International Bus Ticketing Website Launches

Venture capital firm SEA Ventures launched Cambodia’s first international online bus ticketing service last week in partnership with seven companies, including Giant Ibis and Mekong Express, in a bid to reach a broader market.

CamboTicket.com provides a comprehensive list of available domestic and cross-border bus services leaving on any given day that includes the name of the operation and the duration of the trip.

The site is open to travelers in Cambodia and abroad, either of whom can book online using mobile payment service Wing or a bank card and receive their tickets via email.

SEA Ventures founder Rahul Anand said the site tracks about 200 buses on 30 routes. He plans to partner with some of the 50 odd smaller bus services in the near future.

“If we partner with the top guys first then the others will follow because they will really struggle to get the concept to begin with,” he said. “We are not in competition with the bus companies; we are an extension of the distribution channel.”

Mr. Anand said the proliferation of Wing gives the many Cambodians who do not have access to bank accounts and credit cards the ability to make online purchases.

“E-commerce is very premature, but it’s very exciting,” he said.

Kean Kunvuth, general manager of VGS Travel & Tour, a CamboTicket affiliate, said the site cuts out the hassle of going into a travel agent but worried that Cambodians who are not used to shopping online may be reluctant to provide their personal details.

“There are some disadvantages to booking bus tickets online. For example, especially in Cambodia, if the customers does not give [correct] contact details and other information…notifications on changing schedules cannot be delivered by the companies to the customers,” he said.

(Additional reporting by Kang Sothear)

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