News

eZee Technosys (eZee), a leading global hospitality company offering end-to-end integrated hospitality technology solutions and a Yanolja Cloud member company, is proud to be named as a 2023 Booking.com Premier Connectivity Partner. The ‘Premier’ designation is the top ranking in Booking.com’s program and a reflection of the eZee’s excellent performance, quality of service and commitment to the success of their customers.

To earn this status, Booking.com scores performance across four pillars: business value, property performance, connectivity solutions and engagement. eZee’s extensive experience in supporting a portfolio of top-performing properties have been key factors in earning this recognition. eZee’s feature-rich product offerings also enable properties to manage content with ease and deliver a high-quality connection for a reliable experience and streamline their operations with focus on the guest experience.

Within business value & property performance categories, eZee’s close collaboration with Booking.com focussed on enhancing property performance playing a role in this recognition.

“We are honored to have been named a Booking.com Connectivity Partner since 2017 and a Premier Connectivity Partner for the sixth consecutive year,” said Aeijaz Sodawala, CEO of eZee. “This recognition highlights our dedication to continually raise the bar on providing complete hospitality solutions.”

Reece Evans, Area Manager Connectivity Partnerships APAC, at Booking.com stated, “I am excited to see our valued connectivity partner eZee once again achieve Premier status in our program, recognising the continued investment in our partnership, our connection and their platform offering to deliver a seamless experience for accommodation partners.”

“eZee aims to lead the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure properties everywhere”, said Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja Cloud, parent company of eZee and a leading global provider of AI-based SaaS solutions for the hospitality and leisure industries . “Looking ahead, eZee remains dedicated to driving the hospitality industry forward by leveraging advanced technology and solutions that enhance guest satisfaction and drive business success.”

For more information about Booking’s Premier Connectivity program please visit the Connectivity Hub.

 

 

2023-07-18

News

– Yanolja Cloud sharing its SaaS solutions, travel and leisure expertise, and digital transformation strategies in Eastern Europe
– Expands strategic partnerships with local companies and bolsters technological collaboration

Yanolja Cloud, an AI-driven global SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions provider, is accelerating its SaaS solutions to hospitality companies and properties in Eastern Europe, through its participation in South Korean President Yoon Seok Yeol’s economic delegation to Poland.

Yanolja Cloud supports the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure properties through cloud-based software, improving operational efficiency for businesses while enhancing convenience for travelers. Yanolja Cloud intends to expand its suite of SaaS solutions, and increase its knowledge of Eastern European market needs through its participation in the Delegation.

Yanolja Cloud will seek opportunities to expand strategic partnerships with local businesses by sharing details on its solutions and vision for data-driven digital transformation. To kick-start this endeavor, Yanolja Cloud introduced its Property Management System (PMS), Revenue Manager (RM), and Channel Management System (CMS) to hotel and resort properties in Poland through a corporate briefing session.

Furthermore, Yanolja Cloud will collaborate with travel and leisure companies in Poland and Eastern Europe. Leveraging its globally recognized travel channeling solutions that boast an inventory of over one million travel products worldwide, Yanolja Cloud plans to strengthen cooperation with local platforms and both online and offline travel agencies. Additionally, Yanolja Cloud will utilize its position as a global inventory hub to supply the European market with Korean travel content, helping contribute to the growth of inbound travelers to Korea.

“As a global SaaS provider, Yanolja Cloud seeks to share our expertise as well as gain insights about different customer needs around the world,” said KC Chun, Head of the Cloud Solutions Business Group. He added, “Our aim is to expand our offerings in Eastern Europe and beyond, advancing our mission to lead the global digital transformation of the hospitality and leisure industries everywhere.”

This recent mission to Poland follows Yanolja’s participation in economic delegations during the South Korean President’s state visits to the UAE and Vietnam. Through these visits, Yanolja Cloud has successfully expanded its strategic partnerships with leading local companies, deepening its understanding in each region and driving innovation.

 

 

2023-07-14

News

yanolja cloud at Vietnam

Yanolja Cloud recently joined the Economic Mission to Vietnam led by South Korean President Yoon Seok Yeol which will allow the expansion of its business and offerings in the country. During the visit, Yanolja Cloud shared the stage and formed partnerships with local Vietnamese businesses, including VNTravel, DiHotel, and Fusion Hotel Group. These partnerships aim to accelerate the digital transformation of the travel industry, improve operational efficiency for accommodations, and promote Korean Travel content throughout Southeast Asia.

photo with VnTravel
△Andrew Kim with officials from VnTravel

One of the key partnerships formed by Yanolja Cloud is with VNTravel, Vietnam’s leading travel technology company. Building on their existing collaboration, Yanolja Cloud and VNTravel are focused on developing state-of-the-art technology solutions to enhance travel experiences and drive digital transformation within Vietnam and the Korea-Vietnam corridor.

Yanolja Cloud has also signed strategic memorandums of understanding with DiHotel and Fusion Hotel Group. Through these partnerships, Yanolja Cloud aims to streamline operations for Vietnamese accommodations by providing its core hospitality solutions, including the Booking Engine (BE), Channel Manager (CM), and Revenue Management (RM) solutions. The company plans to introduce localized, integrated solutions that empower accommodation property owners with greater control and data-backed insights. Additionally, by becoming a strategic technology partner to Fusion Hotel Group, Yanolja Cloud plans to help optimize operational efficiencies and elevate the guest experience across the group’s portfolio.

With a strong presence in Vietnam and consistent growth in the region, Yanolja Cloud is continuing to establish itself as a global leader in the hospitality solutions space. Currently, the company provides cloud-based solutions to over 100 hotel operators in Vietnam and is hoping the recent partnerships will accelerate further growth.

