Turtle Rabbit Travel
Turtle Rabbit Travel is creating the next must-have experience for travellers aged 18 to 35 — RV road trips. The RV travel market does a poor job at serving the $203 bn youth travel market. Turtle Rabbit Travel seeks to change that by selling spots on its RV tours to groups and solo travellers for a simple, off the shelf price. Following a fixed itinerary, dozens of RVs that travel together for a week, creating a festive and fun atmosphere.
We are bringing to market a new travel concept for 18-35 year old youth travellers. Inspired by the successful yacht flotilla business model practiced by The Yacht Week, MedSailors and others, our tours will operate like a yacht flotilla but on dry land with a few tweaks…
- Replace yachts with large campervans (RVs as they are known in America)
- Replace skippers with driver/guides
- Replace Marinas with RV parks
- Replace the open sea with the open road.
Clients book an individual spot in our RV fleet which follows a fixed itinerary. Upon arrival to the RV park, driver/guides will organise fleet activities like barbeques, nature hikes, pub crawls and other local activities.
Our off-the-shelf pricing includes fees and costs that clients would typically have to pay if they rented an RV such as insurance, fuel, RV park fees, linens, cookery, tables, chairs and a driver/guide. Solo clients can book a spot in an RV while groups can book their own vehicle in the fleet.
In February and March our self-managed PPC marketing campaign achieved an average cost-per-lead of just £22.06.
Our Facebook page currently has 1,600+ fans, 86% of which fall into the 18-34 demographic.
Intuit’s Quicken Small Business Blog and Traveldudes have written about us.
We have proven an interest in our product, gathering booking enquiries for 82 customers, which represents a potential revenue of £57K.
Exhibiting at London’s B2C travel conference (TNT Travel Show) and attending Berlin’s B2B travel convention (ITB Travel Show) allowed us to collect customer and industry feedback. That feedback led to a pivot in our product offering, we now offer a full-service experience that caters to solo travellers and groups alike.
Funding to Date
John O’Sullivan founded the company in December 2014.In January 2015 we attracted a private family/friend investor and raised £5,818.33. Gareth Thomas joined the team as co-founder in March 2015.
Use of Funds
Marketing – With an achieved cost-per-lead of £22.06, we aim to engage in an aggressive, hyper-targeted PPC campaign on Google, Facebook, Twitter and other outlets to enable a cost-effective marketing campaign.
We will also use funds raised to exhibit at travel shows and for RV branding, which should strengthen our brand during photo shoots.
Operations – We will need to bond our tours, as required by UK regulations. This protects consumers from financial failure of an operator. Funds will also allow for transportation costs and salaries. Local driver/guides will be hired to minimize these costs.
Our initial destination is the USA. In 2013 the US attracted 3.8 million Brits and 1.2 million Australians. Our target market is youth travellers. This market is worth US$203 billion globally. The youth market travels to the USA more than any other destination.
Our product category is as a package holiday (not including flights). Over half (51%) of British travellers going overseas in 2014 chose to travel on a package holiday as opposed to independent, “DIY” travel.
Route to Market
In Summer 2015 we aim to operate three pilot departures to prove our concept, identify and troubleshoot operational issues and gather marketing materials.
In Summer 2016 we plan to operate all summer long and develop a second American product on the East Coast.
In Summer 2017 we aim to continue to increase capacity on our USA products and introduce a European product.
As our target market is dispersed worldwide, we plan to use pay-per-click (“PPC”) campaigns, primarily on social media. We believe this will ensure our marketing campaigns have a laser-focus, only spending money on campaigns that are seen by our likely clients on social media.
We aren’t aware of anyone operating with our business model for our demographic. Competitors working within our market and destination include Trek America, Contiki Holidays, TopDeck Travel and Bamba Experience. They differ in these ways:
- Trek America’s key product includes transportation by large van and accommodation in camping tents
- Bamba Experience offers bare-bones tours offering no accommodation, no guide and transit via public transportation
- TopDeck and Contiki offer traditional bus & guide tours with twin-share, 2- and 3-star hotels. The sales price for these tours is between £715 — £1015, well above what we plan to offer.
John O’Sullivan – CEO/Co-founder
Two years with Sail Croatia Adventures where he created a new travel brand, Med Experience, and saw to its expansion across 10 countries in and around the Balkans. Previous role at Busabout managing European tours and developing a cooperation between The Travel Corporation and Save Vernazza.
Gareth Thomas – CTO/Co-founder
Four years running own IT consultancy business – Kusky Technologies, working as a financial systems programmer at some of the worlds largest investment banks.
Ryan Pfeffer – Technology Advisor
Co-founder and Head of Engineering for VC-backed SendHub, 18 months as a software engineer at Quickbooks.
Stefan Camilleri – Investor
Specialist retreat yoga instructor and business owner, served as initial investor for Turtle Rabbit Travel and will lead our yoga tours.
The Exit Strategy
We anticipate an exit strategy realisation within five years. After achieving our milestone of reaching two continents and cash-flow positivity, Turtle Rabbit Travel can pursue one of two options:
- Sale — Acquisitions of niche tour operators by large travel conglomerates are common in the travel industry. Trek America’s sold to First Choice Holidays in 2004 (Source) which in turn sold to Tui in 2007 (Source)
- Rapid global expansion to Australia, New Zealand, Europe, South Africa and South America. Once our business model is proven expansion is a next achieveable goal. If investors wish, we plan to offer a share buyback to allow investors to benefit before we begin further global expansion.
The option presenting the best value will be presented to and selected by the stakeholders.
Invest £10 and get
Invitation to annual investors’ departure, offered at 20% below sales price.
Invest £100 and get
5% discount on one tour per year
Invest £500 and get
10% discount on one tour per year
Invest £5,000 and get
Free space on our first investor tour Invitation to future investor tours offered at cost 10% discount on one tour per year
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