Last week, I discussed niches and specialties and how it was important to live the lifestyle and to truly be integrated in the specific niche. Of course, one of the other criteria for a success (or failure) in niches is to think out of the box. Do something that has never been done and you may hit a home run. And speaking of home runs, let me introduce you to Brandon Wade the founder and CEO of a new travel related website/niche—MissTravel.com. Warning: you may or may not agree with this concept, but it will get you thinking.
First, about the site. Here’s what they say:
MissTravel.com is a travel dating website that matches generous travelers with attractive travel girls (or guys). If you are a frequent traveler you can easily search, find or meet a hot travel companion, sexy travel mate or beautiful travel buddy. And if you are an attractive travel lover who lacks the financial resources, we’ll match you with a traveling sponsor or help you earn frequent flyer miles you may redeem for free travel, free airline tickets and free hotel rooms. Best of all our website is 100% free for attractive men and women.
Wow! Conceptually, it makes a lot of sense. I mean who wouldn’t want to travel the world for free? YTB and the other MLM agencies made million of dollars using that line. And really, who wouldn’t want to travel with a piece of arm candy? The concept intrigued me and I contacted Brandon to ask a few more questions.
JF: Do you arrange the travel or simply act as a dating site?
BRANDON WADE: Not at this time, but in the near future, our plan is to partner with one or more travel agencies.
JF: Have you facilitated any trips?
BW: The website has already signed up 18,000 user since launching two weeks ago. As of this morning, we have more than 8,000 trip suggestions sent between members. However, at this point, we can’t say if any trips have materialized. In the near future, we will be asking members to report on trips taken.
JF: Why travel?
BW: Travel is the ultimate romantic thing to do. Traveling with my girlfriend is how we ended up falling in love. In America, countless number of men and women watch reality shows like “The Bachelor” where women tries to win the heart of a “Joe Millionaire”. Producers of those shows spend millions to create romantic settings and even fly the participants overseas to exotic locations. MissTravel.com aims to be the website where anyone can make this fantasy come true. A survey we conducted on our other dating websites shows that 74% of our users would in fact use a travel dating website, and that led us to develop MissTravel.com.
We took a peek inside the site (Brandon was kind enough to allow me access) and it looks like a typical dating site. It has the usual profile stuff but adds in a travel component about where you’ve been and where you want to go. This is the engine that matches the travel desires.
Brandon was quick to point out that this is NOT a prostitution website. He has implemented software to weed out any escorts or fraudulent profiles and employs a team to monitor it. The business model is based on credits. The “attractive” members get free membership and the “generous” ones pay for credits which are used to communicate with other members.
The growth in two weeks is pretty stellar and the concept is unique. Travel is a very intimate bond for people. Beach bums rarely get along with the museum wonks. Cruisers don’t like the all-inclusive set. So, matching travel desires seems on the money. And in terms of any type of relationship, spending a weekend (or longer) on a date certainly will be more telling than a 2-hour Match.com date. I might suggest that in terms of percentage, this site might produce more serious relationships and marriages than others.
It’s all about thinking out of the box. Brandon took an idea and ran with it. His ultimate success remains to be seen, but I bet with the right travel partner (will it be anyone reading this column?) this site will go places. As for me, I am still trying to figure out if I am attractive or generous….or none of the above!
What do you think?