A Global Travel Group homeworker is looking for specialist agents to join his new Skype video directory, claiming face-to-face communication online will become a vital selling tool.
The start-up venture, Seeyourtravelagent.com, is due to launch officially to the public in September, with founder Geoff Monk aiming to have 100 agents signed up by that time.
He expects the online directory to suit homeworkers but said it could be used by high street agents.
Monk, an escorted tours specialist, told Travel Weekly he generates bookings from customers from around the world via Skype.
“The idea came out of my own experience,” he said. “Because of what I do I have spoken to people around the world, initially by phone but increasingly via video.
“I’ve got tens of thousands of pounds’ worth of business out of it, but I cannot possibly compete in every travel category.
“In the future every agent should have a Skype link on their website.
“The telephone is great, but there’s nothing quite like being able to see who you’re talking to.”
Agents will be charged per lead and they will also be able to pre-purchase specific numbers of clicks to manage their spend.
Monk said agents would be encouraged to upload a video profile and information about themselves to make the site as attractive to search engines as possible.
“It’s very hard to market yourself online, so this uses the power of numbers to bring agents together in one place where customers can find exactly what they are looking for,” said Monk.
According to Skype, 207 billion minutes of voice and video calls were made in 2010. Video calls accounted for 42%.