“Spartan Theory” Part 1, Chapter 12
Its been mentioned, that I believe together we can gain significant Market Share in Travel, nowadays most travel is booked over the internet, not in shops, and as such if we can get significant market share of Internet Travel, we have significant market share of Global Travel and Tourism.
Months before S-World changed direction towards FaceBook, there was a strong plan for travel, now by including FaceBook and applying the nine unique concepts in travel we are primed to dominate global travel and tourism.
Before we get to the nine unique concept let’s me offer a summary.
First we need to build financial, admin and CRM software, link it to a bank, a GDS and customize it to tourism & travel. At the same time we create an extremely well researched global travel database, and feed relevant content to customized regional websites such as www.ExperienceAfrica.com .
We have split the world into 16 locations, and will approach Condé Nast approved tour operators across the globe and provide them with quality additions to there current websites in new areas they have requests for but have no expertise in, then we will create API links, to add there inventory to our database. Where possible we will get them to use our administrative and CRM software.
Once version.1 of the software is ready and the global travel database is comprehensive enough to offer a good service and experience in many locations, (3 to 6 Months I’d say) we create trained FaceBook Travel Reps and/or Agents, basically welcoming people with good local knowledge of their location, who wish to act as an agent for enquiries.
The enquiries to FaceBook members come from a few different sources, via the S-World Virtual World, Travel agents, Tour operators, accommodation venues, and via FaceBook Friends, or Friends of Friends, or if they do well friends of friends of friends.
Each guest will at the end of there stay rank the agent, agents with good rankings expand, others don’t, or in the case of bad ranking loose there Agent rights.
Member Agents will be taught to use the systems and general business and customer relationship skills via an entertaining and easy to play, tutorial game, if they do well at the game, they get the opportunity to become an agent.
FaceBook member agents will also be provided there own customized website and quality print media to distribute to potential clients, to compete outside of FaceBook.
So to the 9 new concepts in travel, in more detail, but I must warn you it’s quite a read, but well worth reading, I laughed and got very disillusioned with them when the first person at VIGIN Brands SA said to me about my proposal in a nearly whining voice. “It’s not long is it?”
Well seeing as I’d been working on it for 3 years, yes it was long, surely one would rather a well thought out detailed plan, well researched and tested as much as possible.
Anyway, there loss is mine and FaceBook’s Gain:)
The tutorial game is created to give a comprehensive overview of the travel industry in general, and highlight the importance of all nine of our travel advances, and the various different parts of each.
The game is made to train and gauge aptitude in 2 areas, FaceBook Travel Reps, where applicants concentrate on small businesses with excellent customer service, and FaceBook Member Agents where they can build a travel empire. This game shows how we recruit and train both of them?
Since 2002, as soon as my company www.CapeVillas.com started showing strong potential, I was thinking about making a management game VILLA MOGUAL, in a similar way to Soccer Management or Tycoon styled games. We already had nice graphics http://www.capevillas.com/CTG.shtml.
The original 2002 idea then was for the game player to start with a $10,000, choose skill set’s, set up and grow their businesses, the game play idea back in 2002 is still a good place to start as it gives our would be FaceBook Travel Reps and Agents, experience in travel in general and the developments that have changed it this century.
From a tutorial perspective the main intention to really illustrate, is how our 9 new developments in travel, make becoming a Facebook Travel Rep or Agent a good career choice in the real world and also to get them fully trained in how to get the most out of all the advances and software.
To start the game our, would be FaceBook Travel Reps and Agents allocate a percentage of turnover to research, and pick a specific technology to research first. The more advanced the technology, the more it costs to research, so in general gamers will research all the beginning technologies first, then move to the second and so on... All be it unlocking Virtual World 1, is well worth getting to as quickly as possible as it doubles income.
Orange indicate new advances, which we have conceptualised, Black is for the significant advances so far this century. As you can see, the game shows there are twice as many new advances as there are discovered advances, and few would argue that that is an accurate picture, save the internet in general, travel has advanced very little over the last 11 years, all be it market share has shifted towards web based companies and accommodation venues websites.
After our, would be Travel rep sets their character traits, they can spend their start up money on.
Like soccer management games, there will be many hidden attributes, a staff member may seem excellent from there viewable attributes, but what you cant see it some unwanted character problems, such as, laziness, sickly, problems with authority, dishonest, over ambitious. On the positive side they could however have good hidden characteristics such as, loyalty, hard worker, nice to be around, works out of office well, motivator, team player.
As mentioned, one of the main objectives of the game is to get FaceBook Travel Reps to appreciate our new travel advances, if we take the FB/CRM3 – Psychology Tests as an example this particular advance can reveal all the negative or positive employee traits.
These “Physiological tests” however will only be available after playing the game for quite a while, unless the rep just researches customer service. Either way by the time one gets this technology he/she may have quite a few staff members
As soon as advance FB/CRM3 –Psychology Tests, is researched, all the attributes of the worst traited staff member are shown, and you see how much money has been lost to the dreaded “Other” cost centre, as well as how many game points he/she has lost you.
I will give an example of one test I have used many times for fun. To make this fun for you, follow this link http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/Test and answer all the questions, on a pad, try to look at each question individually.
This test in particular would be well performed at an interview to determine whether an employee has genuine excitement for the job, or just looking to pay the rent questions. Question’s 3 & 4 tells you a lot, if they have a thick forest without a path they are probably working for you until something bettor comes along. On the other hand if an applicant describes a flower covered meadow with a large path in the middle, they will most likely be a very willing employee that sees his or her future with your company.
There will be many such tests, for the FaceBook Reps and Travel Agents to put to there virtual employees, each one unlocking one or two hidden character traits, to do so however they must go through the questions on each test and process the results for each employee. So to fully evaluate all staff it takes a while, diligent gamers will spend a long time performing tests on staff and become well acquainted with the FB/CRM3 – Psychology Test and will be ready to apply them in real life. (The more time a gamer spends looking at these tests, and other advances and business tutorials, the more points they acquire)
Money lost by negative hidden attributes, goes into an dreaded “OTHER” Account, so it’s not easy to see what’s what.
One can gauge overall performance easier by points, or points per day. The idea of having points is to show long term growth, vs. short term gratification. For example spending money on add boards and mass marketing campaigns, will make more bookings and so money, but spending more time winning customers hearts, and making affiliate relationships, will over time create a stronger business. By analysing ones points per minute one can gauge ones long term strategies likelihood of successes.
There are many more advances to research and learn, in particular the financial software, in the same way as the FB/CRM3 – Psychology Test other advances will be introduced to gamers in a way that makes them really appreciate them.
The most significant advance of all is Virtual World 1 (Page 6. S-World Virtual World), with this advance our reps sales double there booking closure rating, if it was one in four, now its one in two.
A 3D Virtual world showing all the accommodation and locations as they are in real life will thoroughly enhance the client and game experience, and besides being an excellent tool in the game, it also opens the door for hundreds of sub games, Global sports leagues, Territorial battles, Building games, possibly an extension to the Simms (Where users are encourages to map there surrounding area, connecting it to another mapped area to gain passage.)
any game can be played in our virtual world, the difference and hook being,
they are playing a game inside an environment that exists in real life.
Who would not wish to play a game in there own street, or town? The connotations
are huge for the gaming industry.
Whilst this approach would be more fun to some gamers in the long run it would not be as effective as one would have to set up a base in that location, which can be costly and time consuming.
Diplomacy on the other hand with the partner in the location you wish to do business in, costs you little or nothing at all, all be it earnings are half as you share profit with your partner.
For example, say the game is started in the Atlantic Seaboard in Cape Town, South Africa dealing with just luxury villa rental, every now and again clients will wish to book a safari. Making a partnership with a safari specialist will make a good source of extra cash if the client that enquired about a villa also books a safari.
Another good example is considering Cape Town is for most a winter sun holiday, making partnerships with other suppliers of winter holiday’s increases your chance of making bookings in say Australia, Thailand, Brazil, USA & European Skiing, should your clients from last year wish to try a new location. One of the main things we are looking to achieve from our FaceBook Travel Reps is that they cultivate repeat business, and developing relationships for life.