 

Korea_Vietnam-MOU-Signing-Ceremony_DiHotels
△Andrew Kim and DiHotel officials are posing together

Andrew Kim, Senior Director of Strategic Partnerships for Yanolja Cloud, expressed excitement about the strategic partnerships formed during the visit, since they hold great potential for increased tourism, knowledge exchange, and enhanced travel experiences. Kim emphasized Yanolja Cloud’s dedication to bringing cutting-edge cloud-based solutions and catalyzing the digital transformation of the hospitality market, not only in Vietnam, but throughout Southeast Asia and beyond.

Yanolja Cloud’s active participation in important economic missions demonstrates its commitment to leading digital transformation globally. In addition to the recent Vietnam visit, earlier this year the company joined a presidential economic delegation to the Middle East. We look forward to seeing the innovations born out of these and future collaborations.

 

2023-07-04

News

yanolja cloud hotel show1

Yanolja Cloud member companies, Yanolja Cloud Korea, SanhaIT, and Yanolja F&B participated in the Korea Hotel Show 2023, held over 3 days from June 14th to 16th at COEX in Seoul, South Korea. The show is a major opportunity to highlight innovations that can be used by Korea’s hospitality industry to improve their business.
The Korea Hotel Show 2023, an event that integrates exhibitions and specialized conferences focused on the hotel, accommodation, and F&B industries, provided an opportunity for visitors to explore the latest trends in smart hotel, ESG, and F&B related hospitality startups. Among the over 70 participating companies, more than 2,000 visitors showed a great amount of interest in Yanolja Cloud’s innovative solutions. These solutions are currently targeting the Korean market but will be considered for broader availability in the future.

Now, let’s delve into some of the exciting highlights from Yanolja Cloud’s highly popular exhibition.

 

Y KIOSK ZONE

yanolja cloud hotel show2The first thing that caught everyone’s eye upon entering the space was the Y KIOSK (article), a joint collaboration between Samsung Electronics and Yanolja Cloud launched in June. Its sleek and modern design, intuitive user interface, and upgraded cloud-based features, highlighted the care and attention to detail Yanolja Cloud took to research and develop a tailored solution specifically for the hospitality industry. Of particular interest to the hoteliers and property owners was the kiosk’s ability to perform real-time software upgrades and support remote maintenance management which greatly reduces the cost of maintaining the latest version software. Furthermore, Y KIOSK provides heightened security for hotels with features such as real-time integration of booking data across online and offline channels, deep learning-based optical character recognition (OCR) technology, and enhanced identity authentication utilizing pinhole camera (CCTV) technology.

Are you curious to find out the ways in which the upgraded Y KIOSK and solutions can help transform your business? Visit our website or contact us using the button below for more details.

 

WINGS SMART STAY ZONE

yanolja cloud hotel show3

For hotels that do not operate a front desk or have plans to provide contactless services, WINGS Smart Stay is the perfect solution. In this section of the exhibition, visitors had the opportunity to experience firsthand the convenience of mobile check-in, room entry, and even direct control of room conditions through IoT technology. Seamlessly integrated with SanhaIT’s Property Management System (PMS), WINGS Smart Stay eliminates the need for manual tasks and ensures a streamlined operation for hoteliers, saving precious time for employees to focus on the important things. Guests, on the other hand, benefit from a myriad of services accessible through their own mobile device, including room lighting control, room service, and mobile key access, enhancing the overall guest experience. In addition to its user-friendly features, WINGS Smart Stay prioritizes security. The dynamic QR code used for mobile keys changes with each use and cannot be captured or reused, providing much needed peace of mind for guests.

yanolja cloud hotel show4

Looking forward to transforming your business with WINGS Smart Stay? Click on the button below for more information.

 

YANOLJA F&B SOLUTION

yanolja cloud hotel show5

For customers operating F&B businesses, a solution that manages waitlists and encourages repeat visits is essential. Yanolja F&B Solution’s NowWaiting provides the necessary tools to manage waitlists and alert customers when it is their turn. The solution offers an administrator function to view the entire and notify customers from the queue. The administrator dashboard also allows restaurants to easily monitor the waitlist in real-time and significantly reduces the burden of managing queues during busy peak hours. In addition to the management solution, Yanolja F&B Solutions offers Dodo Point for store visitors. Dodo Point collects and stores customer information by offering reward points to customers who visit a merchant store, and uses this information to engage customers with store updates, coupons, and events. Visitors at the exhibition had the opportunity to experience the solutions firsthand as well as engage with existing Yanolja F&B customers who resolved their long-standing concerns through the solutions.
Curious to find out how Yanolja Cloud’s F&B easy and convenient solutions can help your business thrive? Click on Contact Us below for more information. .

 

Helping your business thrive

Visitors’ maintained their interest in Yanolja Cloud and its member companies throughout the event, with a range of attractions and activiitess. From the HOUND BRAND HOTEL, Yanolja Cloud’s hotel brand, to engaging booth tours and business card lucky draws, there was no shortage of entertainment. The Korea Hotel Show was a significant and meaningful experience, with many visitors resonating with Yanolja Cloud’s mission to create technology that makes it easier for hospitality and leisure properties to transform their business and delight their guests. Weather you’re a Korean hospitality businesses looking to deploy these innovations, or operating in other countries and interested in future innovations like this, feel free to contact us to learn more.

