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Destination Staycation: How Klook Hong Kong saved the pandemic vacation

Let’s have a show of hands. How many of our Hong Kong readers have been on a staycation since the pandemic started? Yeah, that would be most of you. According to our survey last year, 85% of Hongkongers said they wanted to go on a staycation in the next 6 months and 60% have been on a staycation already. 

For Hongkongers, staycation has been a welcome solution to the pandemic conundrum: how to spend your annual leave when you can’t travel abroad. And although the concept is not new, Klook took it to a whole new level last year. We talked to Carmen Sung, Marketing Manager, Campaign to find out how we flipped things around and turned 2020 from a year of no vacation to the year of the staycation. 

Hong Kong staycation team hard at work in a truly beautiful setting

When your holiday world shrinks… a lot

Hongkongers are travel addicts. With so many wonderful destinations just a stone’s throw away, every weekend used to be an opportunity to jet set. So when all international travel stopped, the travel withdrawals were real. 

“In April last year, it became clear that there would be no international travel in summer. So we started brainstorming. What could we provide to our customers during the holidays so they still get to unwind and experience something new?,” says Carmen. 

“We asked ourselves what brings Hong Kong people the most joy and we pinned it down to two things: a trip away from home and a great dining experience. So we combined the two into a staycation package and that’s how staycation plus dining was born.” 

The team tested the hypothesis with the first Kook staycation: Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott Hotel staycation that combined a one-night hotel stay and dinner. And customers loved it! Not only were the sales strong. The product also brought a whole bunch of new users to our platform. 

“Of course, a staycation is not a new concept, you can always book a hotel stay in your hometown,” says Carmen. “But before, you had to book a room first, then call the restaurant to book the table or call the spa to book a massage. By bundling the stay with experiences, we make the process a lot more convenient and the price more affordable. We’ve also partnered up with hotels to take it further and develop new offers and products just for Klook staycation guests."

Winning with innovation and creativity

If you know Klook mainly as the platform to book the best deal on theme park tickets, tours and airport transfer, you may be wondering how we pulled this off. Aren’t there tons of hotel booking platforms that would be uniquely positioned to capture the staycation opportunity?

“It’s true that before Covid, we focused on experiences. But we have a very strong Sales and Business Development team that built relationships with hotels quickly. Our Marketing team always has new ideas for promotions and can bring them to life in an instant. The staycation flash sales we did on Klook Live! were wildly popular and because it’s hosted on our own app, people can book and redeem codes right there while watching,” explains Carmen. (You heard it, if you want to bag the best deal for that staycation you’re eying, Klook Live! is the place!)

“We are winning with innovation and creativity. And we’re lucky to have a brilliant Technology team that makes it all possible. A great app solution and seamless booking brings in a lot of opportunities.” 

Klook Live! has been pivotal in taking our Marketing to another level. Here livestreaming a Dear Jane concert from the Hong Kong office 

Tell me how you staycay and I’ll tell you who you are

At Klook, we’re obsessed with data. It helps us come up with better products and make our customers experience even better, from booking to enjoying the activity. With a totally new product like staycations, we were able to uncover a gold mine of new insights! 

We found out that when Hongkongers staycay, they want to staycay well. Instagrammable hotel facilities like infinity pools and upscale dining options were the top two things people looked for when booking a stay. Despite securing a wide variety of price options, we found that the luxury offerings were more popular. 

“These are not our usual deal hunters. People who book staycations tend to be looking for lifestyle experiences and they’re willing to spend more to get the best experience. It’s an important segment that we’re looking at for entertainment, events and other verticals.”

Is staycation fatigue a thing? 

Over a year later, are Klook staycations still drawing in a crowd? Or did they share the fate of Zoom quizzes (ugh), making your own sourdough starter and whatever else we thought was cool in spring 2020? 

“Many people in Hong Kong have been on 3-4 staycations since the pandemic started,” says Carmen. “But the need to step away from work (or study) from home routine is still strong. What we’re predicting is a shift towards booking a room-only staycation and spending more time experiencing outdoor adventures in Hong Kong rather than the in-hotel experiences.”

Keeping it fresh with themed staycation packages. Here Monchhichi-themed stay at Auberge Discovery Bay

Whether staycations will become a timeless leisure product or simply a fun trend, they’ve had at least two lasting impacts. We acquired new users who now open their Klook app for the weekend and holiday planning. And we identified a new user persona so we can keep our new users coming back with products tailored just for them. 

What’s the next big thing to come from Klook? Stay tuned on LinkedIn, we’ve got a lot cooking!

Got exciting ideas for leisure and travel?

Join us!

Posted by Klook Careers

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