Each time a guests vacation is finished, they give a rating simply, “Could try harder”, “I had a great Time” or “I felt like a VIP”, these ratings are tallied and effect the reps Customer service ranking, which effects gamers significantly after the Travel Service ratings advance is unlocked. (Point 5, FaceBook Travel Service Ratings.)
NOTE: To really maximise supplier partnerships, make a reciprocal arrangements, where the partners also send their clients to the Reps as well.
The above affiliate partnership process, whist one of the most effective ways to win the game at the beginning, becomes less advantageous when the advance in marketing technology Free Websites opens up (Point. 8 FaceBook Travel Agents “Real Websites”) This technology instantly reveal’s partners across the globe, and web site development costs are free.
In this example what we are trying to accomplish, is get our FaceBook Travel Agent to really appreciate the Free Websites technology, having respected the amount of time it takes them to develop partnerships in the game and how much extra money it made. At the same time teaching them how to use the website building engine, which you will see in point 8, builds amazing looking well researched comprehensive travel websites in areas our reps wish to represent, which that can my used in real life.
And to some points on game play.
Well that’s some of the basics of the game play, in a fun environment we start to teach our Reps & Agents good habits in travel and in business in general, whilst making them really appreciate and get to know, use, then master the many travel advances, both available and in production.
I’d like to go back to a moment of inspiration, on my birthday the 2nd August 2008, I woke up with the idea of how to turn the game into a real life competition, a global competition. By giving the top 8 or so winners in different locations there own travel franchise and a $100,000 start up kitty, then follow the progress via a TV reality Show, with expert business men like Sir Richard Branson helping one contestant each, advising and teaching, the companies would all do well due to the extra exposure, and so more people would try the game.
Unfortunately in practice, it was unrealistic, I cant exactly remember if it was one person per country or continent, either or, giving one person, the money and training so start up a internet travel agency in such a large area was not going to work, who would look after and greet the clients?? It would need a team of people and a lot more start up funding? So until I started applying various S-World plans to Social Networking in June 2011, this idea was put on ice.
Now however within a social networking environment, it comes full circle, instead of looking for one good gamer/rep per country, we can look for hundreds and thousands, and due to the advances, there is no need to offer start up money, training, offices...... no costs at all really, the FaceBook Rep or Agent, being quite happy with their commission, which would be in the region of 5 times what a normal Travel Agent would earn.
At the end of the game, FaceBook Travel Agents and Reps will be well trained in what it takes to make it in the travel businesses and have a good grounding of business in general. Plus they will be experts at using our systems, technology and advances.
They will see how easy it is with our advances, to create a real business for them selves. Those that wish to can apply for a FaceBook Travel Agent or Rep position
If one passes the interview, one simply starts the game again but in real life with as many technical advances as are currently developed, enquiries will come to them from real life people and companies, and they get to the job of converting enquiries into bookings and treating clients like kings, but unlike the game, now, whenever they convert an enquiry (make a booking), they get real money into their a real bank account.
Lastly and getting back to the TV reality show, now, through social networking and FaceBook Travel Reps & Agents there is a good opportunity to launch an interesting game show, the same as before, but the FaceBook Travel Agent can work with FaceBook reps across the globe, so solving the service problem. “Who wants to be an S-World Billionaire” would be a fun title following 16 Different FB agents, all aided by prominent business men or celebrity’s, in an ongoing competition to make money and please the customer. To add to the fun each will represent a different region as mapped out here Regions Map.
The additional interest and coverage from such a TV show will highlight too many the opportunities and advantages of working not only for FaceBook travel, but also the many other industries, S-World can be adapted to.
The main problem with main stream Travel Agents and many travel representatives in general is the individual you speak to has rarely been to the country you wish to visit, and if they have, a fleeting visit hardly gives local knowledge, add this to their commission rates being only one or two percent of the actual booking few would disagree that there is a lot of room for improvement.
Over the following pages you will see how we will develop many travel advances, failsafe accounting methods, cutting edge organizational tool, an amazing website and a good supply of enquiries to FaceBook Travel Representatives, trained and recruited via the Tutorial Game on page1.
2a. FaceBook Travel Reps
FaceBook Travel representatives are people that like people and know and actively enjoy their Town or City, for many a form of supplemental income and a chance to meet new people
Business is without cost; all the tools are provided for our reps to work from home or a shared office. There is no need for marketing costs; enquiries come from a number of sources, travel agents, other reps, tour operators, S-World, FaceBook Travel Agents, FaceBook friends, or friends of friends, or friends of friends of friends even. More than enough to make 4 bookings or so a month and put a few extra thousand dollar in there pockets. And if they are genuine peoples persons, what to other would be considered work, is fun.
I’d like to illustrate the finance incentive for a FaceBook Travel Representative, in comparison to normal Travel Reps.
A FaceBook travel representative, will receive 10% of any booking they make directly to the public, and 5%for a booking from an agency. Now that may not sound like a great deal, but compared to a sales person in a travel agency who often only get 10% or 20% of the 10% commission being only 1% or 2% and you see big difference, such a difference in fact, a lot of people currently employed at travel agencies, will jump ship to FaceBook Travel very quickly, but more often in FaceBook Travel Agents roles.
Making 5 sometimes 10 times as much, as a FaceBook Travel Rep gives our reps 5 maybe 10 times more time to attend to the clients, in an ideal world taking clients on personally guided tours, hikes, enjoy trips to the Wine lands, whatever is the best Experience, become real life friends with clients. On the other hand if the clients wish to party, an ideal FaceBook Travel Rep will go with them, and invite them to some exclusive parties, a yacht party if possible.
Obviously different people have different passions and are of different ages, so clients that wish to book a holiday can look at the passions and advantages of one FaceBook rep over another, if the clients like nature and long walks on the beach and hikes in the mountains, they would choose an rep that likes the same, and the rep will then show them a few trails. If a family has a young child, they would be advised to go for a rep that also has a young child, so they know the best places for children and can babysit. If one wished a party beach holiday better to pick an aspiring model or actress as they will know, and more to the point invite you to the best places to go.
As mentioned on Page 5 “Travel Service Ratings” after the guest has stayed they are asked to rank both their accommodation and representation, simply “Could Try Harder” “I had a great Time” or “I felt like a VIP” FaceBook Travel Reps that repeatedly get “I felt Like a VIP” will get more enquiries and larger percentages from agents. And really over time, we are looking for all FaceBook Travel Clients to be clicking “I felt Live a VIP” most of the time.
2b. FaceBook Travel Agents
Also taught in the tutorial game is how to be a FaceBook Agent, the specific difference being, the agent will not necessarily meet and spend time with guests, rather works with a FaceBook rep, that has no passion or flare for sales and admin. FaceBook Agents will need to completely master all the tools and advances we provide, often they will be people who are already working in the travel industry, who see the opportunity to either just make more money than they currently are or they may be a die hard Entrepreneur who also invest in additional marketing on their companies.
In the long run, it is our intention for our FaceBook Agents to create a global network, taking significant market share from existing tour operators and travel agencies.
2c. FaceBook Travel Reps, for SME Tour Operators and Major Travel Agents
Whilst the long term objective is to have the public booking direct with FaceBook Travel Reps or Agents, in the short term, we need to team up with travel agents, tour operators, and accommodation venues themselves. One way we will do this is covered in page 8 “FaceBook Members Real Websites”
Another, the simplest is to allow the FaceBook Travel Reps to work directly with the current tour operators, and travel agencies, our reps become there local reps, on the ground. In a lot of cases, the travel company in particular, unless operating in its own location, will already be paying between 10% and 20% for what is known as a ground handler, basically just a local tour operator. So paying 10%, for a more active and accommodating FaceBook rep just makes common sense for them.
If you have been following the math, you will notice an inconsistency, in that it was mentioned that FaceBook reps only get a 5% commission if working with an agent. The extra 5% of course is for FaceBook, whilst FaceBook will usually make between 10% and 20% per booking. But 5% is better than nothing, and the more the agencies submerse themselves with FaceBook representation and technology, many will become full partners, become FaceBook agencies themselves.
