PricesForTravel wants travel agents to bid for trips via for the web

TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring US-based travel agent lead-generation service PricesForTravel.

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?

Personal savings.

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?

Strengths:

  • Nothing exactly like it.
  • Travellers are under no obligation. I screen and approve each travel agent/supplier that signs up.

Weaknesses:

  • Having enough travellers signed up.

Opportunities:

  • Having an active marketing strategy.

Threats:

  • Travellers not booking their travel through the agent/supplier who provides the best response.

Who advised you your idea isn’t going to be successful and why didn’t you listen to them?

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.

tlabs logo microscope NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.

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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.

 

Comments

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  1. PricesForTravel.com

    Pricesfortravel.com was created with 2 principles (with regard to the agents) in mind:
    1) Travel agents are always looking for incremental business. Those who have more business than they know what to do with and find clients and prospects knocking down the door to book their next trip… need not apply
    2) Great travel agents add value, are confident in this fact and can covey it in matter of minutes, if not seconds

    OBW- “nothing EXACTLY like it” (some sites “like” it)

     
  2. Deepesh Nellutla

    A well good startup.

     
  3. Murray Harrold

    SWOT – Nothing like it? Why I am I not surprised?

     
    • Jake Hower

      Have to agree with you there Murray. This concept doesn’t seem to place any value on the agents expertise.

      We wouldn’t be seeking business through a service like this as we build a relationship with our clients over the course of the sales process by talking and engaging with the prospect.

      We are relationship builders by profession who just so happen to sell travel. If we were to just provide quotes we’d be out of business.

       
    • Jake Hower

      I agree Murray, would be a hard sell attracting the cream of the travel agent population with a service like this, where the value proposition to a client is price, as opposed to expert advice and a high level or service.

      You cannot offer this type of advice without first building a relationship with the client.

      I like to say that Travel Agents are in the business of relationships. We just happen to sell travel also.

       
      • Mangi

        I am all about relationship selling, been doing it a long time. Curious, where do you get your new leads??? Or do you also have more business than you can handle?

         
        • Jake Hower

          About 95% of our business is repeat and referrals.
          Certainly not against new business, I don’t think you can ever have enough. It’s important we are getting the best ROI on leads though, so having the right type of lead who understands our value proposition is important (Both for us, and for the client).

          I don’t think a service where price is the focus will allow bricks & mortar agents to compete effectively with the online guys as their platforms become more advanced. We need to focus on something that an online service can’t easily replicate, the human connection between people.

          Only my point of view though…I’d love to be proven wrong!

           
 
 

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