2023-06-20

News

Y KIOSK

– Yanolja Cloud and Samsung Electronics target the global hospitality market with first collaborative product
– Aims to drive operational and resource efficiency in the global hospitality sector with its innovative technologies

Yanolja Cloud, an AI-based cloud solution (SaaS) company, is making significant strides in its global business expansion with the introduction of ‘Y KIOSK,’ a cutting-edge solution tailored for the global hospitality market. Co-led by Jongyoon Kim and Junyoung Lee, the company has been actively acquiring global B2B solution companies to bolster its growth.

Yanolja Cloud unveiled the ‘Y KIOSK’ as its flagship collaborative product developed in collaboration with Samsung Electronics. Leveraging Yanolja Cloud’s solution expertise and Samsung Electronics’ advanced kiosk technology, this innovative kiosk solution comes as part of the ongoing B2B business agreement between Yanolja Cloud and Samsung Electronics to digitally transform the hospitality industry and provide innovative solutions that converge property solutions and smart appliances.

The newly launched cloud-based solution takes a tailored approach, optimizing the solution according to the individual characteristics and operational environment of each property. Notably, property owners will benefit from real-time software upgrades and remote maintenance and management capabilities, ensuring cost-effective access to the latest version of the solution.

Furthermore, the kiosk supports real-time synchronization of reservation statuses from various online and offline booking channels, allowing properties to achieve a more systematic and efficient approach to customer management and on-site staff operation. Walk-in customers will also be able to enjoy convenient contactless check-in/check-out experiences regardless of their arrival time or pre-booking status.

Moreover, the new kiosk incorporates enhanced identification verification capabilities which utilize deep learning-based optical character recognition (OCR) technology and pinhole cameras (CCTV) to ensure a safe and secure guest experience. Property owners will have the option of choosing between sleek stand-alone and table-top models, depending on the operational requirements of their establishments.

Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja Cloud, expressed his enthusiasm for the new launch, “By combining Yanolja Cloud’s unique hospitality solutions with Samsung Electronics’ technological expertise, we are proud to offer a smart kiosk optimized for the global market.” He further added, “Leveraging our diverse strengths, we aim to enhance the operational and resource efficiency of both domestic and global small to medium-sized business and boutique hotels, which often face challenges providing high-quality front-end services with limited resources.”

Meanwhile, Yanolja Cloud will participate in the “2023 Korea Hotel Show,” the largest hotel industry exhibition in Korea, which will be held from June 14 to 16 at COEX in Gangnam, together with Yanolja Cloud member companies, SanhaIT and Yanolja F&B Solution. The exhibition will provide an opportunity for industry professionals and the general public to explore and experience the new ‘Y KIOSK’ as well as the transformative potential of a travel environment empowered by hospitality solutions.

2023-06-07

News

Yanolja Cloud

– Brings Yanolja Cloud extensive travel inventory of over 1 million products from 200 countries

– Reinforces Yanolja Cloud’s commitment to leading global digital transformation and enhancing the travel experience

 

Yanolja Cloud, a leading global provider of AI-based SaaS solutions for the hospitality and leisure industries, has announced the acquisition of Go Global Travel (GGT), a B2B travel technology company, which distributes its inventory of more than 1 million hotels and other travel products from 200 countries to over 20,000 client partners. Through this acquisition, Yanolja Cloud has significantly expanded its travel and hospitality inventory which will further enhance its solution offerings and differentiation. 

Founded in Israel in 2000, GGT is a top-tier global travel solutions company that distributes travel products including hotel and resort rooms, airline tickets, and car rentals. GGT distributes these products primarily in North America and Europe through over 50,000 direct contracts, and over 10,000 sales channels.

The acquisition of GGT from AMI Opportunities Fund which is advised by Apax Partners, a leading global private equity advisory firm, will give Yanolja Cloud unparalleled distribution capabilities, making it a one-of-a-kind company allowing properties of all types, sizes, and budget ranges – and in every corner of the world – to digitize property operations. The acquisition is anticipated to result in the development of new, innovative technologies leveraging a broad range of data from across Yanolja Cloud member companies to allow for greater personalization and AI-based automation. 

The acquisition is expected to produce multiple benefits for new and existing Yanolja Cloud and GGT customers, including greater global reach for businesses, and more choice and personalization for travelers. GGT partner properties and other travel-related services will be made available through Yanolja’s B2C platform businesses Yanolja and Interpark (South Korea’s leading travel and leisure super apps). Additionally, Yanolja Cloud aims to distribute its strong Asian inventory through GGT platform channels and online and offline travel agencies worldwide, including North America, Europe, and the Middle East. Together, this newly combined inventory from across Yanolja Cloud and GGT, now world-leading in scale, can be packaged together and offered to new channels.

The acquisition also supports Yanolja Cloud’s mission to create technology to make it easier for hospitality and leisure properties to transform their business and delight their guests by accelerating the adoption of its integrated solutions to properties around the world. The company expects it will be able to begin expanding global sales by providing advanced hospitality solutions that can be efficiently integrated with existing customer solutions. Yanolja Cloud intends to leverage GGT’s 20 overseas branches as bases for global business expansion, strengthening the global solution sales and customer service networks of Yanolja Cloud member companies including eZee and Innsoft. 

This acquisition also adds to Yanolja Cloud’s reputation as a leading provider of global channeling solutions (Channel Management Systems). It currently provides channeling solution technology enabling travel agencies and platform businesses to sell various travel products without the need to directly secure rights for the inventory, resulting in greater distribution and decision making for hospitality providers. This year, Yanolja Cloud member company eZee Technosys (eZee) recently earned status as a Booking.com Premier Connectivity Partner and Expedia Elite Connectivity Partner. With its acquisition of GGT, Yanolja Cloud and its member companies will further enhance their channel distribution capabilities.

