Travel experts and bloggers have a new platform on which to earn money by promoting their expertise and generating bookings.
London-based IQPlanner.com has launched hoping to tap into the desire among travellers for recommendations and to make their trip bookable.
Partners currently include Skyscanner, Booking.com and multi-modal transport search engine Rome2rio.
Managing director and co-founder Dmitrijus Konovalovas, who was previously metasearch site HotelsCombined’s UK country manager, said:
“The idea is to give a second life to experts’ and bloggers’ own static content and we share the revenue with them.”
IQPlanner.com offers a tiered earning structure with gold partners retaining 70% of the site’s revenue down to an entry level 30%.
The start-up has been funded by a mixture of bootstrapping and some private investment to the tune of around $500,000.
As few as 10% of travellers now rely on travel agents for inspiration and up to 36% rely on review sites
It currently has just under 10,000 contributors having launched in March and one million unique users a month. Initially it is targeting English speaking markets.
Another potential revenue stream for IQPlanner.com is sponsored content and it is working on a project with Visit Scotland.
Konovalovas said: “Travellers are increasingly relying on social media, blogs and peer to peer sharing sites to create travel inspiration, and less on the traditional operators and travel agents.
“They are turning to the web and smartphone apps more than ever before, and instead of seeking out travel experts, they are looking for independent advice for fellow travellers which is exactly what led us to develop IQplanner.com.
“Research from Google shows that as few as 10% of travellers now rely on travel agents for inspiration and up to 36% rely on review sites.
“Consumers are more influential than ever before and every consumer is a potential evangelist or critic.
“Deloitte research also supports this, stating that 59% of consumers say that [user generated] review sites play the biggest role in their booking decisions.
“The future will continue to see one consumer’s experience feed into another consumer’s decision process.”