey (Expansion), Joyce Lim (HR) and Natalya Zaychenko (Finance).

Tw: Which is the business model of your company?
Tripaneer is currently using the ‘agent’ model – where we act as the intermediary between the organizers of the theme travel packages that we offer on our websites and the end users (customers), who are predominantly made up of travellers who are looking for enriching travel experiences. We obtain our revenue through the commission we receive with each successful booking made on our platforms.

Tw: Which is the target of tourists choosing BookYogaRetreats to book a tour or an activity?
Most of our customers at BookYogaRetreats.com are travellers who are seeking to either start or deepen their knowledge and experience in yoga while traveling – both domestically or internationally.
At BookYogaRetreats.com, we offer the largest selection of yoga focused getaways located in destinations world wide. We cater to yogis of all levels from beginners to professionals.
Additionally, since we offer a wide range of category and styles, we also offer travel packages that include activities beyond yoga – such as yoga & surfing , yoga & cooking, yoga & meditation, etc.

Tw: What are the most promising origin targets?
At the moment, we emphasize our focus on customers located in English speaking countries as well as some European nations as Germany, The Netherlands, France and Spain as they are the most promising.

Tw: Which are the top destinations for taking part in a yoga activity?
Based on our own data, the top 10 (most popular) destinations for yoga retreats are:
1.India
2.Thailand
3.Indonesia
4.Spain
5.Greece
6.Italy
7.Portugal
8.Costa Rica
9.USA (California)
10.Sri Lanka

Tw: What are the trends that you are observing from your customers?
In general, over the past few years, wellness travel seems to be increasing in popularity – and this certainly includes yoga retreats.
In terms of the trends relating to yoga retreats itself, we noticed that more and more people are looking to book packages that includes activities beyond yoga. Yoga & surf as well as for yoga & meditation for example, have evidently been growing in popularity.
When it comes to destinations, we observed that some such as France, Australia, and Morocco are increasing in demand.

Tw: In your opinion, which are the best ways to promote this kind of activities?
When it comes yoga & surf as well as yoga & meditation, we’re fortunate to have separate websites that focus on these activities and cross-promotions between the sites have been proven to be useful. Most – if not all – yoga & surf packages that are available at BookYogaRetreats.com can also be found in BookSurfCamps.com, our surf theme travel website. Whilst its yoga & meditation packages are also on offer on our meditation theme travel website, BookMeditationRetreats.com.

Tw: Which are your future projects?
As a company, we aim to become the world’s ‘go-to’ company for theme travel. At the moment, we’re working on further expanding our offerings not only on BookYogaRetreats.com but also our eight theme travel websites – particularly BookAllSafaris.com and BookSurfCamps.com.
Additionally, we plan to launch more exciting theme travel websites in the near future.

Tw: Did you receive any investment round?
Yes, we received an investment from Point Nine Capital, a Berlin-based venture capital firm, in 2016. We’ve been using this investment to further strengthen our team and investing in product improvements so that we are able to help more people to have unforgettable travel experiences!