SeeYourTravelAgent puts agents in the home via SkypeNewsBy Kevin May | August 2, 2011Share This article was originally published on TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring UK-based SeeYourTravelAgent, a new travel agent lead-generation service using Skype.Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?I’ve been a self employed travel agent for 15 years, before that I worked in catering and the hotel trade in the UK, Australia and the USA.I’ve started a new company to run SYTA - SeeYourTravelAgent – Monk Travel Ltd, with myself and my wife as the sole shareholders. There are no other employees. I outsourced the design of the site.What financial support did you have to launch the business?Self-funded, we may seek investment for expansion laterWhat problem are you trying to solve?Fewer visits to high street travel agents, difficult to get your business found on the internet, people still like face to face contact, but don’t have time to track down and visit a suitable agentDescribe the business, core products and services?We recruit dozens of agents around the UK to pool their expertise into one easily accessible web site. Skype and perhaps later other video calling services connect the public to the agent. Free.The agent will be charged for the lead on a pay per click basis.Who are your key customers and users at launch?Independent travel agents and home workers who have a niche specialty are our customers and the public will be our users.Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?I spoke to a lot of agents and head of a major travel consortium before I invested my own money in the site.What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?After an initial free period to validate the quality of the leads generated and gain feedback from agents, the site will rely on clicks to generate revenue.SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?Strengths: It’s a simple and powerful way to connect travellers to agents and should be very cost effective. I believe in web site names that describe what they do. Weaknesses: It may be open to abuse, but if it happens a lot we can find ways around that. Opportunities: Internet on TV is bringing Skype video chat into the living room [" target="_blank">See Panasonic commercial]. Microsoft bought Skype, so expect further integration. Threats: It may be copied.Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?Everyone I’ve spoken to thought it was an excellent idea, so I had to go ahead with it.What is your success metric 12 months from now?That every agent that registers gets new business, has generated revenue for SYTA and most of them wish to remain on the site.Here is a clip:httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MC-dA1D6734 NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.