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Ready, steady, get Footloos

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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PHUKET: The multi-billion-baht Phuket tourism industry caters to adventurers and wellness seekers from across the globe, with a seemingly endless stream of tour companies offering a multitude of services. Now imagine if you could get all these services in a few clicks on a single platform. That, in short, is the idea behind Footloos, an online marketplace dedicated to an adventurous lifestyle, active travel, and wellness luxury on popular tropical island destinations in Asia.

Co-founders Neal Ayer and Sylvia Adrenalin came up with the concept late last year. Mr Ayer has a background in banking in Switzerland and Ms Adrenalin is a wellness consultant and green activist from Singapore.

Founded in January and launched in June after 6 months in development, Footloos marketplace is in the midst of establishing partnerships with over 500 businesses in seven locations across Thailand: Phuket, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan, Koh Tao, Koh Phi Phi, Koh Lanta and Koh Chang. And until Footloos launches later this month for travelers to make bookings, they welcome all interested businesses to join the Footloos movement.

Businesses (or hosts) can list their services free of charge, under multiple categories. Hosts are charged a 10-19 per cent commission for every booking made through the website (the commission dependent on the price of the listed service), in return for which Footloos offers them marketing exposure and handles their entire transactional flow, including bookings, payments, cancellations and refunds.

The technology also allows hosts to choose among different calendar types to manage live availability, view sales and analytic reports, track and accept payments directly to their chosen bank account, interact with travellers prior to service provision, and share listings on multiple media platforms. In addition, hosts will receive an SMS notification whenever a booking is made.

Interaction between hosts and travelers is encouraged through the Footloos secured messaging system.

Travellers can read reviews of different businesses, compare prices and services, and make bookings and online payments instantly.

The Footloos marketplace features 10 broad themes over 140 categories, including outdoor adventure guides, diving courses, sail charters, boat excursions, adrenaline sports, fitness, yoga, custom detox, anti-stress programs, culinary services, healing therapies, and beauty and spa treatments, to name a few.

“We will be breaking old habits and revolutionizing host experience by introducing paperless technology that will improve social standards of island communities as well as the environment, says Mr Ayer.

The business was listed in Singapore due to technological limitations in Thailand, the founders say.

The founders stress that they are passionate about the environment and creating a positive impact. They have committed to donate a percentage from each successful booking toward its own initiative known as the ‘Island Fund’ project to help local charities and social causes, including environmental preservation efforts.

“Wellness tourism to island destinations is a trending global movement and as healthy and active islanders ourselves, we witness and understand the fragility of island communities and the risks of losing their culture and environment due to rapid commercialization. It is time to give back,” says Ms Adrenalin.

They also encourage businesses that list with them to actively participate in green efforts, such as recycling and efficient waste management.

For more information, visit footloos.com or email hello@footloos.com.

— Sahar Aftab Paliwala

 

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Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

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