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Wise Traveller - interview with founder Richard Batka

Richard Batka is a Czech born Australian, having lived and worked in 6 countries across 3 continents. He started his career in Management Consulting and working with organisations across a number of industries at the time predominantly banking, tourism and government. In the 90's he moved into industry as the HR Director for a large international hotel followed by HR Director for the premier corporate law firm in Australia. As the IT industry started to grow he moved back to consulting and assist organisations work through their evaluation and selection of ERP systems, ultimately spending 15 years in the industry working in and with both large IT vendors and small start ups. After moving to HK and then Singapore, with his business partners they started Wise Traveller, which has been their passion now for almost 6 years.

What made you start "Wise Traveller"? What is your key motivation?

The Wise Traveller started as a result of advisory work for a number of travel-related organisations we did a few years back. Each product or service we helped could be easily aggregated into a program offering great value for money and an enhanced experience. As we added new features to the membership, we decided to create a simple, year-round, all countries, for as many trips as you can afford, travel insurance with the best benefits possible and cheaper than anyone else.

How unique is your content-based strategy? How does it help clients/users manage travel risks?

We focus on quirky angles for travellers, not your traditional travel idea. We also add a good dose of risk awareness both from the dangers travellers face to the problems one often faces when doing a claim. We also emphasise value, from hidden discounts to how to get better rooms for less and when is best to book a flight. It's getting more and a more a Science while retaining the charms of an Art. We want our members to be wiser, to be aware, to get more for less, and sometimes more for more while enhancing their experience. This could be joining a private tour of the Eiffel Tower bypassing the waiting lines, saving time, learning more while enjoying one of the best views in town. Every city, every attraction offers such opportunities to truly turn the experience into a long-lasting memory.

Who is Wise Traveller target audience (business or consumer)?

Our members travel more than 3 times a year and are learners and seekers. They want to become skilled travellers, even better people while doing so. They know each day is valuable so they must ensure that they don't miss one. They're especially wary of nasty surprises on the road and abhor scams and unnecessary risks.

Which is the best-selling product/service to date? How much is it priced?

Most of our members join because of our comprehensive and well-thought of travel insurance. We designed it with our insurance partners to ensure that you get high value for the price of a commodity. Being annual, it further gives you the confidence to travel anywhere, even at the last minute like a wedding in Bali, knowing you are well covered. It is currently priced at US$155 per person and we're looking into more dynamic pricing.

Which three top 'Tips Tricks' offered in Wise Traveller has received the most commendation?

Hard to say as many of our articles are well received. We do find, however, that members want to learn a tip or a trick, or something interesting about a destination quickly so we keep our articles short and sweet. We are constantly looking for new ideas, quirky or not well known, to ensure that every trip is a memory.

Wise Traveller - interview with founder Richard Batka Reviewed by JaamZIN on 4:42:00 PM Rating: 5
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