Touristlink, a social website for travellers is now providing its members a totally new way to find and book services online.
Members can request any type of travel service from airport pickups to guided trips to day tours. Once a request is made it goes out to a growing network of travel agents and guides who can then make offers. Travel providers upon receiving the request can review the social profile of the member and make offers targeted directly to the tastes and preferences of the member.
The travel request feature offered by Touristlink.com connects members to a growing network of travel providers who include everything from city guides, to travel agencies to car rental companies. One of the founders commented in a recent interview “Why should a traveller talk to just one agent or provider when with Touristlink you can broadcast your travel needs across our entire network of providers. Touristlink puts all the information right at your fingertips making it easy to see which providers have given the best service to other members, how active they are in the community and who has the cheapest rates.” Touristlink lets members easily connect with providers but just as importantly it allows users to decide when and how much or how little contact they want from business owners by defining profile settings.
Touristlink individually screens each provider to validate identity and shows members the rank of each provider on the platform so it is easy to sort out those with the best reviews before selecting an offer. Touristlink reduces the risk of booking with travel providers by letting members rate and see reviews from other travellers. Travel providers like regular members on the website can create photo albums or group places together into lists to show off favorite destinations (Here is an example of the Best Forts in India made by one travel agency). The site founders suggest that “Providers who invest a lot of time on the site and in the community are often good bets for members to place orders with.”
Touristlink offers a very easy user interface for requesting trips and tours. Rather than forcing users to fill out a complex form Touristlink is able to leverage the social aspect of the website by passing on the travellers social profile and travel preference to providers whenever a request is made. Providers can easily review what types of activities the member likes, the traveling style, budget and a number of other factor before creating an offer. A recent press release from the company stated “Potential members and travellers we have spoken with have indicated that they will find tremendous value in the services provided by Touristlink as we shift the focus from the transaction based environment offered by our competitors to a relationship based environment that focus on real needs and not predefined products.”
The site founder, Dr. Urmann, is excited by the initial response to this service “We just launched in October and already have over 1000 active travel providers signed on providing everything from day trips to currency exchange to translation services. This means when a member makes a request it goes out to 100’s of providers so that no matter where you are I the world Touristlink puts you in touch with a virtual network of travel providers.”
The Touristlink marketplace is seamlessly built into a content rich social platform where travellers can interact with each other and with local businesses. Transactional trust is driven by allowing direct interaction with providers and letting members see reviews from other customers. Travel providers get free leads which may evolve from initial information requests, to reservations, to follow-up reviews, and customer loyalty.