These days we don’t hesitate to book a flight or a last minute hostel online, but when it comes to booking an activity or adventure in Asia, the doubt starts to sink in. If you’re interested in taking the plunge with a dive center or strapping up and scaling cliffs with a rock climbing company, you want to make sure that you’re in good hands. How can you be sure that the safety standards are up to scratch, that the activity will correspond to what’s announced and that you are paying the regular & best price?
These are the problems that 34-year old French traveler, Florian, encountered when he was trying to plan his best friend’s bachelor party in Hong-Kong and wanted to be organized by booking some activities online in advance, such as a junk boat trip around Hong Kong. He couldn’t find a website with accurate info and a safe way to book online. So he ended up making some precarious arrangements that he wasn’t sure he could rely on. For fly-by-the-seat-of your-pants backpackers it may be easy to book some things on the day you turn up, but sometimes when you’re making plans for a group of people, or if you don’t want to waste your precious time during vacation, you need to be able to rely on supplier and book easily.
The guys found the perfect boat trip for a bacehelor’s party in the end!
Flo and some friends decided to source some reliable activity suppliers in Asia, to put them on an easy to use website, allowing Travellers to select and book easily and safely. The website is called eOasia and it is looking pretty cool to us! We caught up with Flo and the gang of original & travel passionate founders, to find out what the site is all about!
Testing out adventures for you! Beats a normal day at the office!
So how many original founders are there? Can you tell us a little bit about you guys and your background before you started eOasia?
We are originally 5 founders: I, William, Marco, Ben and Seb. We’ve all been living and traveling in Asia for many years in different places. Although we have different backgrounds, everybody makes one’s contribution to the project. From my side, ex-paratrooper in the French forces, I’ve been living in Asia for the past 10 years, including 5 years in China working in logistics and hospitality for major sports events.
William has been living in Hong Kong, India, Singapore, Cambodia, Vietnam and Indonesia for the past 8 years, and has a strong experience of the travel industry. Marco & Ben are living and working in Singapore but every other weekend, they head out to explore the region. Seb, is our IT guru who developed the website and is improving it every day! We have very different personality and background but we are all sharing a common passion for travel, experiences and cultural exchange.
So why is eOasia so unique?
When we decided to create eOasia, we wanted to showcase to travellers the best trips in Asia, that they could easily book online. How could we be sure the trips were the “best” if we hadn’t been there to meet the suppliers of the companies and tried out the trips ourselves? So, we decided to travel and handpick the activities we wanted to promote. Many of the trips that we choose are locally run and not already online and if they are, they generally don’t have the capacity to invest in a visible website.
Testing out a dive trip in the tropical waters of Indonesia
How can we trust your opinion? Do you make sure that you have trips that cater for all different kinds of people?
Travellers want to experience unique activities while traveling. Our main concern is to provide them a large panel of different activities: water activities, trekking, cultural tours, cycling, paragliding, cooking classes, workshops… so that there is something to match every taste! When we visit a destination for the first time, we check out everything that a traveller can do there. Then we select the best operator in each category by meeting them and checking out their facilities. We make sure the activity is worth it, fun, secure and well organized. It’s a tough job but someone has to do it!
From party animals to relaxing trips – there is something for everyone!
Personally, what are some of your favorite trips on the website? Which trips have you enjoyed ‘trialing’ the most?
Rafting in Bali was a definitely a lot of fun for me. All the members of the team were there and we had such a great time, working as a team powering through rapids – it was a nice team-building trip I have to say! In addition, trom my personal experience, I love diving in South Thailand, its marine life is amazing and the beaches so beautiful. You can read more about the stories behind the trips on our blog here.
A team building rafting trip in Bali!
So you pretty much have the best job in the world then? Are you hiring?
Well… indeed it is a lot of fun! We travel in beautiful destinations, try great activities and meet so many nice people every day. But it also can be a very intense job, and not every person is made to hit the road like that for long periods of time. And funny you should mention it… eOasia keeps growing day after day, yes, we are hiring. So readers, if you have a strong passion for travel and adventure and think you have what it takes to become part of our team, do not hesitate to send us your CV! Contact us through our web page here.
The guys even risk deadly spiders to test tours for travellers!
What are the most popular trips on the website?
I would say that wildlife tours, workshops and boat tours are the most popular trips on our website. Extreme sports, such as paragliding in Bali, are also very popular!
We have a very large catalogue in Indonesia (+650 offers) including an awesome selection in Bali (+500 offers). Our team has spent recently several months in different parts of Indonesia, so much more to come. Overall, we are present in 12 countries in Asia with over 1,400 offers.
Get off the beaten track with a bike tour in Bali!
So why should backpackers book? Why not just turn up?
There are loads of reasons why backpackers should book earlier in today’s Internet dominated world… The main reason is that by organizing your trip in advance you won’t lose out on any precious holiday time. As soon as you arrive you can grab a cocktail and relax, knowing that your trip is ready to begin without hesitation the next day.
Secondly, when you are choosing on a tour, how do you know the operator you have chosen is reliable? We have been there, and spent time checking out important aspects of their business, so travellers don’t need to give this a second thought. This is the best that the destination has to offer!
Some backpackers may think they can haggle and get cheaper prices on the spot. However, most of the time this just isn’t true – unless they plump for another operator and then the quality of the tour might be affected. We negotiate prices with the owners of the trip company so that we can offer discounts to travellers: we guarantee the best price and best trip. In summary, we spent a lot of time to save yours, allowing you to book easily great activities at the best price! It’s as simple as that.
How easy is it to book online?
It’s a simple, fast and secure online payment process – you can book your activity in a few minutes from wherever you are! Once your booking is confirmed, you will receive your voucher with all the details by email. It is the same system as booking a hotel room or a flight ticket online. And if you have any question, our team is very responsive!
What are your future goals for eOasia?
As Asia is a huge continent, we need to keep sourcing activities in many other destinations. Things are always changing and new adventure companies are sprouting up all of the time. In the spirit of travel and adventure, we want to keep exploring and keep finding you the best experiences that are on offer! Our list of trips will continue to grow as long as we can satisfy those adventure-hungry travellers! If they satisfied, every time a trip is planned we hope that they will think of eOasia every time they prepare and plan their holidays and travels.
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