Working with FaceBook Travel reps will become a hall mark of good customer service for Tour operators and Travel Agents across the globe.
2d. FaceBook Travel Agents for corporate accounts
Whilst my knowledge in setting up corporate accounts such as “Whichever Travel Agency handles Coca Cola’s Travel” is limited, considering what we have to offer I can see no reason why our FaceBook Travel Agents cant pitch for these accounts and win, you will however need to read the full FaceBook Travel plan so see the full bouquet of unique services we have to offer them, to appreciate why big corporations will rather travel with FaceBook Travel.
All the training and good intentions of creating super reps, will do no good without solid customer feedback.
and associated Travel plans, getting feedback can be an expensive process.
In 2008 I started trying to get customer feedback, and through trial and
error we came up with this. http://www.capevillas.com/cape/villas/guest_comment.php?MainID=464
Honesty and guest discomfort are other matters, if one was not really impressed with the rep, but not really bothered about it a “Could Try Harder” will soon move to a “I had a good time” if the rep is standing next to them at the time, as for direct dishonesty I had occasion to point out to one rep that the customer feedback form was written in her own handwriting.
Another thing to note was whilst my policy was to put all reviews on, good or bad other companies’ bosses may not have such moral resolve, so is the data to be trusted in the first place, some may think.
It did however see a sharp rise in our reps customer service which in turn led to a good number of repeat bookings and referrals... (Far more if we’d had the FB/CRM2 – Client Gifts Advance)
At the end of the day however, it really was too much money to keep going, especially as I was putting every penny (Literally) into research and development of my fledgling Experience Africa Brand
Well the good news is in a social networking environment where all reps communicate via a Client Information Suite it can be done easily and for free, at the end of this stay the client will get a message, and or sms asking for feedback.
Now it is incredibly important that the client fills in the form, so it’s my current opinion that we make it really simple, at Cape Villas the questionnaire was 2 pages with a hundred or so tick boxes, and clients sometimes had to be strong armed into filing it out, as the rep would be in big trouble if it was not returned.
So to make
this simple, instead of having 100 check boxes I suggest we just have
6 and an optional link
If it’s this simple, no one will mind making the effort.
What this means for our FaceBook Reps, however is they are constantly tested, bottom line if its to much effort to try to get “I felt like a VIP” every time, they are in the wrong job.
Travel Reps will live and die by the sword that is “FaceBook Travel
In protection of our FaceBook travel reps, however results from clients that have often given “Could Try Harder’s” will be quashed.
This said if a FaceBook Travel Rep genuinely disappoints more than once, there out, there will be plenty wishing to take their place, for a peoples person it’s really a dream job.
All in all, we really have it all covered as far as motivating our Reps to continually excel, but there’s another factor to consider, the accommodation rating.
And you can see what were doing here; we are creating a much more customer centric search engine for all travel. Where ratings are per human experience not just inbound links, and because of this we have a strong argument that search engines in general should prioritise FaceBook are per human experience Travel results.
For further reading.
Now it’s highly likely that some of these advances have already been created in some form or another, however it is the combination of the advances working together and linked to the financial software, linking directly to reps and agents websites, customised specifically to the travel industry that makes the software ground braking.
FB/CRM1 – Organiser
The organiser comes in 5 parts, communication, workflow, venue recommendations, client details booking suite, and a calendar. It handles all daily interactions with clients and reminds you about arrivals and departures.
Lets look at the workflow, first a client makes an enquiry into the CRM and is given there own customisable order page, showing their enquiry details, all communications and recommendations neatly arranged.
This page is designed to automatically deal with the client as much as possible before a human gets involved, if it can be booked there and then, the client can do so, but if it’s a general enquiry about say, a Hotel in Cape Town for $300 a night, up will pop the best 5 Hotels available at around that price, the order of which will be presented by previous customer feedback and diligent research, far from a random offering.
Giving as much information as possible to the client, dramatically improves the chances of making a booking if for no other reason, because it stops the client moving on, and looking at competitors websites, this functionality is particularly useful when one is asleep, but also useful in working hours as it should engage the client for a minute or so while reps and agents gets on to the enquiry page to start live or video chat with the client. Note an SMS will be sent to each agent or rep advising them of the enquiry, so they can get to the client immediately if their near there computer. Engaging a client minutes after their enquiry really improves the chances of making a booking.
A calendar function that runs on timelines show all events to come, so FaceBook Travel Reps are prepared to meet clients at the correct time, and Agents can easily see future busy points where they will need assistance.
Staff can be monitored, sale’s graphs show the best performers, it’s useful so FaceBook Agents know who to congratulate, these graphs and stats also act as motivation to lower performers to do better, and no one likes being last! Especially booking agents!
So we have seen above how, the CRM stores all client information, and how it automatically offers suggestions to client and agents, based on human experiences, which is an improvement and advance on any currently available systems, but there’s more.... a lot more.
FB/CRM 2 – Client Gifts
We all know the saying “Its 10 times cheaper to keep a customer than find a new one”, being extremely nice to a client is a good way to keep a client, and we have illustrated how we encourage FaceBook Reps to consistently offer exemplary service, as for original ideas, please look at the gifts, CRM example shown above.
This idea did not happen by accident, myself and ten or so employees attended a number of “En Lighten” customer service & branding lectures, then we had many private day camps with “En Lighten” where we collectively brainstormed how to improve, a topic was set, and everyone wrote ideas on post it notes, many post it notes, to cut a long story short, we worked out that sending clients gifts or at least cards on special occasions would win there affections and make us the first call they make next time they wanted to go on holiday, and tell their friends, not just keeping a client, further increasing our client base.
I’d been playing with “Goldmine” and more” Act” (Two popular CRM programs) they were already limited and difficult to customise to the travel industry. There was no way they could be customised to send gifts, especially not automatically. It was at this time, I realised I needed to develop a new CRM from scratch, but as all spare money was going into “Experience Africa” the project was put on ice... until now!
On Page 1. “The Tutorial Game” I have illustrated how this http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/Test would be an advantage in an interview for a new employee, not only does it give incite to the likes of a candidate, it also tells you about how they see their future, and more to the point how they see there future with our FaceBook Travel Agents company. If they have a thick forest without a path, they wish to be working for our agents companies until something better comes along. On the other hand an applicant describes a flower covered meadow with a large path in the middle they will most likely be a very willing employee that sees his or her future with our agents companies. Now I’m no expert in psychology, it was told to me by a friend from Cambridge in the early 90’s and I’d been playing with it ever since, it does however seem to work.
Back in 2002 at the beginning of my journey into tourism, I’d employed a very capable manager “John Gilbert” whose degree was in Human Resource’s. John had many test’s some as simple as choosing colours, some more in depth. We did not really utilize them as it was quite a laborious job, writing answers on paper, then going through them, for each employee, interpreting the data, to see fluctuating mood patterns, and the like was a lot of work and like most businesses everyone already had a lot to do.
But placing them inside a CRM, so they popped up every second week or so on the employees screen, then having the data stored and interpreted automatically and management were only ever alerted if there seemed to be an issue, and further the employer would know what the issue was, probably before the actual employee would be very useful, and easy to administer.
Of course it’s not up to me to suggest which tests to use, that’s for the HR & Psychology departments, but having a quick scan of the internet, I’ve found a few that I would definitely like to put my employees through.
There are many more, some to be taken as a once off, during the interview process and others that get taken every month or so to see how an employee is settling in after that 2 month golden period has expired.
One last thing I’d like to mention, and to do so I’ll need to Quote Christopher Cox FaceBook VP of product one more time “We are so far, far, far away from knowing what this is” referring to FaceBook’s future.. Well I can’t say for certain, but having psych test on many members stored within the FaceBook collective database, may well be a step in the right direction especially if we look at “String Theory”, just a thought.
