More developments in the fascinating online tours and activities sector with ResponsibleTravel launching a new service to give locals the ability to promote experiences and sell product.
The move is being touted as a "new business model" for the ten year old site and will come in the form of a platform where locals can build and manage their own pages on the main ResponsibleTourism site.
Co-founder and managing director Justin Francis says the idea is to grow the responsible tourism movement by supporting small scale suppliers in destinations.
ResponsibleTravel says it has 4,000 "experiences" currently listed on the site and hopes to get the number up to 10,000 within a year, mostly through the addition of the smaller suppliers.
There will be a clear difference between the two systems and models within ResponsibleTravel: existing tour operators (multi-day suppliers) will continue to pay a membership fee, declare bookings and pay a commission on sales; smaller suppliers (restaurants, attractions, activities) will be listed and get their own page for free.
They will also not be charged any commission if they get a sales lead from the site.
ResponsibleTravel says it wants to establish a wider online service which gives visitors the opportunity to research and get connected to operators but also give those that have "great product" to sell in-resort the chance to promote their services, all without losing the sustainable tourism ethos.
The new business model comes in the form of a TripAdvisor Business Listings-style service where those listed for free on the site can pay for extra details to be included.
ResponsibleTravel travel says further details of the service will be announced in the coming months ahead of a full launch for small operators in the summer of 2011.