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As many of you know I am a travel and deal hunter and love helping people make trip plans. So I was looking forward to my chat with John Peters who is the Tripology CEO. Tripology launched in June of 2007 and John was brought in as CEO in June 2008. And Tripology is a NY-based startup.
John describes Tripology as a matchmaking service for "travel specialists" and consumers looking for travel advice. They have filled 50,000 travel requests to-date and have 9,000 travel specialists in the system. As with most marketplaces, the key is getting the demand, the supply is easy.
Their focus is on the long tail and complex tasks, not your basic trip from point a to b. Based on Tripology’s matching criteria, it’s almost like having a travel agent who knows exactly where you want to go just down the block from you like back in the old days.
Here’s how the service works:
- Customer comes to Tripology and fills in a form with their needs
- Tripology runs their query through their system and finds the top 100 matching travel specialists
- Three travel specialists select the query, and pay Tripology $5 to "accept" the query
- The travel specialists then work directly with the customer and they handle the bookings (Tripology is basically out of the game at this point)
Their current marketing plan focuses mainly on SEO and SEM. They selected NYC for their HQ because this is where the travel industry is.
What I’d like to see is a travel specialist reviews listing. Also, with 9,000 travel specialists in their system, I bet they could create a very strong blog/community site which could provide an additional revenue stream. Imagine if they required each travel specialist to supply one blog post about a destination twice a year to remain active in their system.