Kim Jong-yoon, co-CEO of Yanolja Cloud, expressed enthusiasm for the acquisition: “Yanolja Cloud is made up of member companies from around the world, all with a different history and expertise. We welcome Go Global Travel as our latest member company which will help us further fulfill our vision of leading the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure properties everywhere. I look forward to seeing the future innovation that will be born from this acquisition.”

Ophir Ben-Ezra, Chairman of Go Global Travel added, “I am so proud of what Go Global Travel and its employees around the world have achieved since its founding over 20 years ago. I look forward to continuing to provide the same high-level of products and service to our client partners while being able to offer new inventory as well as innovative solutions from across Yanolja Cloud, including Booking Engines, Property and Revenue Management Software and more.”

Since its founding in 2019 as a subsidiary of Yanolja, Yanolja Cloud has achieved tremendous growth, increasing its sales from KRW 1 billion to KRW 100 billion within just three years (as of 2022). The Company has gone from 39,000 global cloud-based solutions (SaaS) licenses in 2019 to over 80,000 today and has been rapidly expanding its global business through strategic acquisitions, as well as comprehensive partnerships with renowned travel operators like Agoda and Amadeus.

2023-05-15

News

gustoX
  • Gusto X’s K-Market Festival showcases popular K-Food and K-Content products from SMEs, draws 20,000 local and tourist visitors over five days 
  • Gusto X to support SMEs entry into overseas markets with global F&B industry expertise and local infrastructure based solutions

 

Gusto X, a member company of Yanolja Cloud, has successfully held the ‘K-Market Festival’ to support the overseas expansion of small and medium-sized businesses in Korea. 

The event, which was held in collaboration with the flea market brand 9Wol Market, took place at Market Blue at Tanglin Mall located in Orchard Road, Singapore from April 19th to 23rd. The festival attracted around 20,000 locals and tourists who were keen to experience Gusto X’s Korean food-based dining options and various K-content products introduced by 30 Korean small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). 

Following the success of the event, Gusto X plans to make it a regular festival to help Korean SMEs expand customer touchpoints as well as support their smooth entry into overseas markets. Additionally, Gusto X intends to utilize its expertise in the global food and beverage (F&B) industry by launching a consulting program to assist companies looking to enter overseas markets and further strengthen its cooperative network with Korean SMEs.

Gusto X has been leading the globalization of K-food through the introduction of Market Blue, an innovative Korean food-based select-dining hall that integrates foodtech solutions in Singapore. Leveraging its expertise in global business operations and experience with overseas on and offline infrastructure, including local logistics networks and shared kitchens, Gusto X is committed to becoming a platform that facilitates the expansion of Korean F&B businesses into overseas markets.

An official from Gusto X commented, “The numerous visits from our customers highlight the global popularity of K-content, and we look forward to creating more opportunities to share authentic Korean content with a broader audience. Gusto X will continue its support for Korean F&B businesses that are aiming to expand their business in overseas markets.”

2023-04-28

News

 

Yanolja Cloud was invited as a panel speaker and a co-moderator at the Hospitality Vietnam Conference 2023, held at Caravelle Saigon in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam on April 26-27th.

A cloud-based SaaS company, Yanolja Cloud provides operational solutions in more than 60 languages, in 170+ countries around the world. Yanolja Cloud is leading the digital transformation of the hospitality and leisure industries and building a robust cloud solution ecosystem that meets the unique needs of its diverse customers. Leveraging its SaaS model, which enables quick and efficient installation and operation, Yanolja Cloud is continuously expanding its customer base and providing locally optimized solutions for businesses around the world together with global Yanolja Cloud member companies.

 

The Hospitality Vietnam Conference (HVC) has been an annual gathering of hotel owners, developers, investors and senior executives for the hospitality and leisure industries for six years. The conference provides an extensive platform for industry professionals to exchange ideas and share their insights on industry trends, from hotel and resort investment, design, and project development to technology deployment, marketing, distribution, and business development. This year’s HVC2023, held over two days on April 26th and 27th, focused on two themes: the Hotel Investment & Development Summit and the Hotel Revenue Summit. In this article, we will take a closer look at the panel discussion on the 27th in which Christine Tan, Yanolja Cloud (formed from Yanolja, Korea’s leading travel platform) ASEAN Commercial Director, shared her valuable insight as a member of the panel.

 

Discussion Intro

Christine Tan took part in the discussion panel of hospitality and leisure industry experts to share her industry expertise on the challenges facing hotels as well as her valuable insight on omni-channel distribution.

The discussion was divided into four parts, with Norbert Vas, COO at Archipelago Indochina, and Bernard Quek, Founder & CEO at Global Hospitality Solutions Pte. Ltd., joining Christine as panel members.

<The Distribution Mix: Dissecting Trends and Challenges in Omni-channel Distribution>

  • Part 1: Current State of Play
  • Part 2: Trends To Watch in Hospitality Distribution 
  • Part 3: Challenges Facing Hoteliers Like You in the Audience and How to Address Them
  • Part 4: Opportunities that You Can Seize in this dynamic, Changing environment.

 

Insights: What we shared

Yanolja Cloud
▲ Yanolja Cloud ASEAN Commercial Director Christine Tan speaking at the panel discussion.

