By Rian Bornman, FlightSiteAgent founder
When we launched FlightSiteAgent in March 2013, our goal was to help make the R37-billion travel industry more inclusive. Using technology, we built a web-based platform that allows anyone – no travel experience required – to access competitively priced flight, car, hotel and bus fares to sell-on to family and friends under their own brand. Because members don’t need access to GDS (the Global Distribution System that is traditionally used to make bookings), anyone with an interest in travel, can start their own business without any start-up capital.
We’re proud to say that in our first three years our turnover has doubled every year since launch, and our active agents have generated R80-million per annum in deposits from approximately 125 bookings a day.
This is incredibly encouraging especially because the majority of FlightSiteAgents are not from the travel industry. They’re savvy entrepreneurs who’ve built a business by selling travel products to their network; some of whom generate up to R10-million in turnover a year! Or small businesses use the platform to save 10% on their internal travel costs.
Besides providing access to a wide range of travel products, we’re also committed to keeping agents’ overheads low. There are no sign-up costs, no ticketing fees and agents decide how much commission they want to earn. It really is a business in a box! All you need is an internet connection, a computer, iPad or smartphone.
But no entrepreneur is an island, and to succeed, needs guidance and support from peers and their operating industries to stay up-to-date with trends and new innovations. Which is why we launched our popular quarterly workshops last year. Covering topics from social media to pricing, we’ve received positive feedback from delegates and will continue hosting them in Johannesburg and Cape Town in 2016. If you have any topic suggestions do let us know, we’d love to hear from you.
We’ve also launched a blog. It will share interesting content, tips, advice or industry updates every few weeks. We also announce new posts on our Facebook and Twitter pages – follow us for updates. We love to hear stories and encourage people to share on all our platforms.