Social Media is fundamentally changing the way people travel. The meteoric growth of sharing and collaborative consumption in travel is fueled by the basic desire to interact with locals and experience local culture firsthand. Touristlink lets travelers connect with each other and with locals for tours, transport, cultural, friendships and more.
Social Media is fundamentally changing the way people travel. The meteoric growth of sharing and collaborative consumption in travel is fueled by a desire to interact with locals and experience cultures firsthand. We envision Touristlink as the world’s largest online community of frequent travelers, locals and small travel providers.
Touristlink is now one of the fastest growing “big” social travel sites. We expect to grow our member base from 30,000 today to 300,000 in the next 8 months. The number of daily active users has grown close to 100% month/month during the last 5 months.
Touristlink lets travelers connect with each other and with locals for tours, transport, cultural, language exchanges, friendships and more. Members posting trip plans and are matched with other travelers and locals based on shared itineraries and interests. Given the current traction we feel we have cracked a model that marries personalized travel itineraries and relevant local social content.
Dr. David Urmann (CoFounder): PhD Ohio State. Led the development of over 100 websites since 2003 resulting in 150 million+ page views. Moved to India in 2006 to expand my existing US based internet business and met my present business partner. We founded an outsourcing company which we grew from 3 employees to over 80 in three years and successfully exited before launching Touristlink in 2011. Avid traveler have visited over 40 countries.
Jayesh Bagde (CoFounder): Previous work was in advertising and brand management for central India biggest names. Have spent the past 7 years in a number of successful years working alongside David in travel, SEO, e-commerce and consulting services.
Deepak Gupta (CTO): Lead developer, problem solver and architect of Touristlink from day one. 8+ years of programming experience in PHP,MySQL, Unix, JQuery, HTML using LAMP architectures.
Ranjith Cherickel (Executive Member): Investor and mentor at 88mph.ac Head of Sales for Africa at Nokia Siemens with a billion USD sales target. Skype, Verizon Wireless, Siemens, INSEAD.
We collect "a travel graph" of every member who signups. Members post where they want to go, where they live, interests, tastes and budget. This information will allow us to effectively deliver highly personalized advertising.
Small travel providers on the site can be charged a per/lead fee or a freemium type subscription model could be employed. We have over 7000 small travel business active on the website and over 50% of these have indicated a willingness to pay for either leads or a subscription. We recently negotiated a deal to sell leads to one of India's leading travel companies.
There are plenty of social travel startups. The key differentiating factor is traction. Touristlink is getting 15,000 unique visits a day and has over 1500 daily active return users. We are starting to see network effects drive growth as we have over 30,000 members at present of which 7000 are small travel businesses. These small providers are now adding over 100 new tours a week to the site.