During the panel discussion, the speakers agreed on the importance of an omni-channel distribution strategy in light of the expected growth in online sales, projected to reach 81% of hotel revenue by 2027(Satista). Christine Tan shared her insights on the current trend. “In recent years, many hotels have been actively embracing direct booking to diversify their sales channels and take control of their customer data as first-party owners. However, this does not mean that Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) will lose their dominance in the industry,” Christine remarked. She emphasized that hotels should prioritize the adoption of innovative technologies that enhance operational efficiency and elevate customer experiences, rather than focusing solely on overhauling their sales channels.

The discussion also touched on the importance of technology trends and their impact on the industry. AI, machine learning, and big data are already being utilized in various forms such as PMS, Revenue Management, and Dynamic Pricing. Christine explained the role of technology in enhancing operations and customer satisfaction in the increasingly digital customer journey, stating, “As the customer journey moves more and more online, hotels are deploying mobile systems and implementing solutions to meaningfully engage with the guest journey.” Bernard Quek added, “These technologies have also enabled properties to use data-based CRM marketing to strengthen customer satisfaction and loyalty, ultimately leading to the growth of direct bookings.”

Throughout the panel discussion, the speakers also offered recommendations and tips for businesses to grow in the future. Norbert Vas emphasized the importance of online distribution in Vietnam’s travel market, stating, “Vietnam’s travel market is still centered on providers, with little understanding of online distribution, but we need to know that this is a tremendous opportunity cost incurred.” In response, Christine recommended, “Invest in an excellent website, use hotel management software that gives you a clear a complete view and management of your distribution channels,” to minimize opportunity cost and improve profitability.

All panel members underscored that technology is not merely a tool to replace human resources. They emphasized that despite the dynamic and evolving market, customers still value the human touch, and skilled staff are essential for delivering personalized and sophisticated services. In light of this, Christine Tan proposed a balanced approach, stating, “It is critical for hotels to strike a balance between leveraging technology to enhance the guest experience and investing in talent development and retention to ensure high-quality service delivery.” 

 

Next step for the growth

Having heard the insights from hospitality industry experts during the panel discussion, what will be your next step to improve your business? We will wrap up this article with Christine’s closing remarks. 

“Build a roadmap if you haven’t made one. Use technology to maximize your online distribution and build on your direct channels. Come talk to me if you need help.”

Yanolja Cloud creates technology that makes it easier for hospitality and leisure properties to transform their business and delight their guests. If you are looking for solutions to improve operational efficiency and drive sales growth, Yanolja Cloud offers customized solutions to meet your business needs. We’d love to hear from you – feel free to reach out to us at any time.

2023-04-28

News

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Interview: CMO David Solomito (by WiT)

Name
Yanolja Cloud
Date
2023-04-24 9:03:21
Yanolja Cloud

“It’s not unlike spreading of Korean culture that’s going round the world,” says new marketing chief Solomito

Just as South Korea has given the world K-pop and K-drama, Yanolja Cloud, which started as part of Yanolja, the country’s leading travel app, wants to bring its brand of K-tech to transform the hospitality and leisure industry.

 

Since 2019, after a fund raise of US$1,7 billion from Softbank and other investors such as Booking Holdings, Yanolja Cloud, which is positioning itself as a global provider of AI-based SaaS solutions for the hospitality and leisure industries, has been making strategic acquisitions and investments around the world.

It is for this exciting challenge of scaling a South Korean brand into a global giant that lured David Solomito from Amazon Web Services (where he was head of global marketing, travel & hospitality for two years before taking on a broader management role there) to become its global chief marketing officer in December 2022.

Solomito, who has also worked at KAYAK and the NBA, said, “I became aware of Yanolja Cloud when it was highlighted as a technologically-advanced customer building on AWS. The fact that it started as part of Yanolja, the number one travel platform in Korea, means it has access to lots of customer insights and relationships, so I thought it’d be an exciting challenge with lots of opportunities to make an impact.”

“It’s not unlike spreading of Korean culture that’s going around the world – from food like bibimbap to music like BTS – in fact, there was a K-pop concert this weekend in New York and it was packed – and shows like Squid Game. There’s lots of interest in Korean culture and I’m excited to help Yanolja Cloud be the next export.”

 

Taking on the US market through Innsoft

Its latest acquisition was Innsoft to secure a foothold in the US market and while Solomito acknowledges the challenges of penetrating North America – some might say that North America is as impenetrable to Asian brands as China and Korea are to Western brands, he said, “Our strength is our diversity – a global software-as-a-service company for the hospitality and leisure industries made up of different companies around the world which are specialised in their areas and markets. So we have a breadth of solutions that we can offer to different markets to answer specific needs.”

The Innsoft acquisition was clearly made for its customer base, with Solomito saying, “Innsoft is a 30+-year-old company with a loyal following and it gives us an opportunity to help their customers better use technology to transform their business. Of course, it’s early days in the US, and it will take time, but we have a few unique assets we can deploy.”

Solomito said that in 2019, Yanolja Cloud had 39,000 solution licences and that has grown to the current 80,000+ solution licenses in 170+ countries, in more than 60 languages.

It has also been a strong engine of growth for the parent company, Yanolja, which reported consolidated revenue of KRW 604.5 billion in 2022, an 83% increase from KRW 330.2 billion in 2021.

 

“Only 10% of hospitality is digitised” – huge potential, huge challenges

Said the company at the time of the release of the financial results, “Since its establishment in 2020, Yanolja Cloud has grown 92 times in 2 years (based on simple sum of sales), and has grown seven times in 2022 compared to 2021, achieving sales of KRW 114.6 billion. Considering the potential of the global market where Yanolja Cloud operates, the goal is to grow more than 10 times in the mid-term to become a leading global cloud solution company.”

