Let’s say you woke up one morning and decided to visit the sparkling beaches of Rio de Janeiro. Other than being ready to spend a handsome chunk of money, you’d probably be left pondering over how to organise your trip, what operator to connect to and how your dream vacation could be customized.
Another service that has come up to provide this and with an aim to do it better is HelloTravel.com, a platform which connects travellers with certified travel specialists who can offer customized travel solutions. Being absolutely free for travellers, HelloTravel.com follows a ‘Pay-per-lead’ model in which the travel specialists would be provided leads to potential customers. They can then read the full content of travellers’ requirements before spending any money on purchasing their contact details. “From a travel agents’ point of view, it helps them utilize their budgets as per their need and follow only those travel leads where they have maximum chances of succeeding,” says Madhup Agarwal, the CEO of HelloTravel.
If you’re a traveler looking for a vacation, all you need to do is specify your travel requirements to HelloTravel through their website, following which you would receive competitive quotes from at least three or four travel specialists, thereby enabling you to select your best bargain.
“In a nut shell, we serve as a mutually beneficial platform to both our stake-holders i.e travel agents and travellers,” adds Madhup.
Starting off three years ago, the HelloTravel team currently consists of 25 members where each one is an expert in his/her domain. “We have cautiously chosen the task force at HelloTravel.com to keep the structure thin, efficient and quality-oriented,” informs Madhup.
The growth so far has been stupendous, with over 250,000 travellers having shared their inquiries on the site and the company has recorded a 100 percent year-on-year growth. “At present, we generate over 30,000 traveller queries every month for domestic, inbound and outbound travel on an average, benefitting over 1500 travel agents associated with us as our members,” adds the CEO.
A major chunk of HelloTravel’s partner operators represent small and medium enterprises in the travel sector. Intent on establishing a network of travel agents for sourcing leads, the aim is to double the number of registered member travel specialists over the next 18 months. “A complete list of our members is available online on our portal,” adds Madhup.
Marketing Success and the Road Ahead
“It is definitely delightful and encouraging to have such a humongous number of followers on our Facebook page. We believe in reaching out to our customers in every possible way and what else could be more appropriate than social media platforms?” asks Madhup. There is also daily engagement with users through varied activities like posting questions, photographs, destination videos and industry news, among others, thereby enhancing the utility of the platform for its followers.
Besides strengthening ties with agents in popular destinations like Egypt and Singapore, there are plans to introduce a mobile application, which would further enhance the flow of enquiries.
“Also, we look to building a platform for travellers where they get connected to each other even when they don’t have any travel plans. In addition, we aim to double the database of registered travel agents at HelloTravel.com,” mentions Madhup signing off.
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