KKday, a Taiwan-based online travel experiences platform, announced Thursday it will be aggressively expanding its footprint in Vietnam, and driving over $100 million in revenue for Vietnam’s tourism industry by 2023, as travel rebounds in Southeast Asia.

KKday said in a statement it will be focused on working with local merchants to digitize, launch marketing campaigns to capture both inbound and outbound tourism, and expand distribution channels to capitalize on the sharp travel rebound expected in Vietnam across key markets including Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Da Nang, and Phu Quoc.

During Covid-19, KKday’s Vietnam business grew 20 times and exceeded pre-Covid-19 levels largely driven by the growth of its domestic business. It expects revenues to continue growing as borders reopen and international travelers will return.

According to KKday, travel bookings in Vietnam have also surpassed pre-Covid levels. In June 2022, KKday’s gross merchandise value (GMV) surpassed pre-Covid levels.

“We believe that the tourism recovery in Vietnam will accelerate given pent-up demand, restrictions being lifted, and the increasing digitalization of travel operators locally. As more travelers are digital-first and traveling for longer periods in this new environment, we are committed to establishing our foothold in Vietnam to support the growth and digital transformation of the tourism industry in Vietnam,

“We believe our hyperlocal approach combined with our focus on innovation and operational excellence will continue to be the key drivers of our business,” said Pinky Lee, Managing Director of Southeast Asia of KKday.

In terms of traveler demand, KKday forecasts over 20 million trips will be taken both inbound and outbound from Vietnam by the end of 2023; in addition to Vietnam’s tourist numbers to increase by 50% y-o-y by the end of 2022.

To capitalize on this growth opportunity, KKday plans to triple its current team, hiring for business development for partner acquisition and marketing roles and is also lazer focused on supporting digitalization transformation of the tourism industry, helping local merchants go from offline to online.

“We are committed to working with our local merchants in Vietnam to digitize and expand their customer base locally and also globally. With the travel surge we are expecting and the return of international travelers, we look forward to partnering with these merchants on providing local and highly curated experiences for travelers and building out their distribution channels,” said Annie Nguyen, General Manager of KKday Vietnam.

According to the statement, there is a strong opportunity for digital transformation of the tourism industry in Vietnam with only 54 percent of travel activities and experiences booked online. During Covid-19, an increase of local activity providers have adopted rezio to help digitize and scale their businesses, and get access to manage their bookings on multiple online travel agents (OTAs).

Since 2022, KKday has onboarded over 1200 local travel operators to its platform in Vietnam. It has also tripled the number of activities and experiences from Vietnam with over 1,400 tours, experiences, and attractions during Covid-19 – and plans to continue to grow its experiences and activities offering by 100 percent in the next 12 months.

To increase its footprint and support in the digital transformation of Vietnam’s tourism industry, KKday has also recently signed MOUs with leading Vietnam partners.

For instance, SunWorld Holdings has just partnered with KKday in its digitization efforts for its recreation and amusement attractions including Ba Na Hills and several amusement parks.

Meanwhile, VinWonders, Vietnam’s largest recreation brand, has appointed KKday to become the first OTA API partner to distribute tickets in Vietnam and to international partners.

FLC Group, a leading airline and resort group in Vietnam, will also onboard experiences and activities packages on the KKday platform; while KKday will offer special incentives to FLC members.

BestPrice, one of the leading travel companies, will also collaborate with KKday to offer unique tours and packages for theme parks and key attractions to domestic and inbound travelers on the KKday platform.

The agreements are expected to support domestic and international visitors, especially visitors from Korea, Japan, and Southeast Asia. This will also help over 3,000 travel operators globally on KKday’s platform access experiences and activities offered by its new Vietnam partners.

This announcement follows KKday’s recent Series C+ round close in July to inject more funding in KKday’s Asia growth, hiring, and digital transformation of local merchants.

Founded in 2014, KKday is Asia’s leading travel experiences platform with millions of users and 12 offices across the Asia Pacific. Today, the platform offers more than 300,000 unique experiences in over 550 cities and 92 countries.

KKday aims to provide users with seamless access to endless lifestyle experiences, from local theme parks and top restaurants to staycations and multi-day hiking trips. It currently has over 700 employees in 12 offices across Asia including Hong Kong, Korea, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines, Mainland China, Taiwan, and Australia.

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