Said Solomito, “We want to create technology for hospitality companies to achieve transformation. Sometimes we build it ourselves from scratch, sometimes we bring existing tech offered by one company in one region to another, sometimes it may make sense for an acquisition.”

Bold ambitions such as these come with huge challenges. It is trying to transform a segment of the market that is notoriously fragmented with low adoption of technology and different specifications needed for each market – but therein lies the growth opportunity.

Solomito observed that it has been estimated that only 10% of the hospitality industry is digitsed. “There’s so much room for growth. Of course, it’s complex and it takes time to put the pieces together and it’s been slower than we wish at times, but we are working hard to close the gap and offer a holistic offering to customers.”

With its headquarters in Singapore, one key region identified for expansion is South-east Asia. Its acquisition of Zen Rooms in 2018 seems to have petered out and now it’s serving the market with solutions from eZee, the Indian hospitality tech company it acquired in 2019, and Sanha IT. “We have teams in Thailand and Indonesia to spread the solutions to target local customers including SMEs and premium hotel chains.”

Its eZee acquisition is paying off, said Solomito, with the company recently recognized by Expedia for achieving elite connectivity status and Booking.com for premier connectivity. “To be recognized by these two leading OTAs is a huge achievement and Yanolja Cloud can learn a lot from the eZee team.”

With all the acquisitions it has made, one key lesson learnt has been to “think globally, act locally”.

“You got to have a global view on things – like what are the trends, which direction are customers going – and act locally – different customers have different needs. It’s not like selling soda.

“At the end of the day, across hospitality, everyone is looking for similar things – to run their business more efficiently and delight customers. Sometimes people have a tendency to complicate the tech – what it does, how it does it  – but what’s important is to explain the business impact of the solution and understand the local nuances. Keep it simple.”

With such an array of solutions, Solomito said among its top in-demand solutions are its PMS, revenue management and booking engine.

“Yanolja started with small motels and so has full understanding of how technology has democratized the landscape for small properties – both in PMS systems and revenue management. It used to be harder for smaller hotels to deploy revenue management but now software makes it possible for everyone to have access to the same tech.”

And of course, there’s a huge focus on AI with “lots of projects going on”, said Solomito. “Most aspects of Yanolja Cloud will be touched by it and one of the most interesting applications will be in revenue management where there will be ways to predict future demand that weren’t possible before.”

 

Back home, Yanolja superapp sees rebound in South Korean travel

A key strength of Yanolja Cloud too is its link to the Yanolja superapp in South Korea, which has 18m monthly users and over 50m downloads. Although it positions itself independently from the app, it is undeniable that for some customers, this pipeline to customers in the second largest outbound market in Asia Pacific must be an attractive proposition.

Said Solomito, “It is definitely an advantage. However Yanolja Cloud was set up as a separate entity because of the need for a dedicated focus to the business.”

The South Korean outbound market is rebounding healthily. Yanolja saw a 2,900% increase in bookings and 2,259% increase in transaction value year on year between January and April 2023.

The popular domestic destinations this summer (June-August) are Jeju, Gangwon, Seoul, Busan and Gyeonggi respectively while the most popular overseas destinations are Japan, Vietnam, Guam, Singapore and the Philippines, in that order.

“We have benefitted from the re-opening of travel, but what makes us most bullish is that this is an industry that has doubled every 15 years and the future of travel demand is bright.”

On a lighter note, Solomito said, as a marketer, he’d be pleased if “we could  get the global audience to pronounce Yanolja properly (pronounced: Ya-nol-Ja). It’s not that hard after you say it twice — and if you can say Samsung and Hyundai, you should be able to say Yanolja.”

Looks like Yanolja Cloud is ready to teach the world to say, “Hey, let’s play”, in more than 60 languages, and counting.

 

This article is an excerpt from an article by WiT. Please refer to the source link for the original article. (Note: The photo accompanying this article has been modified from its original version. )

Yeoh Shiew Hoon (2023, May 8). YANOLJA CLOUD WANTS TO BRING K-TECH TO THE HOSPITALITY AND LEISURE WORLD. Wit. Retrieved from https://www.webintravel.com/yanolja-cloud-wants-to-bring-k-tech-to-the-hospitality-and-leisure-world/

2023-04-24

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Interview: CEO Jong Yoon Kim (by Future Travel)

Name
Yanolja Cloud
Date
2023-04-24 8:26:35

Get ready for an exclusive interview with Jong Yoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja Cloud, as we take a deep dive into the world of Yanolja and Yanolja Cloud. Discover how they evolved from an OTA to a super-app, overcame challenges to achieve unicorn status, and balance customer needs with those of investors and stakeholders. We’ll also delve into how Yanolja is adapting to the changing travel industry and prioritizing customer data privacy and security. Join us for a behind-the-scenes chat at one of the world’s fastest-growing travel tech companies!

Can you describe the evolution of Yanolja from an OTA to a super-app. Has this impacted or changed your business strategy over time?

Yanolja is the world’s fastest growing global travel platform and travel tech company. It is a one-stop shop for the B2B2C value chain of travel and is leading the digital transformation of the global travel industry. Through its portfolio of market-leading travel super apps, including Yanolja, Interpark, Tripple, and DailyHotel, the company provides a full range of travel services including accommodation, leisure, and transportation.

Born out of Yanolja was Yanolja Cloud, our AI-based SaaS (software-as-a-service) business focused on the hospitality and leisure industries. It was created to fill a need we saw in the market for technological solutions for properties. Yanolja Cloud is helping businesses within accommodations, food and beverage, residences, golf and other leisure facilities undergo digital transformation by offering a full suite of solutions. This includes those for efficiently managing properties, distribution solutions for inventory sales and management, an IoT Hub that provides automation connecting all hardware, and AI services based on an integrated data lake of Yanolja Cloud. 

