Travelling from the tips of your fingers: Pockettour's battle to turn Ukraine's conservative market against traditionalism

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Pockettour, a travel agency founded in Ukraine, are the first in the industry to run their booking operations entirely through messaging app Viber. After appearing in our GLOBAL BRAIN briefing as a prime example of our ALL-ON MESSAGING trend - exploring how messaging apps are becoming feature-packed controls for everyday life - we managed to catch up with Alexandr Dovgopol, the company's owner and CEO, to discuss developing such an innovative concept in a climate as conservative as Ukraine's. 

Alex-Pockettour

What was the inspiration behind Pockettour?

We were inspired by a wish to make the booking process easier and more comfortable than it was before. We noticed that from one side, people are less interested in visiting traditional travel agencies and from another side, well - no-one likes complicated booking forms that you can see on any online booking page. Pockettour's story is about simplicity and comfort.

What have been the biggest challenges you’ve faced while both developing the idea and establishing yourselves within the market?

Ukraine is still very conservative country when it comes to e-commerce, especially when we talk about online payments. The most difficult thing is to convince people that payments through Pockettour are absolutely safe.

What is your top tip to other professionals who seek to better understand, and stay ahead of, consumers’ changing expectations?

I think that the most important is keeping in touch with your clients. More often you don't need to invent anything - you just need to listen carefully.

What was your favorite recent innovation and why?

Without doubt, it's the launching of unmanned taxi services in Singapore! Technologies completely change lives and consumer behavior. I'm going to Singapore a month later and definitely I'll take a ride!

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