Kamis, 30 Maret 2023

Affordable Travel is Being Revolutionized through Emerging Capsule Hotels

Asia Ahmed
17 Feb 2023 | 10:58 WIB
A sky double pod room in Bobobox in South Jakarta. (Photo Courtesy of Bobobox)
A sky double pod room in Bobobox in South Jakarta. (Photo Courtesy of Bobobox)

Jakarta. Every person's lifestyle depends heavily on their ability to sleep. We sleep for between a third and a quarter of our lives.

"We are aware that the accommodation business has been hindered for decades, if not centuries, by high capital costs, inconsistent standards, and low profitability, and this is what we at Bobobox wish to battle," Indra Gunawan, the Chief Executive Officer of the capsule hotel operator, said in a recent interview.

A capsule hotel, commonly referred to as a pod hotel in the West, is a kind of hotel created in Japan that has numerous tiny capsule-shaped rooms.

"As a business, Bobobox presents itself as the next-generation sleeping lifestyle brand. From the moment we first got the idea that we wanted to influence future sleeping patterns, we understood that we had to be able to tap into everyone's lifestyle in order to create a product that would last for a long time,” he said.


On the other hand, consumer behaviors are changing and evolving, people's requirements are diversifying more than ever, and space efficiency is increasingly desirable.

Bobotox develops a solution that is applicable to the younger generations by combining cutting-edge technology with modularity to come up with a novel approach for space efficiency and consistent standards through prefabrications.

Affordable Travel is Being Revolutionized through Emerging Capsule Hotels
Indra Gunawan, the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Bobobox. (Photo Courtesy of Bobobox)

"At Bobobox we aim to be the best single solution for all these budget travelers who want to have easy and seamless access to quality rest, our sleeping capsules offer affordable pricing and are all catered at the most strategic locations," Indra said.

Capsules have been around for a very long time -- it was invented in Japan in 1979. In Osaka, the capsule hotel is created for a variety of purposes, but the reason why the capsule hotel is expanding so quickly at the moment is that travel has become a lifestyle.

People can now travel anywhere, and social media feeds the idea that they don't want to stay in one place, they want to explore the world, Indra added.

As more individuals desire to travel, the need for cost-effective or mass-market solutions is growing at a remarkable pace.

Businesses experienced a significant upheaval during the pandemic, particularly in the hospitality sector, just as many other businesses. When Covid-19 struck in 2020, according to Indra, their business was only two years old, and things were going incredibly well for the capsules—they had great occupancy rates and people were clamoring to visit.

“Covid-19 was truly unprecedented, a catastrophe to a certain extent, and, as CEO, breaking the news to my employees that is worse than the two put together. Will the company you know, for example, parish? Can it withstand this crisis, given that so many hotels are closing as a result of it?” recalled Indra.

There were so many hotels being sold, occupancy rates were at their lowest levels in recorded history and only in the single digits. Individuals simply had to offer a 90 percent discount so that they can pay their electrical bills. Many people had to leave the industry even the major ones, the attitude towards hospitality as a whole was at the time quite difficult.

“A lot of our investors have told us that this is one of their suggestions to shut down. But fortunately for us, having such strong convictions about how lacking the industry was in what the company wanted to accomplish caused us to reflect on why we are even doing this in the first place,” said Indra.

“The company has been pitching to all these employees to be that we are going to be like the world's finest sleeping lifestyle company." 

He described Bobobox as a company that deals with "the future of sleeping habits" as the pandemic provided new opportunities and business models.

The company came up with fresh business model improvements such as Bobotox cabins which are smaller than typical resort accommodations.

The main concept was to let guests embrace nature and create many great moments with their families, friends, and loved ones, Indra said. The cabin provides a facility and community for them to stay in, so they don't have to go through all the hustles when traveling somewhere remote.

“As a firm, we also looked into how to be more inclusive in our facilities and offered the idea of staff learning sign language and put it in place,” Indra said.

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