Leah and Paul Squire are clearly adventurers. They and their two kids love to travel……everywhere! Currently living and working in Dampier, WA, amongst many other ‘adventures’ they have spent 8 months on the east cast of Oz wwoofing (see next article) and 6 months earlier this year in New Zealand.
HOW DID ‘www.byokids.com.au…..your family travel gurus’ come about?
Leah had met so many people who had just forgotten how to have fun and be a family that she decided an information website that took all the hard work out of the planning would mean more families would be able to enjoy their time together – either on a full blown holiday, or a daytrip.
The site is not very old only 6 months really but the interest is growing like wildfire. In November they had 120,000 hits and they are averaging 10,000 ‘unique visits’ a month – increasing all the time. Leah gets dozens of emails each week from people saying they love the site.
HOW DID LEAH DO IT?
1)Leah has a background in tourism, running tour desks in resorts;
2)12 months ago she worked out her site content and the ‘look’ – the website has grown and evolved since then in response to what people wanted. Leah then contacted some IT consultants for hosting and web design and launched www.byokids.com.au. Leah runs the site solo, contacting her consultants infrequently – on a needs basis.
3)This year while the family travelled in NZ, the site ‘just sat there’ but from early August on their return it has ‘taken off’ with site visits;
4)Leah has installed a tracking system on her website so she knows what her market wants, how it comes to her site etc;
5)’Getting the idea out there’ is not easy (Pigs Will Fly knows all about that!). Leah has put a lot of effort into contacting state government tourism organisations, as her site can clearly be a great promotional tool for a lot of small tourism businesses. So far the response has been 2-3 lines in 4 newsletters. NB Victorian Rural Achiever 2004?, Ange Newton, rightly says ‘You have to do something dramatic to get it in the public eye as she did with ‘Beaut Blokes Weekend’ – Leah and I will have to put our lateral thinking caps on!!
6)The competition seems to focus on luxury resorts and cruises – the glossy magazine approach as distinct from Leah’s informative approach.
HOW WILL THE SITE MAKE MONEY?
1)www.byokids.com.au has a ‘shop online’ and ‘book online’ function;
2)Businesses pay for a detailed listing. A basic listing is free in the interest of ‘getting the info out there for families’ – the goal of Leah’s site;
3)Advertisements – businesses and Google.
FOR MORE INFO VISIT: www.byokids.com.au OR
email Leah – email@example.com