Your site looks very polished and gives the impression that it`s been around for a while. It`s amazing what you can do with a few plug-in tools from big sites these days. I really like the way you are presenting the brand (and the cool name.)
It does look like you may want to focus a little more. I get the impression that your site is a skin for Travelocity, rather than somebody who`s going to customize a trip for me. In that case, you`ll be more focused on driving traffic through the site with something like a newsletter or other types of advice to add value to Travelocity. Your other option is to put the packages together yourself and re-sell them as a convenience to busy vacationers. Some companies seem to be having some measure of success with this model recently.
Unfortunately those links are to a site you have to pay to access. Do any of the people here at SuN have comments on the viability of a boutique travel business? The internet seemed to be the demise of the traditional travel agent, but can you still niche yourself to profitability in the vacation-planning arena?
I think as e-commerce begins to grow, and the Interent begins to mature
a little, people will start to see it for what it is---a communications
When the phone system first started, telemarketers made a lot of money
because nobody knew what they were. Everyone picked up the phone and it
was a miracle to talk with someone miles away. Now, how many successful
telemarketers are there in proportion to other businesses?
Yes, the old travel-agent model is changing IF you hold that a "travel
agent" only gets cheap tickets. Is that what a travel agent is,
Isn`t a travel agent someone like a restaurant critic---someone who`s
actually traveled, done things, has experience, and can recommend
specific types of travel based on seeing you directly?
The Internet at last brings *personalized* information and the delivery
system to everyone who can connect. It doesn`t bring just information!
It brings *personalized* product delivery, not just sells "products" in
To be successful with an Internet business I think rests entirely on
how well you can produce the "appearance of one-on-one relationships."
Great ideas from all!
I know I am missing original and interesting content to make the connection between what I am selling. I can`t answer the question of "why is Playground Earth different" except by saying that the company promotes "soft sports" for the rest of us. Adding easy and fun activities to a vacation can make it memorable and why not try a surfing class or a kayak trip for a first time.
here is a sample page I have been working on since we started the chat. I am connecting hotels with activities and will add recommendations and ratings. Also to add the possibility of a "one to one relationship" I was thinking of adding a way for user to add their own articles.
This is actually kind of interesting... :-) It comes across a whole lot
more like a "catalog" of vacations. I hope some other folks have some
feedback.... I`d say keep going in this direction, though. Personal
Thank you Craig.
I like the quote about the 10 kinds of people.... it is very good!
:-) I wish I knew the author and could credit them.
Think about appetizer sampler plates. They`re not the main course but
they get people to try new tastes. But the sampler plate is not the
thing that gets people in the door. They don`t go to the restaurant for the appetizer, they go for the dinner. The sampler plate becomes a great idea to the customer when they are reading the menu, planning out their meal.
This makes me think that
Playground Earth is more like a sampler plate. You want to help people to try a little snorkeling, do a short hike, take a kayaking class. I`m not sure that these selling points are what will get people to plan an entire vacation through you. It kind of needs to be an afterthought to the customer that is already planning their trip to Hawaii. This is where positioning your business becomes key.
In my opinion, your niche has to be an addendum to the already numerous vacation planning services. Instead of competing with your competition, take advantage of them. Offer that little extra more that they don`t because your focus is getting people out of the normal vacation that the common travel agent would plan. This would mean that your customers wouldn`t be the consumers, rather other travel agents. Maybe, I`m just brainstorming here. :)
I would say just think about what you can offer that nobody else can, or who you can offer it to that isn`t currently being served. This is the brainstorming process I am going through anyway...
I like the idea of teaming up with your "competition" rather than trying to compete directly. Piggybacking other businesses may be the place to find the margin.
You might try to form an informal relationship with customers and potential customers by writing some content.