FB/CRM4 – Total Email
This is a new idea I have had, as for feasibility and implementation, I’m not sure, but over the last 6 months, I have found that general e-mail addresses, even for customer centric companies like VIRGIN don’t work. It will be a fun test to see if the email I send to Partners@FaceBook.com gets picked up or not.
Not the S-World business plan, but the original “Spartan Theory” which was the basis for much of what is in this plan and much of what will come next, was sent to many people, I knew it would work and wished some academics to help, turn theory into fact.
This is the list of companies and institutions I approached.
The only reply I had was from Mensa, and only then about testing.
For my sins, in both Experience Africa and CapeVillas I gave up on the info@ email addresses a long time ago, but the fact remains, if someone does not know an email address, they will often just send to info@companyname.
I expect if I analysed all the emails sent to info@CapeVillas.com over the last 10 years, there would be 50, maybe more genuine enquiries, but as the addresses get 50 or so spam emails a day, and often good emails get put in the spam folder automatically, it just was not worth monitoring.
But 50 enquiries or so missed, is a lot of money to loose, so I suggest making a word scanner, to explain, I’ll use an example the film “Clear & Present Danger” In this film, the CIA tracked keywords in telephone calls, if someone mentioned something of interest, it was analysed.
My point is if that can be done for telephone conversations, it can be done for emails. If I were to set up certain keyword’s on my email@example.com email address such as “Booking” “Book” “Reservation” “ID:” and these emails were available only for my or a staff members perusal, then I’d have probably salvaged some good leads.
For further reading
Without this financial software, nothing works! Expecting FaceBook Travel Reps or Agents to do there own finances and administration, is a no go, and as I have found, it really does not matter how much you spend on Financial Managers, Book Keepers, Accounting Firms and Accounting Software, it still does not work. Especially if one turns a small business into an SME (Small and Medium Enterprise)
Now I’m sure few would have had as much bad luck as I did, mine maybe even an extreme example, but I’d like to illustrate my experiences.
I did the accounts myself until 2004, easy enough, I just used a spreadsheet and cross referenced it with the bank, (who knows what people did before online banking) But as my business grew, I was needed elsewhere, So I picked an accounting firm, and they appointed a book keeper. They had advised using Pastel accounting Software, and who was I to say different.
6 months later, no one knew when the final deposit, (50% to 80%) was due to be paid, and I found my original spreadsheet had been discontinued. On investigation I found that some guests had come and gone without paying and from that point onwards I was on the back foot, having to roll money.
I then met with a more reputable firm Ernst and Young Accountants, and maybe if I’d have stuck with them all would have been fine, but instead an excellent qualified accountant applied for the job, and warned me Ernst and Young were far to expensive, So I went with this accountant. Turned out he was actually a builder that had a little book keeping experience and a bunch of false certificates. (Something extra for the CRM to do, check certificates) Next came Fatima a self proclaimed expert at Pastel,
Well after a year Pastel was still not working, and on investigation there was over $100,000 missing either from negligence or fraud, we went to the police only to find we would have to pay the police $40,000 to open a case, as they needed to pay Price Waterhouse & Coopers.
Then Came Ian Buchannan, again a self claimed expert at Pastel, 20 years as Financial Manager in his last company that had a turnover 10 times what ours was. All looked good and at the beginning of 2009 I was told we were in the black and I could buy a new Mercedes CLK AMG and make a significant charity donation. Luckily I did not as 4 months later he came back tail between legs saying he was wrong and we were actually $150,000 in debt.
I had no choice but to bite the bullet and go for a big firm, the trouble was staff were simply unaccountable for there mistakes. So BDO Spenser Steward it was, Ernst and Young Accountants had refused as we did not work with them before. Well after 8 or so months and ¼ of turnover $150,000 spent, they finally had Pastel working. Hurrah!, and for the first time I had an accurate view of what was spent and what was earned, but that was all it did, it could not calculate by overall debt/profit balance, if all credits were paid and all debits debited, which was what I most wanted it to do, but worse than that it offered no protection against human errors.
A real example that happened days after I was told it was fully operational: A guest had moved villas as there was a flood. I just wanted to check that they had not paid the original owner, and OMG they had, and they had re paid the second one, a loss of $5,000. And this was a system that was costing me $5,000 a month to staff.
I’d had enough, and was now significantly in the red, so I completely downscaled my operation from 38 staff to now 3. There was no point making money just for the financial staff to loose it all. And I was not going to build the business up again until there was an automated accounting system, so I decided I needed to make one, and that brings us full circle to February 2011 and the start what is now this very proposal you are reading.
Well I’ve had my gripe, and for the most part I’m sure few have had such bad luck, but one thing is for sure, there is no automated financial software customised for the Travel Industry, and if there was, most would use it.
The main thing that it needed to do, is eliminate all human interaction from the accounting process, not only does this avoid data capturing errors and fraud, it also saves money on staff.
We have seen how the CRM works, between client and FaceBook Travel Agent or Reps. All the client information, is stored in the “client details/booking suite”. This is essential as it avoids the first layer of possible human error, being the Agent or Rep, having the wrong dates, or worse (it happens) as we have created the “client details/booking suite” we alleviate all data capturing errors by simply asking the client to “sign of” on there enquiry. No possibility for a mistake, unless made by the client. And even then, chances are the client will pick it up themselves at a later date.
Once the client signs of on their page, the information is automatically transferred to the financial module, how much is due, when its due and in how many parts, plus how much is owed to supplier (accommodation venue’s) Here again we are alleviating human data capturing errors as the client information is automatically transferred and not manually done by a human.
the basic principal of the CRM link, accurate client information placed
into the financial module, ready for banking and payments.
Capturing data every day from a bank and inputting it into either a spread sheet or financial software is boring and monotonous and time consuming, there is a lot of room for human error. By linking the financial software directly to a bank, we eliminate these mistakes and save money on admin staff.
I’m sure it can be done, my South African Bank FNB were working on linking their bank to reservations software, a few years back.
Chances are we will start with one bank, and advise all would be FaceBook Travel Rep’s and Agents that they will need to open a new account with this Bank, but that’s not really an imposition for anyone.
In the long
term, considering, whilst the financial software is initially being made
for the Travel Industry, we will also be adapting it to other FaceBook/S-World
industries, eventually it would be best if the system linked to all the
banks, but first things first.
I’m pretty certain, considering FaceBook members will be opening accounts with what ever bank we use, we will be able to get banks to bid for the contract, and by the time I’ve had a month or so with FaceBook’s team, we would be able to put a proposal together that really shows a great opportunity for any bank, and so I’d be disappointed if bids were over a US$ Billion. Banks are making that each month, so they can definitely afford it.
Another opportunity for our bank is to make a switch, which would automatically transfer money from other banks, making our software work with every bank. The bank that makes the switch however gets a small percentage of every sale, which adds up. (Or something along those lines)
Having the clients payments going directly into the system, not only assures accuracy and saves time, it also picks up small discrepancies in payments which occur in EFT’ due to bank charges and currency conversions. These charges are really annoying from $1 to $100, often for small amounts, its just not worth the time to chase and re invoice the clients and so anything under $10 or so just got left, an expectable rounding error, which does not sound like much but if you look at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chaos_theory you will see that there’s a lot of clever people saying it could be a big deal! And if you add it up over the years, it’s significant.
Of course a fully automated system would, handle all such discrepancies.
Now here is the part that makes this software utterly essential to FaceBook Travel, paying the venues and suppliers. The usual system is for the client to pay there agent, then the agent pays the venue.
There’s just too much that could go wrong, agents and reps spending the client’s money for one, and Tax & VAT implications for another.
As soon as the money hits the system it gets paid directly to the supplier, or a FaceBook trust account until the supplier account is due to be settled, an interest paying FaceBook account that is. Unlike real estate or long term lease deposits there is no rule or law saying one has to give interest back to the client.
