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Interview with David Urmann

David Urmann the founder of touristlink.com -

davidUrmann_ceo

Our team launched public beta in version on the website in October 2011 after seeing a need for a marketplace that let travelers request the exact services they need and get multiple offers from travel providers. The Touristlink marketplace is seamlessly built into a content rich social platform where travelers can interact with each other and with local businesses. Transactional trust is driven by allowing direct interaction with providers and letting members see reviews from other customers. Travel providers get free leads which may evolve from initial information requests, to reservations, to follow-up reviews, and customer loyalty.

touristclick


What was it that inspired you before setting up TouristLink?

I travel a lot and a hard time finding services I needed and connecting with the locals who provided these services. I remember one time being in China and looking for a translator and I thought how much easier if I could find a website where they had profiles and I could see reviews from other customers.

How many countries and destinations have you personally travelled?

I have been to over 40 countries. I moved from the United States to India to start a business. I wrote a guide book on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah back in 1999. I have always been passionate about sharing travel information.

What do you think are the most important aspects about travel planning using today's technology?

I think that all the major travel sites do a poor job of delivering travel content and making it useful to the visitor. Its like we are still in the 1990’s and the travel industry isn’t really taking advantage of how the technology can be used to display the content and make it useful. I think we are in the right direction with Touristlink but that we have a lot more to do to make it really useful to the visitors. I might now where I want to go but it is hard to find the things around me that are really most practical to do. For instance if I want to go surfing in Thailand I can find the info but no one site tells me what beaches are good time of year – instead I have to research each one myself and then decide. I think a traveler should easily be able to find this information in this day and age but it is still difficult. Maybe the reason is the big companies see content as simply a strategy and they don’t have a passion for it like we do at Touristlink.

What are the loop holes in the current travel industry that your service is able to cover?

Its very hard to book things like tours and services. This is illustrated by the fact that over 65% of these services are still booked over the telephone. We hope to provide a service that brings these transactions online and make it easier for everyone.

How differentiated are your services compared to those that are existing in the market today?

We are more of a social site. This is valuable to the travel provider as he can customize his offers just buy reviewing the profile of the member. Most of our competitors are afraid to even share the contact information of the person or company you are buying the service. I don’t believe that inspires much trust.

Why is transactional trust so important to travel consumers that it became an emphasis of your service?

People want to know who they are dealing with and what types of experiences that other people have had with them before buying or engaging in a transaction. We are setting Touristlink up so that this is easy for members to do and everything is transparent.

Interview with David Urmann Reviewed by My Blogger Profile on 11:18:00 PM Rating: 5
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