A global community designed to help travellers and newcomers have a better on arrival experience has just been launched. Free to join, the site’s notice board and member profile search aims to provide the common ground for people, wherever they are, to connect, share experiences, and even arrange to meet up.
Founder, Maurizio Marmotta: “The initial idea for FriendsOnArrival.com came from my own experience of moving around and having to start all over. I’ve found the packing gets easier, while making new friends and settling in gets harder. I saw there was an opportunity for a community which wasn’t just singles based or focussed on business networking.
Something you can feel comfortable about using, without the stigma or the presumption one that was more about making friends.
“This is reflected in the audience the site attracts and how they’re using it. For example, 78% of members are over 26 and half of those are over 36. What surprised us is that 11% are over 46.
“Our site has drawn a far more diverse membership than we originally expected. Members are looking for team-mates, travel companions, advice on how to get started in a new place, tips for upcoming holidays and gap year adventures. Some want to meet other parents to socialise with, other retirees in their area or locals to connect with on their next business trip. Others are looking to catch up with old friends, meet that someone special or expand their circle of friends.”
Members are able to find like-minded people by searching on criteria as diverse as religion, pets, parents, geographic location, nationality, volunteering, just to name a few.
Because people join FriendsOnArrival for many different reasons, the site is designed to be safe and easy to use. All public content is reviewed before going on the site. On top of this, FriendsOnArrival adhere to, and are licensees of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. This means members can give as much or as little information as they want and can be assured that none of it gets passed onto advertisers/spammers.
To coincide with the launch, each month new and existing members are in the draw to win iPod nanos and Casio EX-S500 digital cameras.
According to Mr Marmotta, plans for expanding the site are already underway: “We’re developing a range of complimentary services that will make the site even more useful to existing members as well as extend to new user segments.”