As I mentioned previously, I spent 6 years and probably $250,000 on trying to get what I call total reporting. So I’ve had 6 years of thinking about what I’d like to know. In essence from a CEO or FaceBook Agent or Reps perspective, we would want to know the bottom line calculations in certain areas, Profit and loss, Expenses’, Turnover and Overall Debt/Profit balance if all debts were paid and all credits received. Having this information at hand in a very simple way will be invaluable. Especially as we tried our best to make intelligent software, that not only showed us what’s what, but also showed us, what will be, whilst taking into account seasonal trends and global economics.
So not only does one get a standstill, one also gets a profit forecast, based on said trends, if one was thinking of moving to a bigger office, one could put the new expense into system and you will see your year end profit go down, or even see that such a move would put you in the danger zone.
It would also be nice if the system could react to dry spells, say one had a few bad months, it would pop up a profitability warning, with recommendations of how to cut costs, retrenchments, scaling back on luxuries, or even a lower salary for the boss. Whilst this would be incredibly useful for the FaceBook Travel Agent or Boss, it would also be useful for FaceBook Travel to monitor agents or reps that are irresponsibly ignoring the warnings.
Lastly on this, I’d like to mention that the system will have to deal with all financial matters, not just bookings, staff salaries and associated taxes, Office Rent, Bills etc, etc...
Paying auditors is an annoying expense, and again there’s lots of room for Data Capturing errors. Now exactly how we do this I’m not sure, but I’m sure someone can work it out, but in an ideal world, I wish the software to create and submit government ready audited accounts, and pay taxes automatically.
At first of course we will just have to make the financial software output audited accounts ready for Auditors, but in an ideal world, it will do the lot, all be it someone will have to convince the various governmental tax offices across the globe. Where there’s a will there’s a way!
My journal (The Social Network 2) reflects that this was the first significant concept created specifically for FaceBook.
And if we look at all the different things going on it strikes me that the first source of significant bookings will come from FaceBook Travel Agents and Reps FaceBook Friends, that’s already going on, were just automating it.
But people booking travel directly through FaceBook, Friend to Friend is where we make the most money about 25% of the booking fee, that’s a good margin.
So we need to nurture this concept very carefully, definitely including ideas that have not been thought up yet! I can already envisage our Rep’s and Agents making strategic alliances across the globe, and I don’t see this as a bad thing, as long as the guest is happy and the money comes in, let them do what they want,
As I said, this is already going on, I know a few of my ex staff, rely on FaceBook for 25% or so of there bookings, and their not advertising just staying friends with there previous clients.
And so to Friends of Friends.
Here I’m working on the principal, its better to book a holiday with a friend of a friend than a complete stranger, especially in FaceBook where everyone likes chatting about stuff.
I’m not suggesting that we let anyone automatically see Friends of Friends, I’m suggesting the reverse. If our Rep is in Cape Town and wishes to speak to FaceBook holiday makers, they activate a function that allows them to be seen by Friends of Friends. No privacy issues at all. And of course if Reps continually get excellent reports “I felt like a VIP” I see no reason why they cant go to Friends of Friends of Friends, which I estimate at 40 Million people, all be it it’s a very rough guess.
This is FaceBook travel, friends of friends meeting via FaceBook, booking a holiday experience on the other side of the globe, being met and shown around with your new holiday friends, transcending FaceBook friends from across the globe into real relationships.
This strategy, will be extremely successful, its one of those strategies that makes me feel we can achieve my optimum projection of 40% of world travel.
Lastly the Friends of Friends advance is not exclusive to Travel, FaceBook friends of friends can be applied to any business or industry.
It’s very easy to make a duplicate of a website, making websites look different by making different skins and color themes are also easy, people have been doing it for years. I’m really not sure why someone has not made a giant database of all information and let other people customize the content and look to their specific needs. It seems so simple.
And that’s really what we are doing with FaceBook Members “Real Websites” creating a giant database of Travel information and let our FaceBook Travel Agents & Reps, customize the look and feel and the type of content they wish to display.
Here is the first one http://www.ExperienceAfrica.com it’s a good looking site, all be it, it could have been constructed better, but it was not the php that cost $100,000 it was the information that went into the database. Or more to the point the team of very experienced and very diligent copywriters, travel writers and researchers that really spent time working out which venues represented the very best experiences available in Africa, hence the name Experience Africa.
Now I doubt we will be using this actual website, just the domain and the information, but the principal is right, good looking site, good content. As far as the Brands www.Experience.com
If you remember back to the “Tutorial Game”
this example what we are trying to accomplish, is get our FaceBook Travel
Agent to really appreciate the Free Websites
technology, teaching them how to use the website building engine, which
builds amazing looking well researched comprehensive travel websites in
areas our reps wish to represent, which can my used in real life.”
The key to
this, assuming we have all the relevant information, is to make the simplest
web content management system ever, really I’d like it to be used
by 12 year olds. Literally 1000’s of different skins and hundreds
of color variations, with Logo building tools that make awesome mastheads,
The idea being, no one will have the same looking website but there are
millions of copies. All be it most will be regionalized to just the location
the FaceBook Travel Rep is in, FaceBook Travel Agents however will be
allowed to choose more territories in reward for good performance.
And now you see where the words “The Global Distribution System” start to come in, we are making it easy for our FaceBook Travel Agents and Reps to distribute our Global Travel Database, but there’s a lot more to this, now we have our delivery method we need to have all the products to resell, to distribute, we need to Network with all the Hotels, Villas, Planes, Cars & Cruise Liners
Product is split roughly in half,
Half in the hands of 4 GDS’s (Global Distribution System’s) Galileo, Amadeus, Saber and World Span, its easy to network with these companies, they take a +/-$3 per transaction fee. The venues here will be mainly sold by large Travel Agencies and big online booking travel websites like www.Expedia.com or www.Hotels.com
I don’t have much of a plan here other than to negotiate the best rate and pay the per transaction fee, I’m sure we could get 1$ per transaction. However I would like someone to come up with a clever way of networking for free, The GDS’s are loosing the battle with the ADS’d and I’m sure, all of the GDS’s would like to talk.
The other half of the world’s accommodation is in the hands of the ADS’s, (Alternate Distribution Systems) Small independent inventory systems, for villas, smaller hotels, and many other experiences.
I’ve got a solid plan to network into all the ADS’s and there are millions. The war is on!!!
Its only been a few years since API links meant travel inventory databases could easily communicate, and if I’m thinking it, others are too, the way I see it, the first company or software system to network to 50% of the ADS’s will see all the rest follow suit. And once there is one all powerful network, there’s no need for another.
The advantage we have (besides 400,000,000 members) is we have something to trade, our content and inventory, for there’s a reciprocal arrangement, in exchange for them allowing us a direct API link so we can book directly from their inventory system.
Typically we are looking at Tour Operators & Villa Rental companies here. A good example would be to consider www.leoTrippi.com Far from a high street name, but that’s kind of the point with exclusive travel, what impressed me to ask them first, besides the many clients they send our way was that they have been going since 1882. If we look at there entire Safari Section http://www.leotrippi.com/en/escapes/d_208/zambia/african-safari.html And yet they have lots of clients that want to go on Safari, so we will give them access to our database, not only will that force them into booking Safari’s through us, it also really expands there website, so they will get far more enquiries that they do now. In this scenario we work on a split commission rule, usually 20% each.
At the same time that we customize our content to fit within their website, we make a API link to there database and feed their collection of European Ski Chalets onto our database, asking this time for 30% to 40% discount, then we let all of our FaceBook Reps and Agents know, if they have a client that wishes to go skiing, we have a great new batch of Ski Chalets. Our agents (if allowed) add it to there current website, and suddenly Leo Trippi Shi Chalets are available throughout our entire network, also including other Tour Operators and whichever major Travel Agents we network with. We become Leo Trippi’s Global Distribution System.
One thing I’d like to mention and I have not factored the FaceBook brand into this, but to be on the safe side, we need to work under the premise, we will pay for all the development, especially at first, again however, this will be covered by selling trading rights.
And you see how we are accomplishing 2 things here, we are making money from tour operators booking our venues, whilst adding there exclusive venues to our portfolio and distributing there portfolio across our entire network. Not just FaceBook, FaceBook Travel Agents Real life websites, other tour operators and travel agencies websites as well, and we have not even got to S-World Virtual World.