The number of Yanolja Cloud’s global solution licenses has grown rapidly from 39,000 in 2019 to more than 80,000 today. With a presence in 170+ countries, in more than 60 languages, Yanolja Cloud enables businesses to adopt the solution that best meets their needs across its growing portfolio of companies, which includes Yanolja Cloud Korea, eZee Technosys and SanhaIT. Last year, Yanolja Cloud’s sales were up 225% from the previous year and its portion of Yanolja’s total sales rose to 18.11%.

While both Yanolja and Yanolja Cloud operate in the hospitality and leisure space, Yanolja Cloud has a different mission – a mission to create technology that makes it easier for hospitality and leisure properties to transform their business and delight their guests. That’s what I’m now focused on as the CEO of Yanolja Cloud, to help the company achieve that mission. 

What has been the most influential change in the travel sector for Yanolja? And how have you adapted?

Like most companies in the travel sector, COVID was a once in a generational event and the most influential change for Yanolja. Yanolja performed strongly throughout COVID and is excited to see travel rebounding throughout the world. During COVID’s peak, we saw a demand spike for our b2b solutions business as properties looked to increase contactless services and cut costs. 

COVID accelerated change in the industry at an incredible rate. Innovations that would have taken decades, happened in months. And now that the hospitality and leisure industries are forever changed, Yanolja Cloud is continuing to evolve its services to help properties everywhere transform through the digitization of their entire business including operations, products, services, and customer interactions.

Can you discuss any challenges you have faced in scaling your business to unicorn status, and how you have overcome them?

In order to become a unicorn company (corporate value of $1B or more), you must have the potential to grow into a decacorn company (enterprise value of $10B or more). That means it must lead future industry disruption to achieve sustainable growth. As Korea is a country with an annual travel & hospitality market size of 50 trillion won, which is the 5th largest in the world, Yanolja has enough room to grow for the time being with its OTA platform business specialized in the domestic travel market. However, the first challenge was that Yanolja had to grow into a top-tier global tech company in order to prove that being a unicorn was just the beginning and that it will be a sustainable company up to Hexacon (corporate value of more than $100B) in the future. 

The second challenge is evolving into a forward-looking business model. As it is difficult to innovate and upgrade the market with the existing OTA business, Yanolja is no longer just an OTA, a business model that relies on intermediaries, but a global data platform that can directly connect customers and suppliers. 

Adaptation to the rapid progress of digital technologies was the third challenge. Despite the rapid emergence of new AI and digital technologies such as Chat GPT, existing travel companies were more focused on business rather than R&D. Therefore, it was necessary to prove that Yanolja is a global tech company and to make an R&D-oriented company grow. Currently, we are developing an AI-based SaaS solution business in 170 countries around the world through Yanolja Cloud, which is becoming a leading company in its own right and delivering high-speed growth.

How does Yanolja approach customer data privacy and security, especially given the increasing importance of data protection regulations worldwide?

Yanolja takes customer data protection seriously and conducts customer data privacy and protection activities based on international standards. It also establishes and applies compliance standards in accordance with laws and regulations in each country to support its global business. In particular, Yanolja establishes and operates a separate and independent privacy zone infrastructure to process customer personal information to prevent external threats from occurring at the source and to provide a complete internal control environment. Yanolja’s information protection activities are validated once a year through the Information Security Management System (ISMS), which is certified by a national organization.

How do you balance your customers’ needs with those of your investors and stakeholders?

At the end of the day, all parties will be satisfied if we put the needs of customers first and innovate on their behalf. By listening to what customers need, and developing technology solutions that meet those needs, the customers will be happy and want to continue to use our products, which will in turn keep other stakeholders happy.

Can you describe the travel market in South Korea and how Yanolja fits into it? Are there some unique challenges and opportunities arising from operating a travel tech company in South Korea?

Digitalization is one of the most prominent changes brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. Digital technology has become indispensable for delivering hyper-personalized services and differentiated experiences. Suddenly, “travel tech” has emerged as a driving force that will determine the success or failure of the travel market. Yanolja has built a vertical platform covering all areas of travel, including Yanolja, Interpark, Triple, and Daily Hotel, and has established itself as the number one  travel platform in the Korean market. Yanolja is also expanding into the global SaaS solutions market via Yanolja Cloud with 80,000 licenses in more than 170 countries around the world, and growing. 

Content is the key to competing in the travel tech market. It is important to note the growing demand for Korean content and culture including music, food and entertainment – which bolsters the potential of inbound travel products that utilize ‘K-culture’ as content. The Korean government recently set a goal and vision to increase the size of the tourism industry to 180 trillion won by 2027 and attract 30 million foreign tourists to Korea. This is more than the KRW152 trillion in semiconductor exports last year, which means that the travel industry can become a strong foundation for the Korean economy, and new opportunities await Yanolja. In this vast market, Yanolja plans to lead the way with its B2B2C business capabilities.

How do you see the travel industry evolving in the next 5-10 years, and what role do you see Yanolja playing in that evolution?

First, the use of technology to increase operational efficiency, adapt to change and provide a better customer experience will move rapidly from a nice-to-have to a must-have. This will be true for smaller properties and properties in developing markets, which are often not top-of-mind when people think of the industry’s use of technology. Yanolja Cloud has a strong base of customers that are often overlooked by some of the bigger technology players and we hope to continue to bring our technology to properties that traditionally wouldn’t have access. I also believe that personalization will become much more sophisticated. All companies have been trying to improve personalization for years but we are still at the early stages. Leveraging data will make properties more sophisticated in terms of what they can offer customers. For instance, right now booking a hotel room you usually can choose between room types. Now imagine a future where we know the customer prefers a room on a low floor, near the gym – and can offer them that level of specificity.

