The Story Behind YoExplore
When talking about the process of finding YoExplore, I would be reminded of my experience back in January 2016 when my friends and I were in Bali on a vacation trip. We love exploring local cuisines and adventure activities. When we travel to explore Indonesia, we prefer to arrange our activities in a more impromptu manner than to join typical ‘package tours’ available in the market.
One of the activities was to watch dolphin and did a snorkeling at Lovina beach, North Bali. We went straight to Lovina beach to find out about the service. We met a local fisherman who was apparently working as a host for the activity. After pricing was agreed, the next day, we went to watch wild dolphins and snorkeling around the nearby sea reef. While on the trip, I had an interesting discussion with the local guide to find out how he run the business.
“Most of my guests are a walk-in guest type. Sometimes, I received booking from some travel agent companies. Either walk-in or travel agent companies, I still charge the same amount of rate which was about US$15, – per person for about 2-3 hours watching dolphin and snorkeling. The rate has been in place for a few years without increment”, the local guide explained.
Apparently, the local guide did not know how much was the market rate for a traveler who might not be able to book through him directly, which could be four or five times higher than what he had charged.
According to him, he could not enjoy better rate for his services due to the accessible to wider marketing channels. Furthermore, his limited skills in digital marketing have become the major constraints to keep up in the business.
Such situation inspired me to do something about it, to help local service providers and the communities to truly benefit from tourism, and this led to my journey to finding YoExplore marketplace.
My personal vision is to make the world more efficient and equal through social enterprise. I believe community development should be part of the process to leverage economy sharing. This will enhance the process of breaking the cycle of poverty. This philosophy has led me to the creation of YoExplore’s vision.
The Vision of YoExplore is to become a center of socially driven peer-to-peer online marketplace in Southeast Asia (SEA) and commitment to promoting socially responsible and sustainable business practices.
The Mission of YoExplore is to provide travel customers customizable, personalized activities/products from verified micro and small medium providers (i.e. merchants) in South-East Asia while bringing economic and social impact to local communities.
Officially established as a legal entity in Indonesia on 16 May 2016, YoExplore is now still focusing its services to empower local communities in Indonesia by integrating business framework – technology – and – community empowerment program for better quality of life. I do hope that I could see more micro-entrepreneurs can be empowered to have more competitive value in the tourism industry.
I (Sri) have over 12 years of experience in community development, where I was mostly in charge of initiating and implementing scalable pilot projects through social enterprise approach.
One of the projects that I managed and still inspire me was a project of sending farmers community from a local village in Bali to be trained at kiwifruits pack-houses in New Zealand. This two-year project has contributed to bringing a remarkable positive social and economy impact to 150 families (around 600 people) in Bali.
Within a two-year program, the farmers who joined this program could earn more than 20x of their original income. Having six months of training and seasonal working in New Zealand, they could bring home net earnings of about US$3,000.- each – compared to the original income they had as a local farmer which was less than US$40.- each per month.
Having 12 years of opportunities to get involved in community development programs and interest in digital technology have led me to an understanding that nothing is impossible and that everyone can change his/her destiny. They only need a little help to find the way.