Each partner we make see’s our portfolio of product expand, our target to represent all the product, I can see a way to 75% (more than any other) within a few years, and eventually taking over the entire travel inventory database network, hence the advance The Global Distribution System. Everyone is going to want to network to FaceBook Travel’s 500,000,000 members?
Lastly we come to the venues themselves,
pulled up this page from the internet http://www.travelagentcentral.com/technology/online
My first experience of this, and in fact the reason I got into internet travel was my holiday to Phuket Thailand in 2001. I originally booked through http://www.latestays.com/ I booked a hotel for 3 nights, the idea being I’d look around for the first 2 days and find the perfect place. It so happened however that the hotel I’d booked was great so I went to reception and asked them If I could book for the next 11 days, they said fine but quoted a price double what I had paid on Late Stays, I questioned them, and even took the reservations lady to the website to show her the price I paid. She simply said with a smile, I’d advise you to book through the website. So I did. But it got me thinking….
After a little research it appears, most hotels work on a STO system, that stands for “Standard Tour Operator” hotels give Travel Agents and Tour Operators between 20% and 50% discount. And there contract with the Travel Agents said they can not sell cheaper than what is known a “Rack Rate” The price you see at the reception or on their website.
What the people at http://www.latestays.com/ had done was simply slash there margin to 10% and passed the 40% on to the customer, me.
And that’s how most things work in travel, some of the smaller newer venues don’t always play by the rules, but all the big ones seem to.
So in general, booking direct with a supplier is often the most expensive way to book. I guess looking at that 63% market share stat, most people don’t know that.
Either way, we need to get hooked into the supplier websites, and if we combine our Free Websites technology with “Experience” Print Media and particularly S-World Virtual World (both coming up next) then we have a good shot and gaining significant market share, from suppliers themselves and at the same time, tapping directly into suppliers inventory systems, so alleviating either tour operators split commissions or GDS per transaction fees.
Starting with Free Websites
About 3 years ago, at Cape Villas we started asking clients if they wanted Safari’s, some said yes and it made a nice additional income. But the knife cut both ways, the Safari’s also had clients that wished to book villas, or hotels. It’s rare for someone to just go to a Safari, 3 or 4 days are usual and then a week in Cape Town.
In the same way we will add a much more detailed African section to Leo Trippi’s site we can do just the same thing to the Safari’s websites, just excluding there competition, the other Safari’s. So now whenever one of those 63% of online travel bookers, goes to the suppliers website, they also see many other options and book the entire holiday.
There is no reason why we need to stick at Safaris, Guest Houses, Hotels, Car Hire Firms, and Jet hire companies… I’ve checked, they would all like there websites improved, or as we will encourage they just use our website as the core, and transfer the data from there existing site over.
Whilst we will not really be able to charge them for bookings at there own venue, by networking with venues we are expanding our net significantly. As for direct booking to the venues, well that’s what makes S-World Virtual World so important, as its objective is to make people instinctively choose S-World over the internet when looking for accommodation.
To get the idea of S-World Virtual World please read through the information provided in the following 3 links from the product section of my presentation, they have been written in an easy reading, fun question an answer format.
To summarize, we create a virtual world similar or even linked to “The Simms”, the difference being that S-World mirrors real life, and FaceBook members can teleport to the GPS coordinates of their friends. They can also teleport to any rendered Accommodation Venue have a look around and book it direct. Or so they think
Whhh ahhha hhhha hhh
It will seem like they are booking direct, they have the opportunity to speak directly to the hotel, and get the price from the hotel, and book with the hotel, no FaceBook Travel Agents or Reps. Direct customer to supplier booking. The only difference being we will get, between 30% and 50% of the money, and if suppliers receive 63% of online bookings and we are getting an average of 40% per booking, we are well on the way to my optimum 40% of world travel by 2017
I have been working on this for 11 years now; having created the world first Map based Virtual Tour in 2002, http://www.capevillas.com/CTG.shtml I’m hoping that as this was created in 2002, well before Google Maps was launched we will not have any patent problems using this type of Map to enter and navigate through or Virtual Worlds.
From travel perspective a detailed 3D virtual world can not be beat, unless you make a personal visit and
From what I’ve ascertained so far, rendering costs are cheap. We start of with an overhead satellite view, which I’m sure can be easily converted into a floor plan, showing the dimensions of the outside walls of the main building and additional buildings, the swimming pool, garden and landscaping, so one starts automatically with the outline. Then we need someone with a pen laser, to take the inside dimensions of the rooms, with the outside parameter already mapped and in the system, it will only take about a day to fully map the interior dimensions and windows of a 10 or so bedroom hotel.
As for the wall coverings, carpets, kitchens and furniture, well if you have ever played the Simms Virtual World 1 you will realise its a very easy thing to do, not 100% the same, but if we can hit over 80% accuracy every time that’s a lot better representation that a set of photos or a Virtual Tour. Especially when you consider that what ever media is already available will be incorporated into our 3D Virtual Simulation. As you wander through our Virtual Hotel, when one gets to the place where a real photo or panorama was taken, one can click an icon and have a look.
So for a
10 bedroom Hotel we are looking at 2 days work, one for the measurements
and one for the rendering. These skills can be taught to anyone as an
additional part of the “Tutorial Game” so our Reps can do
the rendering, all they need from us is the pen laser.
Of course that’s the minimum, venues have the opportunity to make much more concise representations. Maybe even a different type of rendering software all together. I like the Simms look, it’s fun and clean, simple. But there are more advanced rendering options. “The Thought Faqtory” for instance claims to have access to a bust VC Virtual World that cost $200M. Virtual World 2 the graphics here are less cartoony. I’d expect we could buy the entire project for about $5M or program something similar from scratch whatever makes most sense.
What I do want to see however, is the Big Hotels, Cruise Lines and Safaris, taking there S-World representation very seriously and investing in making an amazingly accurate and lush Virtual Representation of there accommodation, to the point where you see an actual view out of every bedroom window.
One thing to note is, accommodation venues don’t have to pay any physical money as such, instead they will just offer free bed nights, for us to sell on, (Barter) This makes it very easy for venues marketing departments to say yes, or even say... go mad, give me the works. One could even include venues, in other types of games, or make games in the venues, to get more exposure, there’s really so many, many possibilities, not least of which is for FaceBook to act as an Estate Agent should they wish to sell, but FaceBook Realty is another chapter in itself.
At the same time as the venues are being mapped out and rendered, so will the surrounding location, beaches, tourist spots, walks, trails and the like. I expect after we have made a good example and Cape Town is a good a place we will have found many ways to incorporate rendering the world into both the game and our reps in particular, the reps rendering the experiences they would suggest going on. My favourite experiences that I’d like to show guests would be Sienna Mountain and Lions Head. If I were to take on the responsibility and I rendered them, when ever anyone visited them in S-World, it would say that I was the renderer, and that may well lead to people contacting me.
All in all S-World Virtual World, will completely change the way people look at travel for ever, and the company or Software that connects all the ADS’s, once its done, I doubt there will be a competitor, particularly given our give half back philosophy as described in http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/9_Give_Half_Back.htm
Page 8, FaceBook Members Real Websites illustrates our method of how we wish to be the first company to connect all the ADS’s and create a new “Global Distribution System”. And with S-World Virtual World, we have a real shot at changing the way people search on line for travel services.
Both will happen at some point, others will be thinking the same thing, all be it probably not both at the same time, and certainly not all the other FaceBook Travel Advances, but the fact remains others will either already be on there way, or they will get underway when they see our initiative.
So to make absolutely certain, that we are first to pass the finish line, and stay ahead when we get there, I’m introducing the branding exercise, “Give Half Back” where we quite simply use half of the profits from FaceBook Travel & S-World to go to good causes, at first some charity, but on the whole, Ecology, Science and Global Economic Stability.
