A young Bristol entrepreneur has secured more than £200,000 worth of bookings through his new online holiday bookings service in only 10 days.
Ryan Pasco is the founder of HolidayCrowd, which allows travellers to book trips away using the expertise of a travel agent, but from the comfort of their own armchair.
The idea was born when Ryan, 20, was assisting a friend in the search for a suitable holiday. After hours of tedious and time consuming research he had an ‘Eureka’ moment when he realised: “Surely there’s an easier way of doing this, or at least an expert who could do it for me?”
Unlike many other travel agent websites, it matches travel agents with customers, allowing them to provide expert inside knowledge on airlines, destinations, hotels and local amenities while guiding the traveller from research to decision making without having to leave the website.
Travellers submit a trip request, which is then ‘pinged’ to the relevant travel agents who specialise within the chosen field. All agents are able to view the request but due to the competitive nature of HolidayCrowd, the onus is on the agents to deliver the best value travel experience for the traveller.
From here the traveller receives the itineraries (bids) from the travel agents. Online chat is actively encouraged so further details and amendments can be made and once a deal is struck, payment is completed and tickets are sent.
“Having watched my parents successfully launch what is now a thriving enterprise from scratch here in Bristol, you could argue that I’ve had an excellent bench mark to begin with,” said Ryan. “As any fledgling firm would agree, success doesn’t come easily and requires research, guts and enormous determination. I have been actively encouraged by local commerce in the area that has shown nothing but support in the lead up to the launch.
“We may be living in a time of austerity but the attitude in Bristol is very much ‘can do’ which is why I wanted to base the business here.
“I’ve always loved to travel, I just wish I’d had this resource earlier as it could have saved so much time and energy. But with so much scope and more specialist agencies signing up, the opportunities are endless.”