Bonita Tour, Just the Ticket for a Good Business

Wednesday, 26 December 2012
Rather than being just a sub-agent for a tour and travel company, today Jefri Van Novices has his own tour and travel company and more than 100 business partners throughout Indonesia. A 2008 national finalist in the Mandiri Young Entrepreneur (WMM) competition, Jefri is a ceaseless innovator who never tires of coming up with new products and services to support the growth of his business.

“We have come up with many innovations for selling both tourism packages and Umrah and Hajj Plus packages. We also have a special product research and development department. We do all this to make sure that we continue to keep abreast of customer needs,” he explained. The results of his hard work have been impressive, with Bonita currently selling some 6,000 tickets per month, an increase of 20% compared with last year. Jefri says he expects to see growth of 20% next year.

According to Jefri, the tour and travel business in Indonesia is currently on an upward trajectory. Based on data from PT Angkasa Pura II, passenger numbers are increasing by 10% every year. In addition, the airline industry is aggressively adding new aircraft and routes on the back of the expansion of air travel from the middle and upper income brackets to all segments of society.

However, Jefri acknowledged that the competition in the tour and travel business was quite tight, and that only companies that provided premium service and unique add-ons could expect to survive. “For example, Bonita Tour has been focused from the beginning on customers who are mostly traders. Therefore, to meet the needs of these customers, we will be launching a Guangzhou-Shenzen-Hong Kong shopping tour package in 2013 so that traders who want to buy goods to China can also fit in some sightseeing,” he said.

Business development is also essential in order to thrive in the tour and travel industry. Jefri has long term dreams and targets to ensure the continued success of his business, including the establishment of his own airline, to be called Bonita Air. The first step he has taken to achieve this goal is to open branches and sub-agencies throughout Indonesia so that these can subsequently serve as sales offices for Bonita Air.

Opportunities for New Players
The intense competition in the tour and travel industry does not, however, mean that the market is saturated or offers no opportunities for newcomers. According to Jefri, the opportunity for new players to enter the business remains open as every entrepreneur has their own community and colleagues, who can be availed of as customers.

In addition, Jefri said that the tour and travel business was supported by a growing number of tourist destinations, and a long list of beautiful and exotic places in Indonesia. “Just look at the potential in Minangkabau, Bunaken, and Raja Ampat. In fact, Raja Ampat has outstanding potential to develop as a nature tourism destination,” explained Jefri, adding that the most popular tourist spots in Indonesia continued to be Bali, Lombok and Malang.

Jefri acknowledged that the tour and travel business is capital intensive and requires considerable expertise. Therefore, he suggested that new players should set up business as sub-agents first as this would provide them with experience and help them understand the intricacies of the industry. This would then equip them with what they needed to subsequently set themselves up as fully fledged tour and travel operators.

Aware of this potential market, Bonita Tour offers a range of business packages that can be selected according to need. Those busy working for an employer can start a side business as a Bomita mobile agent. With capital of only Rp 2.5 million, they can sell airline tickets, tour packages, Umrah and Hajj Plus packages and hotel vouchers.

Meanwhile, for those who want to set up a full-time business, Jefri offers his sub-agency packages 1 and 2, which require investments of Rp 45 million and Rp 70 million, respectively. The main advantage of these packages is that the partners can process bookings, and issue and print their own tickets. They also receive a full 100% commission (no administration fee), as well as support in the form of free training.

“At the outset, it did not occur to me to go down this collaborative road. But, when I attended WMM exhibitions organized by Bank Mandiri, it turned out that a lot of people were interested in this type of collaboration. Finally, I tried to develop feasible collaborative arrangements, and eventually came up with the three that we offer today,” explained Jefri.

He acknowledged that the WMM had played a huge role in the development of Bonita Tour. He said that since he joined WMM he had become much more confident in doing business, and that the program had given him the courage to open an outlet in Jakarta. That courage has obviously paid off, with the number of Bonita Tour partners constantly increasing throughout Indonesia.

Source : Kontan