A trade-facing digital start-up has been established by travel industry entrepreneurs Sara-Mason Parker and Bruce Martin.
The new business builds on the popularity of the Travel Gossip Facebook group, launched by Mason-Parker three years ago.
The Facebook group has attracted more than 2,500 trade-only members and claims to be the largest and most influential online community for travel industry professionals in the UK.
The new business launches with a rebrand of Travel Gossip’s logo, bringing a new image and tagline: “your voice, your community.”
A website at TravelGossip.co.uk includes a free travel industry events listing service with an alerts feature.
The service has more than 100 travel events listed already, and the trade will be encouraged to populate the calendar.
The site also features a free jobs board and listings of discount codes and special member offers. Travel Gossip also launches with a 4,500+ strong Twitter profile @TravelGossipUK.
The new venture has been financed via personal investments by the founding directors and will be supported by trade supplier advertising.
Mason-Parker said: “We live in a digital world; travel professionals have limited time and expect fast results and so the ability to communicate to fellow industry colleagues in real-time is hugely beneficial.
“Travel Gossip enables agents, suppliers and third party services to connect, work together, share best practice and deliver excellent service to an industry we are proud to be part of. “
Martin added: “We are increasingly relying on social media to connect with others in travel and to feel part of the wider travel community.
“Sara spotted the potential for a social media travel community very early on. The group has gone from strength to strength ever since, thanks largely to hundreds of supportive ‘Travel Gossipers’. For me it was a no-brainer to join Sara in taking Travel Gossip to the next level.”
Travel Gossip will mark its new website and third birthday with the travel trade at a special event on the August 21 at VeLOFT, the UK offices of Ve Interactive in London. The event is sponsored by Holiday Extras, C&M Recruitment, British Travel Awards, Ve Interactive and The Perfect Cellar.
The event will help raise funds for Travel Gossip’s chosen charity, Abta Lifeline.