TravelPass Group has created a clean, user-oriented technology platform that recently surpassed $2 billion in gross booking revenue.
When booking travel arrangements, people want two things — simplicity and savings. This is easier said than done.
Most travel bookings follow the same type of process. The customer settles down on their home computer, takes a deep breath, and spends the next three hours bouncing between sites and browser tabs, sorting through loads of information in hopes of finding the best possible price. It’s exhausting, messy, convoluted, and hopefully, a thing of the past.
Ryan McCoy is the co-founder of Partner Fusion, a marketing/technology incubator based in Lehi. While doing marketing work for a variety of Las Vegas hotels, he noted an opportunity in the travel industry.
“We realized there were inefficiencies in hotel distribution, the way consumers were searching for hotels, staying with hotels, and we felt like we could create something that worked a little bit better,” said McCoy. “The average customer today will search five websites prior to booking travel. I don’t know another space that has quite that many searches prior to a purchase.”
TravelPass Group was spun out of Partner Fusion in 2008, though it wasn’t until 2011 that they started seeing significant traction. McCoy committed full-time as CEO the following year and began laying the groundwork for today’s version of TravelPass — a clean, user-oriented technology platform that recently surpassed $2 billion in gross booking revenue.
With customers spending all their time bouncing between websites and searching for the best deals, TravelPass concentrated on consolidating all their options in one place.
“If you go to Hotels.com, Hotwire, Orbitz, Travelocity, those are all owned by Expedia — you’re dealing with one supply source,” said McCoy. “If you go to Booking.com or Priceline, you’re dealing with another supply source. What we’re doing is tapping into all of those supply sources.”
TravelPass spent two years building out a technology platform that combined all supply sources into one place, making it easy for the consumer to find and locate the best travel accommodations. Simplicity, check. Savings, check.
In addition to these aspects, McCoy stresses the level of customer service TravelPass provides, available via phone, chat, or email, ready to help anyone with questions ranging from sales to support. With roughly 800 employees worldwide — including 100 at headquarters in Lehi — TravelPass doesn’t lack the human power to make this happen. And perhaps more impressively, this growth has happened without the boost of outside funding.
“You have to be real cautious any time you bring on VC money,” said McCoy. “Depending on the life cycle of the fund, there’s pressure to grow at a very high rate in order to make a return. We want to be free to make the right decisions for our employees, customers, and for the long-term health of the business.”
McCoy did stress that just because TravelPass has always been bootstrapped, doesn’t mean they will never take on venture capital. For the time being he’s content to let the company grow at a healthy pace — named to the Inc. 5000 as one of the fastest growing private companies in America — while taking into account the welfare of employees and customers. The travel booking experience is always evolving and with a solid structure in place, TravelPass is evolving along with it.
“The next stage for us is focusing in on customer pain points, really introducing new products and technology that will address those….all the things that will increase customer confidence in the travel experience,” said McCoy.