TourRadar is a Europe and Australia-based tour and activity platform, which first featured on Tnooz in July 2010 [TLabs Showcase - TourRadar].
So what happened in the intervening 12 months?
Are you making money yet?
What has been the biggest problem - building the product/service or marketing it to consumers/travel industry?
Marketing it to the consumers and to the different businesses (travel agents, DMOs, tour operators) in the tour industry.
Biggest assumption in the business plan that was wrong?
That traditional Travel Agents would pay for our service.
By opening up our search engine to the public, we have seen that agents are in fact using it and like how they can search and compare all the individual tours from all their suppliers in one place, but we realised the signing up before they could see how it worked was a real barrier.
One nice surprising thing since we launched our suite of Facebook Apps for the tour industry is that we’ve had some of the more savvy Agents contacting us about putting our Tour Search App onto their Facebook Pages too.
After listening to a number of agent’s requests/needs, we’ve recently launched our Tours App for agents where they can feature all of their preferred operator’s tours on their Facebook Page, so their fans can search tours and send the agent direct enquiries about specific tours.
Is your current customer base as predicted?
Mostly… primarily the business revolves around tour operators and that has remained the case.
Did you achieve your 12 month goals? If not, why not?
Again… in most respects, yes… in others, no.
The number of tour operators we have on board now has skyrocketed in the last six months.
Our platform now has over 300 operators (small, medium and large) who operate 12,500 tours to 206 countries of the world (when we launched we only had around 3,000 tours).
There are just under 20 Publishers in our PPC Affiliate Ad Network and we have 2 DMOs in Australia who are showcasing their tour operator member’s tours via their Facebook Pages.
The only goal, as mentioned above, we didn’t reach were the agents. But with the recent interest shown in our Facebook App we’re confident this will pick up.
Has the problem you were trying to solve changed?
The goal posts are always moving in this travel tech space.
However the root problem of there being no single platform that complements the entire tour industry still remains and TourRadar continues to be at the forefront of helping tour operators distribute their products across all of the channels available today.
Sure there are aggregators of aggregators and booking engines for tours and activities popping up nearly every day, however they are all going for the short-term win of taking a booking commission from the operators.
From the beginning TourRadar has focused on the long-term, with the view of building an eco-system for the entire tour industry… and with our progress in the past 12 months and what’s in the current pipeline we are standing in very good stead to achieving that.
Which startup that has launched in the past 12 months did you think "Ah, wish we had done that!"?
To be honest in the tours and activities space, even though there has been a plethora of startups launched in the past 12 months – there hasn’t been any that have really shown or proven anything extraordinary to what we already do at TourRadar or what the other known players like GetYourGuide etc currently do in the day tour booking space.
We’ve also seen a few Groupon style deal sites for tours and activities come and go which I think we’ll continue to see happen.
If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
Good things really do come to those who wait (and work hard!).
NB: Tnooz launched TLab Showcase in March 2010, a dedicated channel to give startups in the travel, tourism and hospitality sector an opportunity to explain their vision, company background and strategy to a wider audience.
As well as publishing an elevator pitch-type questionnaire for each business, Tnooz committed to following up with each startup after 12 months or so to see how well (or not) each performed.
NB2: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.