A new website recently launched called Tourdust.com, its all about discovering & sharing authentic travel experiences. Most important to voluntourism providers are the free listing opportunities it offers. You can list your trips for free, even include a link to your site and in return if someone books through Tourdust they get a commission – pretty fair I think.
I recently interviewed the founder Ben Colclough and below are a few of his thoughts.
Why start this sort of site in this economy?
- Of all the travel sectors I expect the niche / independent /adventure travel sector to suffer the least. As a rule it would be fair to say that independent travellers are very passionate about their travel and so getting away will come relatively higher in their priorities than maybe it would do for those looking for a sun/sand holiday.
- There will be a lot of wealthy people out of work with a healthy redundancy check thinking about taking gap years and therefore looking for some memorable experiences
- Hopefully small authentic operators will increase their focus on getting new business and will be looking for risk-free opportunities to promote themselves
Why this business model? How does it work for the providers and customers?
- Most importantly, we needed a design that really gets across the inspiration and personality behind each experience. The character of the individual guide and host is a hugely important part of each and every experience on Tourdust.
- With a long tail model, you can’t afford to hire a sales team to approach each and every partner. We needed a pricing structure that made it a no-brainer for the right kind of business to sign up. After all, a lot of the best authentic travel businesses get most of their custom through recommendations – so they are never going to consider paying out large listing fees or commissions. If you’re interested you can find out more about pricing and signing up at http://www.tourdust.com/sell. Our model is absolutely reliant on getting good word of mouth referrals going within the travel industry itself.
- We have tried to make it easy for providers to sign up and manage their content. My benchmark was that it should be as easy as selling something on ebay. It is just a question of entering some text and loading some pictures. We’re not asking people to give us live availability feeds or anything – we’ve tried to keep it as simple as possible.
To sum up I guess, it’s free to sign up, it’s easy and hopefully your listing is going to look really good and get some new customers excited. So why not try it? www.tourdust.com