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Inspiring Story Of Holidaying And How They Promise To Enhance Your Travel Experiences

Holidaying 1. Founders of Holidaying:

Rahul is a UC Berkeley alumni and identifies himself as an inventor & a product leader. He has built multiple (patented) SaaS applications for solving complex logistics problems. These are being used by leading e-commerce companies around the world.

Swapnil is a graduate from BITS Pilani. He was with MakeMyTrip in supply and P&L leadership roles managing their domestic hotels' portfolio of 100 Mn USD. He has co-founded and scaled a startup in the tech-recruitment space in a previous role.

Both of us have had earlier entrepreneurial stints. Swapnil ran a hackathon-based recruiting company, Valonia - This was a profitable venture. Rahul was building a technology startup in Silicon Valley, Viae-X. The venture raised 4 Mn in the seed.

2. Could you share what the concept of Holidaying is and its origination? What is the vision behind Holidaying?

We are building a platform where one can book inspiring travel with influencers & locals. On our app, a traveler can browse through the trips of top creators they follow on social media, seek assistance from them, and book with a click of a button.

We started Holidaying with the mission to enable people to book inspiring travel. Both of us are avid travelers and see a clear disconnect between how we discover travel and how we book it. As of now, 86% of leisure travel discovery accounting for $200B is done via social media but rarely booked. To book content we see on social media, you enter a long and tiring process of either browsing through OTAs or talking to agents. OTAs are facilitators who provide no human assistance, and offline agents are people who the modern millennial doesn’t know or connect to.

We believe that any company which can empower the influencers to convert their reach and user trust will be able to control the top of the funnel and disrupt how we plan trips. This is the reason why we are building Holidaying.

3. What makes travel enthusiasts choose Holidaying for their travel plans? What is uniqueness?

Every trip, weekend getaway on our app is a unique discovery by influencers and local hosts! You find much more than regular hotels and touristy places on our app. When you travel on Holidaying, you get access to Caravans, Igloos, Treehouses in addition to the standard resorts.

When you are booking a honeymoon, you don’t talk to a customer care agent, you plan with a travel influencer or local you follow or like! Our tech is enabling this unique ecosystem where creators share their unique discoveries and help travelers book great trips!

4. What kind of opportunities can travel influencers & content creators explore with your platform?

Holidaying Today creators only earn via their outreach on social platforms, not by transaction revenue. But you would be surprised to know that creators are leading almost 86% of all leisure travel discovery. However, less than 2% of transactions happen via them.

We make all trips bookable and allow them to create their travel stores in less than 5 minutes! They can earn an average of INR 60000 per month on Holidaying if they are able to get ~5000 monthly views on their store. There are over 18 million such creators in India. A very minor fraction of them have any significant traction to currently earn from the content they create.

They can now earn with the first view itself! We offer them INR 2 per view and 5% of the booking commission on any transaction they make!

The power of creating micro-entrepreneurs who are earning themselves and assisting travel for countless Indians is IMMENSE!

5. Could you share some statistics about Holidaying?

There are a total of 120 creators who have shared over 2600 trip ideas on our app. In the past 3 months, we have had 500 travelers plan and book their trips with us. We have been rated 4.9 on these trips!

6. Where do you envision seeing the above numbers reach in the next 2-3 years? What are the next targets and milestones?

In the next 2-3 years, we envision having over 5000 creators on our app, helping plan any destination in India. Our target market is the modern millennial and we want to be their main source to seek and plan offbeat travel ideas.

We also plan to start solving some destinations in South East Asia like Thailand, Bali, Cambodia, and Vietnam. These countries are very culturally diverse and one can do a lot of interesting travel there.

7. What have been the key challenges and bottlenecks faced in the Journey of Holidaying thus far? What are the important lessons derived from it?

We were just into our second month of building Holidaying when the pandemic stuck us all. During the journey, half of the team personally battled the virus. Travel & public gatherings of any sort were entirely halted. Overnight we were transformed into a remote working team.

At that time, we realized that as startup founders we have to be both adaptive and resilient. We moved to a lean model and diverted our focus to solving specific problems that travelers had at that time. For example - long stays, weekend getaways, and answering general travel-related queries. While solving these, we were cognizant about the long-term vision of Holidaying, and how our current work would supplement the product once the pandemic is over.

8. What are your thoughts on the impact of the Covid pandemic on the travel industry? How would travel shape out to be in the next 2-3 years?

The industry got a brutal reset. Both small and large players were severely affected. But, this reset brought new opportunities with itself.

With flight travel out of the window, Indians started discovering a lot more drivable distances. This has attracted a lot of attention to local homestays, villas, boutique and heritage hotels. These places were already there, but most people did not know about them.

The need for planning has also increased. People want to know more about a place beforehand, due to the uncertainty brought by the pandemic.

9. How do you plan to penetrate the travel community and acquire more users & travel content- creators on your platform?

86% of all travelers discover something about their destination via content creators or peers online! This is the single highest discovery segment in travel and the least commercialized. Our community of creators and their boutique travel stores built on Holidaying will help us penetrate the community and create the network effect needed for us to reach everyone!

Today, 60% of our users are referrals. We hope to continue with the quality in our offerings and let referral growth evolve.

We discover our creators through social media engagements and meetups.

10. How are you funded?

We are bootstrapped. Both Swapnil and Rahul have invested their own capital in this. As we are scaling now, we have started scouting for external growth capital from partners who share our vision.

11. Could you share a couple of customer/user testimonials and their experience with your brand?



Holidaying

Holidaying

Holidaying


12. From your journey thus far, what is your message for Entrepreneurship-enthusiasts?


Experiment a lot to get the right product-market fit. Once you are confident, don't let the belief waver by small setbacks. Believe in yourself, your team, and the market!



For more information on Holidaying, visit their Website or connect via Email

For App download: App link You can follow their updates on: Instagram | Facebook community | Facebook

Copyrights © 2021 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine


Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 23rd March 2021.

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