May 1, 2019

Platform for booking leisure activities

Vincas Stonys @vincaslt

I'm building a side project that tries to solve a problem that I personally face. At least in Lithuania many small leisure businesses (e.g kayak rent) don't have online presence to be able to find clients, and don't have knowledge or funds to build good-looking websites and online booking forms. Because of that, they're very hard to find online. This hurts both business owners that struggle to find clients, and people who are looking for something fun to do on a weekend with their friends but are not sure exactly what.

I try to provide solutions for both:

  • Business owners - a way to be discovered, build a good looking informational page, get their activity booked and manage those bookings.
  • People - Find a wide variety of activities that they can instantly book without having to browse hundreds of google pages to discover something interesting to do.

There is an early-stage proof of concept, that, at the moment, focuses only on the essentials - creating activities, and booking them. It can be found here: https://www.aktivitor.com

My question is, would you pay for a service like that as a business owner, or, as a user, accept a small service charge when booking paid activities that require payments over web-site?

What do you think overall? Feedback & criticism are very much appreciated.

#idea-validation

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    Good problem that you identified. If I've understood correctly, you're effectively building a marketplace of people looking to do things and people offering things to do, correct? What's the go-to market strategy? I see it says "enter city." Will you go after cities in Lithuania at first? Will you focus on kayaking? I think that if you try to do all activities in all places right from the get-go it'll be harder than if you focused on one activity or one geography.

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      To add to what Chris mentioned, it would seem your biggest competitor would be TripAdvisor but their focus is on bigger cities and tourist locations. So your niche would probably be locals just looking to promote their service but don't get a ton of foot traffic. Another suggestion is to get their location through the browser (they will have to grant permission) to display activities or list all cities with activities. I entered multiple cities: NY, Sao Paulo, Montreal only to get the 'no activities found' message. Also, this might work really well as a mobile app as well.

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        You both make good points. Right now, there are no activities, and I will be reaching out to business owners, who would be potential first users here. I have though about narrowing the scope to just kayaking at first, as it's the most problem-affected leisure activity type that I've seen in Lithuania. Also it might help to first focus on Lithuania or even just it's capital at first, as it's much easier to reach out and build a relationship with business owners if they are from my home country.

        While what trip advisor or airbnb experiences do overlap to some extent with what I intend to do, I don't view them as competitors. They focus a lot on people traveling and wanting to experience local way of life. I want to focus a lot more on local people who just want to find something interesting to do with their friends on the weekend, or something for their office party for instance, something like exit rooms, kayaks, tree climbing, something like that - stuff that you don't normally do as a traveler :)

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          I find that the groupon style websites like dovanusala.lt have this covered already. At least that's what I use to find such activities. However, these companies are marketing themselves in the gift niche. Perhaps there's room for another kind of player.

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