Just over two and a half years ago, martial arts travel companies were non-existent. With the continual rise in popularity among martial arts such as Jui Jitsu, Muay Thai and MMA, the newest of industries are now seeing a significant rise in online booking services as reported last night by Jennifer Schregel, Marketing Manager for eBooking Services.
Based in The Hague, Netherlands eBookingServices is the parent company of BookMartialArts, the world’s leading online martial arts travel company founded by Robert Den Hollander and launching online in April 2013. Most specifically, the rise in bookings has received considerable notice within just the previous six months as noted by BookMartialArts level of activity.
With the six hour time difference between the Sunshine State and The Hague, the CSMAE was finally able to catch up with Ms. Schregel who happily agreed to meet somewhere in the middle to further discuss the growth among the martial arts vacation industry. In addition, the CSMAE was able to come away with a more inside look into their popular BookMartialArts vacation services for those martial artists wishing to take their training to the next level:
CSMAE: “Jennifer, thanks so much for agreeing to talk with me tonight, I really appreciate it. First, could you just tell us a little more about Jennifer Schregel and your position with BookMartialArts?”
JS: “Well, thank you for having me. I am the Marketing Manager for eBookingServices which is the main company for all of our websites. My team consists of community managers, one for each website and who engage with our audience via different social media and create relevant content for our martial arts customers. On one hand, we continue to reach out toward a new audience and on the other hand continue to provide our existing customer and audience with information and content that appeals to them. Furthermore, we are always looking to create synergy with related platforms with the same mindset and goals which is to create additional value for martial artists and organizers. In general, from a marketing perspective, we provide a platform for organizers to connect them to martial arts practitioners and we aim to provide martial artists with a platform where they can easily find, compare and book martial arts training camps, all on a global scale.”
CSMAE: “It really sounds great as your online bookings are showing. So, just for clarification purposes, for me anyway, it is important to understand the differences between eBooking Services and BookMartialArts and I think we just covered that as well.”
JS: “That’s fine, eBookingServices is the company behind BookMartialArts. We offer different theme holiday websites which at this point are Book Yoga Retreats dot com and eFoodys which will soon be Book Culinary Vacations dot com. We are also planning to launch more theme websites in the coming weeks and eBookingServices has a dedicated team that focuses entirely on BookMartialArts.”
CSMAE: “So when a customer books one of the vacation packages available, who is the customer paying: eBookingServices or the organizer?”
JS: “The organizer. We do not take any payments on our website. We are simply an intermediary between the customer and the organizers. You can compare the BookMartialArts business concept to Booking dot com.”
CSMAE: “And again, just to be clear, the organizer is the martial arts school or training center in the country in which the customer is booking the vacation to and just let me add that currently BookMartialArts partners with over 100 organizers in over 60 destinations around the world, correct?”
CSMAE: “Is there a way for the customer to converse directly with the organizer before committing to any financial obligations?”
JS: “Yes, absolutely. We offer different options on the website: Contact Organizer if they are not sure which package they are interested in yet. We have Send an Inquiry so they can ask a question about a specific package and we provide the Online Reservation for a specific package and date but no further questions. Once the organizer has confirmed, they will also be instructed on Payment Options that can vary per organizer. Usually it is a deposit upfront and the remainder upon arrival. We do not charge our customers any booking fees.”
CSMAE: “Take for instance the One Month Beginner’s Muay Thai Training in Chiang Mai at the P.Silaphai Gym in Thailand. The current cost on the site is as low as $369.00 USD per person. So, my understanding is that the customer reserves his or her spot for $369.00 which is paid directly to the P.Silaphai Gym. So there are no additional fees for eBooking Services or BookMartialArts or any other associated partners within the company?”
JS: “No. The price can be low because not all of the training camps include food and accommodations which will always be clearly stated on the organizer listing on our website.”
CSMAE: “Obviously, the fees shown on the BookMartialArts website only cover the cost of training with the organizer. Does BookMartialArts also assist in the travel fees or is that and all other expenses involved the responsibility of the customer?”
JS: “Some of the organizers for example, Tiger Muay Thai, offer an all inclusive package but most of the martial arts organizers indeed only offer the training. However, when sending an inquiry customers can always ask for recommendations on accommodation. The flights are always exclusive. This way our customers can choose their own flight options which allow for greater flexibility in terms of flight dates and costs.”
CSMAE: “OK Jennifer, last question. Although BookMartialArts offer many styles of martial arts, I did not see Taekwondo, one of the world’s most popular martial arts. Do you see, anytime in the future, having an organizer who will offer Tae Kwon Do training in Korea? You knew I had to ask!” (Laughing).
JS: (Laughing) “Ha ha, no worries. Yes, we are adding new organizers on a daily basis. Our team for BookMartialArts is still small compared to one of our other sites, BookYogaRetreats, but we are aiming to provide a full overview of all martial art styles.”
As the leader in online martial arts travel companies, Ms. Schregel also reiterated that more martial artists are booking their training and vacation packages as the popularity of martial arts continue to grow worldwide. She also mentioned that one can not only have the opportunity to learn from some of the world’s greatest trainers, but by actually experiencing the people, history, lineage and culture of their martial art in the very country of its origin. This in fact, is the very reason eBooking Services came into existence as the founder, Mr. Hollander explained via email:
“My dream was to study Kung Fu in a monastery in the mountains of China with Chinese monks. At that point I came to the conclusion that there was no place online where I could find an overview of organizers. That is how the idea of BookMartialArts took shape. Today, we actually offer holidays on our website that provide you with the opportunity to study Kung Fu in the Chinese mountains with Chinese monks.”
Having the ease of platforms offered by BookMartialArts, martial artists are discovering that they now have the resources needed to schedule a life-changing experience to train in Muay Thai in Thailand or Krav Maga in Israel as examples, pushing their skills to a higher level.