Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Online Travel

Indonesia’s Traveloka Lands $300 Million Funding

2 months ago

Indonesia’s leading online travel agency Traveloka will be receiving a fresh round of funding of $300 million from Indonesia Investment Authority — the newly-formed sovereign wealth fund of Indonesia, investment management agency — BlackRock, Allianz Global Investors, Orion Capital Asia and other global financial institutions.

The financing round is said to have attracted significant interest from a number of long-term capital providers, resulting in an oversubscribed transaction, according to an Indonesia Investment Authority release on Thursday.

A Skift article in June had mentioned that the online travel unicorn had been looking to raise over $200 million, having already raised a total of $1.2 billion in funding across six rounds.

The financing would allow Traveloka an opportunity to further strengthen its balance sheet and enable the online travel company to continue to focus on its core business while also building for the future, Ferry Unardi, CEO and co-founder of Traveloka, said.

The pandemic has heightened the expectation for digital products, Shirley Lesmana, chief marketing officer of Traveloka, had said while speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York last week.

With online travel agencies in Indonesia seeing their share of gross tourism booking increase from 24 percent pre-pandemic to 33 percent in 2021, the expectation is to reach 36 percent by 2024, said Ridha Wirakusumah, CEO of Indonesia Investment Authority.

With the pandemic having accelerated digital transformation, the financing would support Traveloka’s digital ecosystem growth in the travel sector while allowing the company to grow further, the release from Indonesia’s sovereign wealth fund stated.

“The financing aligns with Indonesia Investment Authority’s mission to create prosperity for Indonesia in the long term, by laying down the foundation for a sustainable digital ecosystem, including digital infrastructure, digital services and digital platforms — which will go a long way to drive economic recovery and growth,” Wirakusumah said.

Representatives from the financial institutions commended Traveloka’s resilience in navigating the Covid crisis and called the online travel company Indonesia’s national and regional champion and a key catalyst toward digitalization of travel and accommodation in the country and the region.

Tourism

Ukraine Tells Foreign Tourists to Stay Out, Visit After Victory

3 months ago

Ukraine has urged foreign tourists against visiting the war-torn country, at least for now. The State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine mentioned that the “once-safe country” can no longer guarantee safety to tourists.

The state agency typically works to promote and popularise Ukrainian tourism in domestic and foreign markets.  However, since February, the agency’s work programme has been drastically altered following the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Mariana Oleskiv, chairperson of the State Agency for Tourism Development of Ukraine, will be speaking at the Skift Global Forum in New York City next month.

“Ukraine is a beautiful country and we have a lot to show to tourists from all around the world. But so far there is no 100 percent safe place in our country,” a statement from the state agency read. 

With Ukrainians having learnt to live and work during the war, domestic tourism in the country is slowly recovering, the state agency said. “But we cannot invite foreign tourists to visit Ukraine now.”

The country wants foreign tourists to visit after its victory, “We’ll need your support to help the Ukrainian economy to recover and come to our country as tourists!” reads the note from the state agency.

In May, the European Travel Commission had invited the state agency for tourism development of Ukraine to join the organisation with a complimentary three-year membership. The membership would allow the state agency to help strategise the recovery of the Ukrainian travel sector once the war ends.

To exert pressure on the Russian government to end its invasion of Ukraine, Russia’s once-cozy neighbors — Estonia, Latvia and Finland — are now going tough on travel visas for Russian tourists, noted a recent Skift report.

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