Finally, the focus on sustainability will only accelerate. Properties are going to be motivated to respond by implementing technologies that reduce waste not only because customers are demanding it – but because it’s also good for the bottom line. Yanolja Cloud is committed to sustainability efforts. For instance, one of our solutions provides smart technology that remotely controls room environments to minimize unnecessary energy wastage, and reduces electricity and carbon emissions. We’ll continue to prioritize sustainability across our Yanolja Cloud Member companies so that the environmental benefits can be passed onto properties around the world. 

How does Yanolja plan to stay competitive and innovative in a rapidly evolving industry? 

Yanolja Cloud is made up of member companies from around the world, all with a different history and expertise. This gives us access to an incredible amount of data, technology and talent. Different travel markets evolve at different rates and being a global company allows us to bring technology from one company or region to another. 

For instance, for some time we’ve been offering automated check-in Kiosk technology in South Korea in response to South Korea’s aging population which is making it harder to find frontdesk workers. Only recently have other markets such as the United States encountered similar labor challenges and we plan to adopt and offer a check-in kiosk solution in the US market. Had we waited for that trend to reach the US before developing a solution – we would only now be developing this technology.  Having a global perspective gives us an advantage and the ability to think globally and act locally.

What advice would you give to other entrepreneurs looking to start a travel tech company?

I would like to give three pieces of advice to the entrepreneurs of travel-tech companies. The first is to recognize the fact that, despite economic crises, wars and epidemics, the tourism market has doubled every 15 years over the past 50 years so I believe in the sustainable growth potential of the travel and hospitality market. The second is that external management conditions such as the macro environment are difficult to predict and always fluctuate, but, regardless of this, technological innovation and disruption changes in one direction. I would like to believe that the changes in digital technology, such as the data-based AI like Chat GPT or the Metaverse and decentralization like blockchain or IoT, will only continue to accelerate in the future. Lastly, doing business and starting a business in an era of high uncertainty involves many risks, so entrepreneurs will have greater concerns. However, from the standpoint of a person working at a startup, it means that the size of success in times of high volatility is rather greater than that of those who seek stability. Thus, I hope that all the entrepreneurs will see the current difficult business conditions not as a deterrent, but as a greater opportunity to overcome difficulties together and succeed.

How do you balance your customers’ needs across different geographies and travel preferences within a single super app?

Travel used to be a supplier-centered market, but travel in this ‘new normal’ era is changing to become customer-centered. Travel restrictions due to the pandemic have made travelers more cautious and want to add more value to their trips. As personal circumstances and environmental changes diversify, it is becoming more important for travel companies to proactively respond to the increasingly diverse customer needs.

In line with these trends, Yanolja is continuously developing its platform based on a customer-first strategy. First, in terms of service, Yanolja provides all travel-related services as a super app. The company not only provides a variety of services, but also launches new specialized categories centered on core services that customers need and offers various information in a timely manner so they can prepare their entire trips with Yanolja, and enjoy the experience.

As there is a wide range of information and services, the key is to make the platform more intuitive and convenient. So, Yanolja develops the optimal UI and UX, exposes the final price during search and reservation, and quickly introduces various simple payment systems to ensure that all processes within the Yanolja application are seamlessly connected. Yanolja is changing the paradigm of the travel industry by establishing an environment where everyone can travel comfortably through customer-oriented services and advanced usability.

How do Yanolja approaches localization and cultural differences when expanding into new markets? What differences have you seen over time across geographies?

The global nature of the Yanolja Cloud business is one of our biggest strengths. Not because we can offer one product everywhere but because we have an array of  products from around the world to meet local needs. Through a lineup of solutions built on industry expertise, the company provides solution products tailored to each customer’s specific environment, such as regional characteristics and scale of the property, and has rapidly increased market share in emerging tourism markets such as Africa and Asia. For instance, through Yanolja Cloud we offer Property Management Software (PMS) for hotels. While many of the core components of a PMS are the same, the solution can be customized to best serve the market and property they’re in. For instance, nuances like languages, currencies, integration with local distribution systems, payment preferences and adherence to local data and security standards all need to be considered to be a leading player. At the end of the day, technology should not replace but instead enhance the personal and human experience which makes travel so memorable.You can learn more about this, and other aspects of our business at yanoljacloud.com.

What are your plans for future growth and expansion, and how do you plan to achieve them?

Yanolja Cloud will play a key role in Yanolja’s global growth and expansion as we strive to lead the digital transformation of hospitality and leisure properties everywhere. That means properties of all types, sizes, and budget ranges – and in every corner of the world – so that everyone can undergo digital transformation and delight their guests. To achieve that, if our teams around the world can build technology to meet the needs of our customers, we will build it. If meeting the needs of our customers can be better achieved by acquiring or partnering with a company to fill a gap in a market or segment – then we’ll seriously consider that,  too. Last year, we invested in Innkey Infosystems, a premium hotel solution company in India. Earlier this year, I joined President Seok-Yeol Yoon on a tour of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and signed strategic business agreements with ‘Al Rais Travel Group’ and ‘Wego Group’. And we’re just getting started.

 

This article is by Future Travel. Please refer to the source link for the original article.

Ana Metz (2023, April 24). Interview: Jong Yoon Kim. Future Travel. Retrieved from https://futuretravel.com/interview-yanolja-cloud/

2023-04-24