Online start-up Simonseeks has set itself ambitious targets with the unveiling of its destination reviews service.
The company, set up by Moneysupermarket founder Simon Nixon, plans to be one of the UK’s top 10 websites within a year of launch as well as attract more than a million unique users a month.
Simonseeks will split click-through revenue with travellers 50/50 in return for their destination guides including photos and videos.
The service will be promoted via search engine marketing and print advertising and the company may also consider television advertising next year.
Nixon said: “Google likes rich content that is changing regularly and we have a lot of expertise there.”
Consumers can search for guides based on themes including family and long-haul as well as their budget. Users will also be able to rate the guides according to their content and relevance and the most popular will rise to the top.
The site already has about 1,000 reviews at launch created by more than 200 travellers and is open to anyone to contribute including travel agents.
Former Travelsupermarket managing director Chris Nixon is heading up the commercial side of the business and commercial deals are in place with a number of partners including Lastminute, Opodo, ebookers and Hostelworld.
In its first phase the site will only offer accommodation booking but flights, car-hire and other ancillary services will follow.
Nixon said: “We want to cross-sell as much product as possible giving the consumer the best tolls to book the trip.”
He added that the service had received positive feedback from travel writers who liked the idea of earning revenue based on how inspirational they are.
The technology behind Simonseeks could also be extended to other sectors.
- Room for more reviews? [Travolution Blog]
- Travel thru a lens: Is Simonseeks a Squidoo for destinations? [Travel Weekly Blog]
- Simonseeks.com… the final nail in the coffin for professional travel writers? [Jeremy Head]