When traveling, most people usually want to try as many services, experience as many new things as possible, and tend to sleep less than usual. Sleeping too much during a trip seems to be a waste for them. However, there is a special tour launched to serve only those who want to sleep in the whole journey. That is the Sleeping Bus Tour in Hong Kong, a bus tour aiming at people who like or only can sleep well on public transport.
Idea “born” from pressure
Kenneth Kong, Marketing and Business Development Manager of ulu travel, the company behind this unique concept, said: “When we were brainstorming new tours, I saw a social media post from my friend saying that he was stressed out by his work, he couldn’t sleep at night. But when he was traveling on the bus, he was able to sleep well. His post inspired us to create this tour that lets passengers just sleep on the bus.”
The world has been rapidly developing, along with people’s busy lives. Almost in any big city, we can see many people going to school, going to work, dozing off on buses or subways. Some of them even can just sleep well while lurching on the public transport.
Dr. Shirley Li, the principal investigator of the Sleep Research Clinic and Laboratory at the University of Hong Kong, said: “People in Hong Kong don’t have enough time to sleep. That’s why we have to kind of use other times to sleep, which is our daily commute, especially when we are traveling on public transport. For some people, they may tend to associate public transport with their sleep. And that’s why they found it easier to fall asleep on the bus.”
From the moment of realizing this, ulu travel quickly launched the Sleeping Bus Tour service to serve those who want to take a long nap on the bus. The company’s desire is to help improve the insomnia that many people are currently suffering from.
Offer quality “sleeping on bus” experience
The five-hour Sleeping Bus Tour will take passengers across an 83-kilometer route on a double decker bus. It will drive along the Tuen Mun highway and Lantau Island, the largest island in Hong Kong described as a heaven on Earth. This is not only the first bus route of its kind, but also the longest bus route in Hong Kong now, ensuring that tired passengers have plenty of time to enjoy some sleep.
To add “spices” to the trip, which is mostly for sleeping, the company has introduced additional services to meet a variety of needs, and complete the customer experience.
Sleep aids: ulu travel will prepare customers with an eye mask and earplugs so that they can fall asleep more easily, unaffected by ambient noise. The company also gives them a goodie bag to keep personal stuff. Some people even bring along their own blankets, pillows and slippers to make themselves at home. Moreover, it doesn’t matter even if they wear pajamas.
Pre-trip meal: The departure point of Sleeping Bus Tour is a restaurant. Guests here will be served a 2-course Western menu which the company calls a “Food Coma Lunch”. After a meal, many people often feel sleepier. A full stomach also makes them sleep better without tossing from hunger.
Photo credit: ulu travel.
Bus stops: During the trip, the company will stop the bus at some points so that passengers can get off to use the bathroom and toilet at the stop or take some photos around Ho Wo street and South Perimeter Road Traffic Calming street on Lantau island. Passengers can freely choose whether to get off the bus to explore around or stay in the bus to continue sleeping. Passengers can also disembark the bus early at one of several drop-off points if they don’t intend to complete the entire journey.
Cabin classification: The bus is divided into four cabins including premium classes “Zero-decibel Sleeping Business-Class Cabin”’ and “VIP Panorama Cabin” on the upper deck; economy classes “Zero-decibel Sleeping Economy-Class Cabin” and “Extra-legroom Cabin” on the lower deck. Each cabin has its own regulations that passengers must follow.
In order to ensure safety while traveling as well as in the pandemic, the company requires at least two-thirds of persons at the same table must have received at least one dose of Covid-19 vaccine. Those who have not been vaccinated will be denied to join the trip. Wheelchairs and strollers are not allowed to be used during the tour. Date and time, the number of passengers and related details may be adjusted based on measures of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government, epidemic and weather conditions.
Great feedback from passengers
The Sleeping Bus Tour was launched with the hope to ease the insomnia that more and more people have to face. After officially debuting last October, the tour quickly sold out on October 16 and got positive feedback from customers. According to ulu travel, under favorable conditions, the minimum number of guests in a tour is 28.
Anson Kong (25 year-old), one of the passengers on the first bus tour, said: “I have been suffering from insomnia so I am here to try and get some sleep. The tour is a good idea and more interesting than I expected.” Another passenger, Marco Yung, said that he joined the tour because he usually falls asleep on long-distance bus journeys, and that it was a “great opportunity” to get some sleep.
It can be seen that the difference and breakthrough are not something far away, with every small idea, we can utilize it to turn it into a business opportunity and pioneering advantage if we understand our market. By grasping the real situation that many people are facing, ulu travel has successfully created and implemented a unique type of tour, a special trip for those who lack sleep and often sleep well on public transport. Not only offer suitable space and time for them to sleep, the company also comes up with additional services such as dining before departure or visiting and photographing at bus stops. Thanks to that, they have both a long nap and travel experiences as almost all other tourists. Interesting initiatives like the Sleeping Bus Tour promise to attract much attention and response in the future when new experiences are more and more popular with the young generation today.