New travel planning site launches for independent travellers – Secret Earth

Secret Earth, a new trip planning website which launches today, simplifies the process of researching, planning and booking worldwide, independent holidays, be it a weekend break or that trip of a lifetime.
By: Secret Earth
 
Jan. 28, 2014 - PRLog -- Secret Earth - http://www.secretearth.com - launches initially with ‘invitation-only’* access, is thought to be the first website, certainly in the UK, to combine quality content with easy-to-use trip planning and price comparison tools, all in one place.

There are already over 100 destination guides, 1,300 activities & attractions, 550 hotels, and 650 restaurants and bars, with more being added each week, covering destinations from Cape Town to Cappadocia; Alesund (Northern Norway) to Athens.

*How to become a Secret Earth member

Secret Earth’s ‘invitation only’ membership strategy will see over 5,000 founding members of the site encouraged to invite friends and family to become members. This viral ‘people-referral’ strategy has been used in the past by the likes of Pinterest, Jetsetter and Gmail. However, for those who don’t have links to founding members there is the ability to request a membership through the waiting list by going to:  http:// (http://www.secretearth.com/users/sign_in)www.secretearth.com/users/sign_in

Discover, Plan, Book

All Secret Earth content is original, independent, and written by leading travel writers. Each of the 100 destination guides includes detailed information such as how to get there, best times to travel, price guidelines, key attractions, insider tips as well as carefully selected recommendations on hotels, restaurants, bars and shops to save members time poring over guidebooks and endless websites and give them more time to enjoy the destination.

For example the Amsterdam guide (http://www.secretearth.com/destinations/27-amsterdam) recommends checking out the Lloyd Hotel for a laid-back and arty vibe and shares enough shopping tips to inspire the ‘Carrie Bradshaw’ in anyone, including fabulous footware from Ab Donkers. Then, chill out at the historic gin tasting house, Wynand Fockink, to sample house brewed and flavoured jenevers (Dutch gin) and liqueurs.

Content has been specifically written and designed for an online audience, helping members ‘feel the pulse’ of each of destination; advice on the best local company to hire a open top sports car in Cape Town, where to enjoy a ‘Lambic’ beer in Brussels, why it is best to take wellies to Venice if visiting between November and February, and even opening up the chocolate culture of Lima by recommending the extraordinary Xocolatl in Miraflores.

Background to the site

Secret Earth is the brainchild of two friends, Matthew Roach and John Kat. Both are from corporate backgrounds, where they worked long hours and were frustrated at how long it was taking to plan trips. They identified that to plan an independent holiday travellers needed three things: good recommendations, a way to plan them together, and an easy means to book them. At the time, there were hundreds of sites for booking travel, only a few provided original, high quality recommendations, and even fewer, if any, offering trip planning.

Matthew Roach, Secret Earth’s CEO and Co-Founder said

“We found there was no middle ground for independent travellers like us between going to a specialist tour operator, or going it alone and sifting through literally hundreds of websites giving tips and advice and other sites specialising in booking elements of the trip. Our three-stage ‘Discover, Plan and Book’ process brings this all together with quality and intelligently presented content, insider tips and clever planning and booking tools.”

In addition Secret Earth features a number of unique discovery tools – including a bespoke travel search – to help members find what they want quickly and easily.

Secret Earth’s Recommender allows members to search for trip suggestions under when? where? and how? criteria, allowing them to choose the theme of their trip, the time of year they wish to travel and factors such as travel distance in flight or driving times. So, should they look for ecotours in May within an 8 hour flight from London, there are 22 detailed recommendations.

Secret Earth’s Tripbox enables members to collect travel ideas as they search the site and create customised digital guides to take with them on holiday, as well as using a unique ‘drag and drop’ calendar to create a detailed itinerary which prompts on any restrictions such as opening days for museums. Soon members will be able to share itineraries with friends for group-trips, and take them with them on a mobile app.

Book – unbiased options and bespoke price comparisons

Secret Earth offers the independent traveller many options for booking including a unique in-site price aggregator which compares the lowest prices on six leading online travel agents (including Expedia, hotels.com and lastminute.com), and provides its members with links to booking on the OTA’s own site. For activities & tours, Secret Earth provides online booking through Viator, as well as independent recommendations for reputable local operators and guides who can organise the activity or tour.

-ENDS-

For more information contact Fiona Reece or Claire Southern at Fiona Reece PR, 07702 684 682 / 07725 167 665 / 01242 211 192

fiona@fionareece.com / claire@fionareece.com

Note to Editors

Media access


Media can either request a personal invitation to sign up to the site by emailing fiona@fionareece.com/sadie@fionareece.com  – or for immediate access use the media guest log-in:

Email: media.guest@secretearth.com

Password: discover

Business Model


Secret Earth is privately funded and will earn revenue from affiliate commissions through a number of partnership agreements, for example with Viator (for online activities & tours) and online travel agents in the price comparison tools.

Recommended travel suppliers may upgrade their listing on Secret Earth for a small annual fee to include special offers and a company profile page. However, the recommendation of these travel suppliers is made independently by Secret Earth’s writers and the travel supplier’s decision whether to upgrade or not comes after they have been recommended.

Quality and original content

Secret Earth’s content has been strategically planned. Unlike most travel publishers, Secret Earth started with the world’s best travel experiences and built its recommendations and guides around those, rather than building a catalogue of destination guides. Secret Earth’s content is initially aimed at the UK market, with lots of European short break content. Americas and then Asia content will be expanded as Secret Earth rolls out into those markets.

Contact
Fiona Reece PR
***@fionareece.com
01242 211 192
End
Email:***@fionareece.com
Posted By:***@fionareece.com Email Verified
Tags:Travel, Website, Tourism
Industry:Technology, Travel
Location:England
Subject:Websites
Account Email Address Verified     Account Phone Number Verified     Disclaimer     Report Abuse
Fiona Reece PR PRs
Trending News
Most Viewed
Top Daily News



Like PRLog?
9K2K1K
Click to Share