By Martin Kelly
Fast-growing destination website company TotalTravel.com has made its first international move by launching TotalTravel sites in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.
Marketing Director Paul Fisher said other offshore sites will follow.
“There’ll certainly be others,” he said.
“We’re looking at markets that make sense – English-speaking destinations where people can fly fairly cheaply on Low Cost Carriers.”
Fisher said the NZ and UK sites are still very much in soft launch mode.
“We’re initially rolling the product out for free and then further down the track when traffic builds we’ll offer additional (paid) products,” he said.
TotalTravel offers a destination directory featuring travel guides supplemented by paid links to suppliers.
The company, based in Byron Bay, has grown rapidly in recent times.
Staff numbers have increased from 12 to 40 in just 12 months, while Hitwise now rates TotalTravel.com as the second most popular “Destination and Accommodation’ website in Australia.
Fisher said it received a record 1.4 million unique site visits during August.
Advertisers are also catching on, particularly as search engine marketing costs increase.
The Australian site now hosts 6500 advertisers – most of them small accommodation business – who generally pay annual subscriptions starting at A$295.
“We’re starting to get a lot of the big guys coming on board now because paid search costs in the travel sector is so expensive,” Fisher said.
“As I said at TRAVELtech, the travel industry has a very ‘long tail’ (meaning that it is mostly small businesses).
“We started at the tail and are now working on the body.”