Service Design
INDUSTRY RESEARCH PROJECT (Master's Thesis)​​​​​​​ 
Designing for Tourism Innovation in Thailand
How do you design for tourism innovation in a country whose economy is reliant on tourism, yet cherishes its heritage and prefers the status quo? 
TakeMeTour, a sharing economy travel-tech startup in Thailand
This Industry Research Project was conducted in collaboration with travel tech startup TakeMeTour in Thailand, a sharing economy platform selling one day tours, curated and hosted by locals in cities all over Thailand and Cambodia.
Introducing the concept of Design Thinking into TakeMeTour's innovation orientation, our work helped bring improvements to their existing U.X. and product line and equipped the team with tools to discover new opportunities to innovate. It also identified new ways to enhance the perception of trust between the company and their customers, a crucial element to the travel package.
The final outcome was a set of recommendations and a blueprint to help identify real world traveller pain points that could be turned into opportunities for TakeMeTour to live its core purpose of 'Telling the Stories of Thailand'.
A 'Local Expert' guides visitors around his personally curated tour of Bangkok
Working amongst a team of 15 developers, designers and customer experience experts
A Blueprint for building 'Trust' and 'Brand Equity' at TakeMeTour
Using the 'Trust Model' and 'Jobs to Be Done' theory for guidance, a 3 stage proactive route map, shown below, was designed to take TakeMeTour from a startup with weak brand equity to an innovator with strong brand equity and a transformational travel tech proposition:
1. Radically focus TakeMeTour’s offering
Be exceptional at one thing and avoid creating variety for mass appeal
Result: Using Design Thinking to discover what people REALLY wanted from their activities, unique value was created by focussing on 40 tours, rather than 400 similar tours, with an emphasis on products that involved food discovery and access to unusual places that were off the established tourist trail.
2. Simplify TakeMeTour’s value proposition
Attention spans have become shorter, so having an easily understood value proposition makes it easy for people to choose TakeMeTour
Result: Promoting the value of the Local Expert on the website and social media channels, emphasising the unique insights they can provide. This helped differentiate TakeMeTour’s value as having access to Thailand’s best resources by focussing on WHO the local expert is, as much as what they can show.
3. Put authenticity above all else
Define TakeMeTour by the causes the company genuinely care about
Result: Focussing on Closure Experiences which strive to create friendships between people that otherwise would not meet, sending people away with memories that they’ll want to keep forever. Personally handwritten postcards from the founders of TakeMeTour upon returning home encouraged positive reviews on peer review sites.
How might Airline Booking systems work in the future?
Problem: How might we use a combination of Blockchain Technology, A.I. and Voice Processing to radically overhaul outdated travel booking systems, often running on software architecture developed in the 1970s and 1980s, presenting a customer with myriad of choice and confusion? 
Result: A prototype of a virtual travel agent that requires no manual data input to perform a sophisticated flight search, reducing pain points along the customer journey, increasing likelihood of an eventual booking.
The Future of Airline Bookings video
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