Holiday Taxis founder Paul Stanyer has launched his new venture this morning, a social networking website that looks to put holidaymakers in touch before they leave the UK.
Described as a “reverse Facebook” to help people meet other people they do not yet know, hangoutonholiday.co.uk promises to “revolutionise” the way people plan their holiday.
The concept is very much aimed at the young 18-35 age bracket and very simply asks registered users to log where they are going on holiday this year and allows them to see which other users are going to the same resort at the same time.
For people who do not yet know where they are going there is the ability to state this on registration and they are placed in a ‘departure lounge’ with everyone else who also has not decided yet. One they have decided their profile is updated.
People who have not registered to the site are able to browse the profile pictures of those who have registered and see where they are going on holiday before deciding whether to register or not.
Registered users build their profile and a holiday calendar that displays activities going on in their chosen resort allows them to organise their trip including which excursions and bar and club night they plan to go to.
The site will take advertising from these attractions in resorts including offering discount vouchers and other incentives. Stanyer said the reaction so far from these sorts of business has been fantastic due to the targeted audience it will reach ahead of people actually arriving on holiday.
Stanyer said he was conscious of making sure the site had safety features and so all conversations between users take place within the site, are logged and nuisance users will be warned and eventually barred. There is also a parents’ page explaining what the site is all about. Stanyer said this site would provide a safe environment for young people to meet online.
Stanyer said: “People of the 18-35 age group tend to go on holiday for three main reasons, to get a sun tan, to get drunk and to meet and have fun with people of the same or opposite sex. Up until now you have to wait until you get to resort to start the process of meeting new people.
“Hang out on Holiday allows you to see who is going, get a brief profile and then choose to interact where the communication stays only between the individuals. You don’t have to respond to a request to hook up with or hang out with anyone who you don’t like the look of. Put simply, the new site allows you to check out your fellow travellers, before you check in for your holiday.”
The site currently features 40 resorts with brief information about each and is updated regularly with new additions. In the future it will be tailored for specific user groups such as skiers, festival goers, and surfers.
Stanyer is also planning to work with business to business partners to advertise any distressed stock or offers they may wish to channel through to those who haven’t yet booked. An off and online marketing campaign aimed at the UK’s student community is planned for this year and Stanyer plans to put together a advisory council of young people to help develop ideas for the site.
Stanyer said: “This is not trying to copy Facebook, that’s impossible, but it remains the case that Facebook is for those you already know, ‘Hang Out’ is for those you ought to know. It is the most exciting and fun project I have worked on for a long time.”
Stanyer resigned from Holiday Taxis on April last year saying he planned to work on other business opportunities.