As tourism continues to rise in Indonesia, with 7.6 million foreigners visiting last year according to government figures, the number of hotels has also grown.
The Central Statistics Agency (BPS) found there were nearly 1,500 star-rated hotels in the country last year. Tourists can be spoiled by all these options, but so many choices can also leave them baffled
Rajakamar.com, a domestic online hotel distributor, aims to simplify the process by allowing travelers to make online bookings for more than 1,300 hotels in Indonesia. At the end of May, it revamped its operations by launching a new site, which chief executive Scott Blume says is easier to navigate.
“Our old website has a loyal following already,” Blume said. “But there were things that we needed to improve.”
The old website had tabs and boxes in vibrant colors that Blume said often distracted visitors when they browsed the site. The new site, entirely in Indonesian, has a simpler look that makes navigation easier, with only two colors — green and yellow — on a white background, along with a semitransparent batik watermark.
“It’s our way of saying that we’re proud to be an Indonesian company … with Indonesian investors, Indonesian shareholders and Indonesian staff members,” Blume said of the batik designs. Rajakamar is owned by tour operators Dwidaya , Panorama and Smailing Tour.
After registering, Rajakamar members receive regular newsletters with details about the latest promotions and deals, which they can also learn about with an interactive tab on the website.
Booking is also easier now, Blume says.
“The search box now flows through the whole site,” he said. “You don’t have to go back to the home page to change your booking.”
After plugging in your nationality, destination and travel dates, you can now search by categories such as the star ratings and room prices.
Once you book, you can pay with a credit card or deduct the charge directly from your savings account through an online payment option by Bank BCA.
With the website launch, Blume also announced Rajakama’s new partnership with Tripadvisor.co.id, the Indonesian chapter of a global travel website that offers feedback on hotels, restaurants and attractions from travelers.
“For us, it’s an enormous credibility for a global partner like that to team up with the best online hotel distribution business in Indonesia,” Blume said.
From now on, he said, Rajakamar will prompt people that have made a booking on the website to write a short review of their hotel, which will be published on Tripadviser as well. Rajakamar’s staff writers also write articles on specific destinations, with tips and recommendations.
If you have any trouble finding or booking the right hotel, you can contact a 24-hour customer call center.
“Our customer service center is in Indonesia,” Blume said. “You’re going to be looked after by the people who not only speak the language very well, but also understand the location.”
In the next two years, we’re planning to increase our staff by 200 people,” he added. Rajakamar now has 300 staff members. “This shows our confidence in our market positioning and the Indonesian economy.”