This exercise will make FaceBook Travel and S-World Virtual World, globally loved, it’s a lot of money, and the relevant PR departments will be sure to gain as much exposure as possible for all non profit ventures undertaken.
I hear some FaceBook share and stake holders, disagree, not because their mean, because it’s really not the done thing in business. Well to put everyone’s mind at ease, I’ve been doing the math on this for a long time, and by giving half back, we will make over two fold turnover, have a quick look at this gifts idea I adapted from the CRM program http://www.s-world.tv/Facebook/home.html I’ve only showed it to a few people but all save one said they would spend more with FaceBook if FaceBook used half the money to better mankind, they also said they expected FaceBook Membership would rise for the same reason. And at a time when Google has set out its stall to directly compete with FaceBook in Social Networking, it’s not a bad time to come up with a whopping branding exercise that keeps FaceBook as the only real Social Networking site till the end of time.
For those still sceptical, simply see it this way. I have come directly to FaceBook with the future of travel, and quite possibly the internet itself. And what have I asked for..... a fair salary. I think I could make an easy enough argument that via this partnership I should be an equal partner, but I have decided to give my half of the profits away, so FaceBook share holders and stake holders, loose nothing, and gain some awe inspiring PR.
Why am I doing this, well someone has to do the right thing at some point, and I made a promise to my daughter that I intend to keep.
Well its a bit of a contradiction, giving away ones life work to amongst other things ecology and then come up with a credible plan to make 6 million books and magazines for free, so I’ll stipulate this, we will have to balance out environmentally somehow, recycled paper and planting new trees seem the most obvious countermeasure. However our FaceBook Travel Agents and reps having very stylish individually branded Coffee Table Magazines will give them the credibility of a Travel Agent. And FaceBook Travel get to launch 16 “Experience” branded regionalised tour operators, dealing in the luxury sector.
I wish you had a copy of the Cape Villas Magazine I made in 2008, it really looks good, good enough for BULGARI, arguably the worlds most exclusive brand, certainly the most expensive to call my office and say “Wow, we did not know Africa had such luxurious venues” and they asked to endorse the next publication, a trade exchange (Barter) of around $100,000. Which if you add to the $130,000 of room nights the venues offered to be included, is good money considering the cost of producing the 32,000 magazines and distributing them with Conde Nast Traveller was only $100,000?
Unfortunately we only sold half the rooms, as some venues took long leases, but one single booking made a further $50,000 so it balanced out nicely. We told BULGARI our next production will be pan African and also feature Hotels and Safari’s and this was of course “Experience Africa”
Have a read of this, as yet unsent offer to Bulgari to get the idea of how the next publication will look. http://www.s-world.biz/Early_Tourism_plans/Dear%20Bulgari.html
The general idea is to create an amazing Art Film & a huge hardback Coffee Table Art Book of Africa that really impresses people, make about 20,000 or so, and then make up to 500,000 Quality Magazines. The exact numbers will have to be worked out, but if we look to just make as many magazines as possible as opposed to profit, I think the status quo is about 500,000 which I guess would cost $1,000,000.
The more magazines we distribute, the more coverage our advertisers get. If Bulgari was looking at $100,000 for a magazine that was distributed to 32,000 people how much would they pay for nearly 15 times the distribution, $300,000? Maybe more, and why stop at BULGARI, Armani and a women’s fashion house would have as much to gain, so maybe another $500,000 there. This is not for ads, its product placement, all the cloths, jewellery & accessories in the magazine are from these suppliers. The trick to this is they just pay us in perfume products to be sold via FaceBook Gifts. http://www.s-world.tv/Facebook/home.html
So we are looking at about $800,000 Barter from three main endorsements that we can sell for about $400,000
Then we have normal ads, Jaguar, Rolex etc, 20 or so at $10,000 equalling $200,000
Then for the venues themselves about $5,000 a page and with 200 pages that’s $1,000,000 of rooms, that we will sell of for $500,000
So in total
we are looking at a cost of $800,000 and an income of $1,100,000 all be
it, with tax and “Unknown” it will probably balance out.
Ok so there we see how to get 500,000 quality magazines made for free, what do we do with them?
Well there’s lots of options, firstly distribute them via Conde Nast Traveller and some other Travel Magazines, maybe National Geographic, there is placement of course in Hotels and office waiting rooms. These would all be “Experience Africa” branded and enquiries will go directly to Experience Africa where a FaceBook Travel Rep or Agent will deal with the enquiry.
On the other side though are white labelled or individually branded magazines. Let’s say our FaceBook Travel Agent has done well, and has a good network of reps he can team up with in Africa. Let’s say he has made full use of our website building function, and has a great looking website and has called it Africa Concierge and he has taken things seriously and is using Google & FaceBook PPC and other methods, chances are this agent was already in travel before FaceBook Travel and just swopped sides, and so has a fair amount of clients. However it happens if this FaceBook Travel Agent is making us good money he or she should be rewarded.
So we make 1000 individually covered Magazines, the middle is the same, but the front and back cover is designed to our FB Agents specification, the magazine is no longer called “Experience Africa” it’s called “Africa Concierge” with Africa Concierge contact details.
Nothing says, big, trustable professional company like a quality publication, and it can be automatically sent to all past clients and to everyone that enquires, the final step in our FaceBook Agent or Rep having all the tools of a Travel Agent.
We will not of course be stopping at Africa. I have mapped out 16 reasonably equal areas for tourism http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/16_locations.htm A different magazine will be made for each region, once every year to creating a circulation of 6,000,000 a year, quite a few trees will need to be planted.
Of course we can’t call them all “Experience Africa” but we all like the name Experience, I wonder how well this company is doing http://www.experience.com it would be the perfect domain.
It makes sense for FaceBook to enter the travel market, for one FaceBook is an internet company, and more than any other industry this century travel and tourism have immersed themselves within the internet, that’s just under a trillion dollars a year says Wikipedia.
Facebook is about people and experiences, and that’s just what Travel is about, FaceBook and Travel have the same ideology and values. So as I said, it makes sense for FaceBook to go into travel.
My target is 40% of world travel bookings by 2017, but with 65% of bookings being made directly to accommodation venues, this is the optimum projection, 20% would be a safe bet. At the very least “FaceBook Travel” will be the worlds most financially successful and loved Travel Agency and Tour Operator.
Operational costs are negligible save a few executives and an HR department, no staff costs, all be it FaceBook travel may well have a million staff by 2017, the beauty of my system is that it is the staff that pay us, a lot! With no staff, means no office costs, no telephone costs, no transport costs, no machinery costs and no marketing, nothing, except of course building the software.
How much will the software cost to develop? I’m not sure, but however much it is, I’ll get the money, as you can see in http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/Travel_Consortium If FaceBook wishes to proceed, I’m confident I can quickly raise a Billion for selling shares in a company that has the right to trade with FaceBook Travel.
So what is the software and system? Well it’s a lot to summarize, so I’ll just show you, the technology tree from the “Tutorial Game”, which is up next.
The ones in orange are new and need to be programmed, I’ll put my hand on my heart and say, I think I have thought up more new ideas in travel on this page than everyone else in the world has thought up this century. And I expect history will record it so. It’s really that good. So go on, be impressed. ?
Before I go into estimations and the various profit centers, I wish to point out that since February when I started to write this proposal, I’ve been working pretty much solo, and whilst that does not effect the ideas process, it does limit my research capacity which save previous knowledge just left the internet, which is surprisingly empty on Travel stats, so the following numbers I present are based on, the few stats that I could find and will need to be double checked. So we are looking at a best guess, not a factual certainty.
First we have Wikipedia http://wiki.answers.com/Q/How_much_money_is_spent_on_travel_and_tourism_each_year = $879,546,256,337.36 US Dollars
And if we cross reference this stat with Factoidz, http://factoidz.com/10-countries-that-spend-the-most-money-on-travel-each-year/. Which claims the top 10 highest spending countries in the world spend about US$400 Billion, I think we have a relatively solid argument that there is about US$ 900 Billion in the global travel pot. Interestingly Germany is the highest spending Nation at $US 81Billion
from Travel Weekly is a little confusing as it takes into account some
travelers going on more than one holiday and as such adds up to over 100%
But if I
break it down, it looks something like
It should however be noted that Travel weekly, claims whilst only 20% of people booked through an on line operator, over half the travelers had done there research on where to go, on the Internet.
