GoBuddy believes everyone could start an online business for free. Our team is dedicated to provide a one-stop cloud platform solution to transform your business. Today we are happy to inviteThis time we are honoured to invite Ling, the founder of Ho Ho Go Experience Limited, to talk to us about her entrepreneurial story!
What inspired you to start Ho Ho Go Experience?
Ho Ho Go Experience Limited (hereafter referred to as Ho Ho Go) was founded in 2014. It coincided with the social movement and environmental changes in Hong Kong at that time. Ling felt that something needed to be done to preserve Hong Kong’s unique culture and conservation awareness and give back to the society. She mentioned that when introducing Hong Kong to foreign tourists, most people mentioned various sightseeing spots and tourist attractions, but in fact, Hong Kong still has a lot of history and culture worth exploring. So she started to try different ways to promote, and the idea of Ho Ho Go began to grow. In addition, she mentioned that her previous experience of personally experiencing the culture of different places in Hong Kong is one of the important reasons, which makes her hope that more people can experience this metropolis from a different perspective.
Social enterprise? Travel agency? Cultural organisation?
In the early days of Ho Ho Go, Ling said that she had struggled with what format to run Ho Ho Go. At first, because of legal regulations and licensing considerations, she had thought of establishing a travel agency. But then she changed her mind. Her original intention was to promote Hong Kong culture, so a travel agency operating in a pure business model seemed unsuitable. She turned to social enterprises to consider, and finally adopted a cultural conservation organization operating in the social enterprise model to develop well. She said that adopting this business model is better than establishing a self-sustaining operation model. On the other hand, it can also make the core values of cultural conservation organizations more prominent.
However, Ling mentioned that this business model will cause some misunderstandings about the business positioning. For example, when some schools hope to find a cultural conservation organization to cooperate with, they will realize that they are also a licensed travel agency, and vice versa. Therefore, she mentioned that she also encountered some difficulties in establishing positioning.
New forms of online guided tours for travel agencies under the epidemic
Regrettably, due to the epidemic, the guided tours originally scheduled for overseas and Hong Kong have also been cancelled. She said that although this is a difficult one, she will try to use new methods to manage it well. For example, in the form of online real-time guided tours (virtual live), online audiences can also experience the cultural experience of different places in Hong Kong. In recent years, she has also put more information on social media to make the promotion culture closer to the audience. She said that in the early days of her business, she mainly contacted new customers on some large travel websites, so using different online channels in the early days of business can also help the brand.
Manage better than the story encountered
Ling said with a smile, “there are many profound stories in the process of doing well”. For example, she once met some older tourists who visit Hong Kong with old classmates, hoping to create a good memory here. At the end of the journey, they embraced and cried emotionally. Also, once when a professor from Japan was traveling in Hong Kong, he wanted to find some itineraries that were purely sightseeing spots. But after Ling introduced the concept of cultural guided tours to him and suggested that he try them, they made him discover a different kind of travel pleasures.
Tips for those who want to run a social enterprise
Ling said that the mentality of running a social enterprise should not be purely “doing good deeds”, but rather focus on the ideas that one wants to bring out. Consider appropriate and sustainable business methods based on core values and obtain business value and contribute to the community “Drop the ego and keep learning!”
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Ho Ho Go Experience webpage: https://www.hohogo.com.hk/en/home/
Ho Ho Go Experience community page: https://www.gobuddy.asia/community_front?ct=4dd53521c57061a1
Ho Ho Go Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hohogoexperience/