While people tend to upgrade and go to foreign destinations during good economical climates, they still choose to tour to nearby weekend destinations during bad times. This explains the double digit growth of Outbound & Domestic Tourism and the 4-5 percent growth of Inbound Tourism annually. Thanks to technology, travel is evolving from merely booking tickets/hotels to planning itineraries and this healthy growth bestows the right service providers with plentiful opportunities. FTD Travel is one such new-age travel service provider that is occupying this unique space with 360o view of activities to destinations and vice versa to help plan for travel. Moreover, it is backed with a travel agent marketplace to fulfil these plans with bespoke itineraries.
Connecting Travel Agents & Tourists
Acting as a one-stop-shop fulfilling most of the travel needs, FTD’s Discovery & Self-Service Platform facilitates tourists, its B2B Booking Platform for flights, hotel, bus & car helps travel agents, while the Travel Agent Marketplace connects travellers with local travel agents for custom itineraries.“FTD allows travellers to plan their holidays and itineraries based on interests or activities they’re passionate about, based on rich, deep-indexed content encompassing 5,000+ attractions across 52 countries, 350+ towns in India, tagged to 70+ activities structured around 8 themes,” explains Vinit Jain, Founder & CEO, FTD Travel.
The company operates in a CPC & Pull Model, where travellers’ requests are made available on its portal and Travel Agents login into their account and pick the ones they want on their own. FTD is also very transparent to its Agents and informs them in advance as to how many travel agents they would compete with on the travel request. The company has an in-house call centre to remove the weeds (prank requests) from genuine inquiries and collect additional information about the traveller needs.
A Win-Win-Win for All
Born as Vinit’s brainchild as a pure content platform for Discovery purpose, FTD introduced Themes (Air, Land, Water, Nature, Pilgrim, Snow, and Entertainment & Heritage) and 70 different things to do; super indexed all destinations and Tourist Spots to enable easier look-up and quicker decisions for the travellers. Around 1.5 years ago, Vinit decided to build a travel agent marketplace where travellers come with their service needs and the verified and trusted travel agents would provide them the service – making it win-win-win for all the three parties, whereby travellers save time, money & worry, agent gets business for minuscule cost, and FTD makes some money out of its platform. Today, having on-boarded 650+ travel agents, the company can boast of getting around 1800 visitors per day and is generating around 1000 Travel Leads per month.
FTD allows travellers to plan their holidays and itineraries based on interests or activities they’re passionate about
To be precise, it has generated around Rs.25 crores Potential Business for Travel Agents in the first six months of this calendar year and growing on a good double digit quarter-over-quarter. This seems even more impressive considering the fact that this bootstrapped company doesn’t have anyone on its payroll but the founders & partners, and gets its work done by contractors, freelancers, ex-journalist now housewives, friends & family. Also being approached for acquisition, FTD is actively talking to a few HNIs & Angels to set up office, scale business and add additional sources of income.