TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based travel agent lead-generation service PricesForTravel.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Two partners - one silent. Active partner is Chris Mangiapane, editor at Planereality, previously in corporate financial sales.
PricesForTravel lets travel agents/suppliers provide advice and price quotes to travellers who submit their specific travel plans. Traveller contact information is anonymous. The traveller decides which, if any, travel supplier they want to contact. The traveller can receive multiple "bids" on their travel plans.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
What problem are you trying to solve?
Travellers want advice and information from knowledgeable humans, but are not certain how to locate and/or approach a travel agent.
In many instances travel agents can provide greater value and or better prices than the largest online travel booking sites. The value/price aspect applies to three categories: travel packages, international flights and cruises (the three categories that PricesForTravel.com quotes are divided into)
Describe the business, core products and services?
Cruises, travel packages, international flights. Consumers are encourage to be as specific or as general they would like. All travel agents that have registered with PricesForTravel will be able to see the vacation and will conduct research and propose an itinerary and price for the trip.
If the customer finds a proposal from a travel agent which meets their requirements, they are simply asked to contact the agent and make the purchase, or contact the agent to refine your itinerary. Travel agents do not know your name and email address unless the customer contacts them.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
Travellers utilizing the internet and/or travel agents while planning their trip.
Travel agents seeking incremental business in the form of leads.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
Not applicable, no investors as yet.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
When the site receives between between 1,000 and 2,500 traveller queries per month, we will begin charging a nominal subscription rate to travel agents and suppliers.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Nothing exactly like it.
- Travellers are under no obligation. I screen and approve each travel agent/supplier that signs up.
- Having enough travellers signed up.
- Having an active marketing strategy.
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Travellers not booking their travel through the agent/supplier who provides the best response.
Several MBA friends - they are corporate robots and often confuse activity with accomplishment.
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
The number of traveller queries being submitted.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.