And if we
look at this stat specifically about on the on line market
We can see 63% of online bookings are direct to supplier and 37% are via tour operators, which is fairly close to the previous stats.
So if we take world travel at $900B and use my Travel Weekly interpretation, we are looking at
Another article I found interesting was this
I’d like to highlight two things, firstly it highlights that the Biggest Travel Agents are intrinsically linked to Airlines, which is something we will need to consider.
But more importantly, it adds to my previous statement that Travel Agents that work for these travel companies have rarely been to the country they are visiting, that said agents are under instruction to try to put walk in clients off there chosen holiday and instead move them to an alternate holiday where the Travel Agency will make more profit.
This is where FaceBook Travel draws the battle lines against opposing Travel Agents.
Before I do however, I’d like to point out a very obvious factor in why High Street Travel Agencies and Venues themselves have 80% of the bookings, whilst over 50% of people do there research on line. Its simple, going direct to a venue or with a big name operator, avoids worry of fraud or possible liquidation of the smaller company. This worry would of course be completely removed from on line operators if they were part of FaceBook Travel
So let’s break down the 3 market sectors
1, Direct booking with the individual item (flight ticket, hotel) 45% = US$ 405 Billion
I can’t see a way to stop, people booking flights direct, so I’ll take of 10%
Of the remaining 35%, even if we make the booking, we would need to pay the accommodation venue about 65%, so there is a pot of = US$ 110 Billion available in accommodation commission in this sector.
I’m generalizing but, most people that book direct probably do so as they feel it is not only a safe way to book but also the cheapest, as they do not understand the STO (Standard Tour Operator) discount rate system, which actually means in most cases it’s the most expensive way to book.
Our biggest weapon here is S-World Virtual World. Let’s skip forward to 2017 and say at this point half of the world’s hotels, guest houses, chalets, villas and safaris are represented in S-World, and take a further leap and say the public at large prefer looking at accommodation via S-World than normal websites. Who wouldn’t?
As mentioned, S-World will give the public the opportunity to deal with and book direct with all accommodation, so as far as the public know, they are booking direct. So I feel a safe estimate is to say at least half of the people who wish to book direct will do so via S-World, not the venues individual website.
And as it’s a direct booking that asks for no service, we keep all the commission which will be around 35%
This would mean we make 900 x 35% = 315 x 50% = 152.5 x 50% = 76.25 x 35% = 26.7 Dollars US
US$ 26.7 Billion a year, totally automated, no costs, pure profit.
additional money will also be made, by adding additional travel content
to accommodation venues websites, flights, excursions, car hire, and other
accommodation, so each accommodation venue itself becomes a source of
FaceBook Travel enquiries, if we err on the low side and say 10% of bookings
on these websites, will be for additional services and half the venues
across the world had FaceBook Travel web feed, and after reps were paid
FaceBook made 20% commission we are looking at: 405x75%=303.75
x10% = 30.4 x 20% = 6.08
2, Booked through a high street Travel Agent (or subsidiary website) 35% = US$ 315 Billion
In General Travel Agents have no idea about the product and knowingly sell holidays that are not what the client wishes. FaceBook Travel on the other hand will have millions of local representatives across the Globe, real knowledge real people.
We attack this market from 2 points,
1. Same product sold via FaceBook
We create the same product (package holidays including flights) out price the competition and sell through FaceBook, directly attacking the high street travel industry’s market share, Considering how little travel agents know compared to our reps, our prices being better and clients will trust the source, I can really see quite a big swing, I’ll prudently say 25%, but to out price our competitors we cut our commission from 30% to 20% be also need to give a rep 5% each time so we end up with 15% commission
315/25%=78.75x15 % =11.80 = $US 11.8 Billion
2. Partnering with Major High Street Names
see an end to High Street Travel Shops, but I can see a way to make sure
they are all a part of FaceBook Travel.
I suggest we pick one, at most 2 partners per territory, and try to freeze the rest out, on one side allowing our partner to use the FaceBook Travel partner logo, direct access to our reps, all our advances, our database and of course S-World, on the other side bringing it to the attention of the world, the lack of 1st hand knowledge the competing travel agents have over there rivals.
I’m sure by the time, we have really brainstormed these travel ideas, have an S-World demonstration and a strong hard nosed business plan, we will be able to charge a significant amount to these Travel Agents to join with us and ask a reasonable commission on every booking. Let’s say 10%.
So, by 2017 I’d like to see half the Travel Agents out of business, (or bought up by our partners) and FaceBook Travel affiliated to the rest, but for safety I’ll say we’ll only get 50% of the way
So we have 75% left of the $315 Billion: 236.25 the suppliers (Venues Airlines etc) take 65% = 82.6 Billion, we network to half the operators = 41.3 we take 10% = $US41.3 Billion.
3, Booked through independent Internet Tour Operator 20% = US$ 180 Billion
As our reps and agents have no real overheads they will all be able to afford, small PPC (Pay Per Click) Google adds as well as other search engines. With maybe a million Reps and a million websites I’d expect most search results for any venue across the globe will have our reps and agents at positions 1, 2 & 3.
All of our FaceBook Travel agents and reps websites will be more concise, have better rates, infallible credibility and offer a customer centric experience whilst booking and throughout there stay.
Add to this, S-World & the Magazines and as far as “New Business” is concerned, I’d really be looking at a clean sweep, all be it for safety, I’ll say 50% of “New Business” (Not a returning or referred client, came from internet search)
How much new business is for online travel agency compared to repeat, or referral I don’t know so I’ll go for 50%. Here we will be working on a 30% STO (discount) whilst giving the Agent 10% so we take 20%.
So we make from “New Business” 180 Billion/2=90x20%=18/2=9 - US $ 9 Billion
As for the other 50% (US$ 90 Billion) repeat business, well much like we will pick a one or two Travel Agents per region, we will do the same with Tour operators, but here I expect to make a bigger percentage of the commission 15% but not really get much upfront for trading rights. Considering every advance we have works for Internet Tour Operators I’ll audaciously say, I don’t think there will be any left that are not networked to FaceBook travel by 2017.
So 90x15% = 31.5% = UD$ 13.5 Billion
As for expenses, well, there’s really not a lot, the whole idea is that everything’s automated and the millions of staff pay us. So let’s just call it 1.2 Billion and round the profit to $70 Billion.
50% to Science, Ecology & Global Economic Stability. = $35 Billion
And FaceBook travel makes $35 Billion each year by 2017, and is universally loved.
at the top of the page, these calculations really are broad estimates,
based on limited data, but I’m happy to be debated, I’ve often
erred on the side of caution, so this will be the figure I will be putting
One last thing.
There is one possible problem with this plan, and that is becoming too successful, David becomes Goliath, and everyone is out to beat you. It’s possible.
If instead of Creating one company or sub company “FaceBook” Travel we also created another company “Experience” and made a profit share between the two companies. Then sell off shares in “Experience” till it was fully owned by the best venues, airlines, travel agencies tour operators, car hire companies and villas. All under the “Give Half Back” banner
Then there is no longer a conflict, no Goliath, just clever software that props up the best in travel known as “Experience” Plus it elevates the need for having any real costs at all, as the decision-making can be largely left to the Experience Board, it is there industry after all. All we do is provide the technology.
This way instead of begrudging partners seeing nothing but a stranglehold on technology for there 10 to 20 percent, we have willing loving partners, basking in dividends and market share.
I expect this route would make it possible to collectively gain a lot more market share, maybe even twice as much, which balances out for earnings being halved. And it takes a lot of unknowns out of the equation.
This method has been referred to a few times during the FaceBook Travel presentation as “selling trading rights”
To see how
much I think we can sell it for, please look at http://www.s-world.biz/FaceBook/Business_Development/Experiance