Byron travel website totally hits the right spot

A TRAVEL marketplace website business, based in Byron Bay, recently reached fourth spot in a list of most popular travel sites visited by Australians.

Total Travel's director of marketing, Paul Fisher, said the website was a bit different to close rivals such as wotif.com and conventional travel agents and airlines.

“We're more like eBay for travellers,” he explained.

“And we think there's a benefit in doing so.”

Mr Fisher said using the Total Travel website, www.totaltravel.com.au, travellers were able to deal direct with operators, avoiding booking fees and other commissions and charges.

“We have half a million pages of content, so our success is a bit of an underground phenomenon, but we're very search-engine friendly and that helps travellers get directed to our site,” he said.

Travel operators can submit content about their services and accommodation to a large audience across Australia.

“We get up to 80,000 hits on our Australian site each day.”

Established six years ago, Total Travel has grown strongly and now has offices in the UK and New Zealand. There is a staff of 55 working at the company headquarters at Byron Bay.

Mr Fisher said Total Travel helped big businesses, such as a big hotel chain, and small ones, such as a 'ma and pa bed 'n' breakfast', because the fees for inclusion on the website were tailored to suit different business levels.

He said the popularity of certain web pages varied seasonally, but some were predictable.

“In the six weeks before school holidays, the coastal destinations in NSW are really popular pages. There's a big spike in activity,” he said.

The website attracted a broad demographic.

“We're not targetting a particular segment of the market; we bring in everyone from backpackers to business travellers. Most people tend to find us doing a search,” he said.

He said the company had made sure it was exceptionally search-engine friendly, to help ensure success in getting hits.

Mr Fisher said the company was keen to reach the number one spot.

“We've got a few surprises in the pipeline that will be rolled out over the next few months,” Mr Fisher said. “I'm confident we can get to number one.”



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