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Roadtrips: Planet Ride opens the road to specialized agencies

Interview of Baptiste Frérot, Executive Director of Planet Ride


The brand-new startup Planet Ride is surfing on the “roadtrip” trend by putting specialized agencies in relation with individual travelers. Its goal? Becoming a trustworthy intermediary, a true label, while guaranteeing the same prices as a direct agency. Baptiste Frérot, Executive Director of Planet Ride, extrapolates on this concept on TourMaG.com.



Planet Ride records 12,000 visitors per month on the website. 160 trip requests are being processed, mainly for departures in 2016, but six are already confirmed for the summer. DR ScreenShot Planet Ride
Planet Ride records 12,000 visitors per month on the website. 160 trip requests are being processed, mainly for departures in 2016, but six are already confirmed for the summer. DR ScreenShot Planet Ride
bTourMaG.com -[ Planet Ride was officially launched on March 18th, 2015. Could you extrapolate on the concept?]b

Baptiste Frérot: The project was incubated for two years and the beta version was put online in January 2015.

We are a true bridge between specialized travel agencies in road trips and travelers. For now, we are working with 35 francophone local agencies that all have many years of experience in this sector and that all have websites.

Through the platform we bring them an expertise, in order for them to improve their visibility. By pulling them together we’re hoping to create a “ride community.”

TourMaG.com - You play the role of an intermediary, but you have a licence provided to you by Atout France…

Baptiste Frérot: Planet Ride is a French company. The licence enables us to play the role of a trustworthy third party, at the level of payments and guaranteeing a trip.

In fact, this is our main activity: checking the production quality of our partner agencies, guaranteeing the best insurance.

The canvassing of agencies is based on a marketing analysis of the market, looking at the local players, to select the best agency in terms of credibility, price to quality ratio, etc.

Baptiste Frérot, Executive Director of Planet Ride - DR : Planet Ride
Baptiste Frérot, Executive Director of Planet Ride - DR : Planet Ride
We assure the company that it will have exclusivity on the platform based on the geographic zone it covers, the type of vehicle, and the offered tours.

On the long run, the service quality of each company will be controlled by a rating system, conducted by the clients.

Our approach aims at creating a certification, a Planet Ride label.

TourMaG.com - What types of offers can clients access?

Baptiste Frérot: For now, they have the choice between 80 offers, spread over thirty destinations and for different types of vehicles: moto, 4X4, camping-car, quad, snowmobile, Vespa, etc.

For now, we’re recording 12,000 visitors per month on the website. 160 requests of trips are being processed, mainly for departures in 2016, but six are now confirmed for the summer.

TourMaG.com - Is transportation included in the requests?

Baptiste Frérot: Transportation is paid for by the client, but he has access to advising by the local agency.

In any case, I insist, we’re not looking to sell trips instead of agencies. We only play the role of a bridge, that selects the best agencies on the market.

And without an over-cost for the final client.


TourMaG.com - In this case, how do you pay yourself?

Baptiste Frérot: Through a retro commission, included between 10% and 15% of the trip, paid back by the local agency. This amount corresponds to the marketing budget that the agency would have had to dedicate in order to make itself known. We are providing it with via our platform.

TourMaG.com - Who are your clients?

Baptiste Frérot: For now, they are mostly bikers, especially via associations. But the “roadtrip” trend is getting bigger, we’re also getting requests for “softer” trips, in Vespa, or riding mythical cars.

TourMaG.com - Are you looking to be resold by French travel agencies?

Baptiste Frérot: For now, our development strategy is mostly done on the Internet, through the purchase of key words especially. We’ll look into other types of solicitations later.

However, we target groups - between 5 and 20 people, if not more - and work councils, with the possibility of reserving a trip for a couple or family.

It is true that there is a strong demand for dynamic and atypical trips. This is a real need our clients experience but they sometimes have a hard time finding what they are looking within the large mass of offers. In this context, the labeling of Planet Ride makes sense.

And we are convinced that this vertuous cycle of a ride community could be applied to other fields, such as safaris, trekking, biking.

TourMaG.com - Is it true that you launched a crowd funding project?


Baptiste Frérot: Yes, we went through the platform, SoWeFund to launch a campaign of participatory funding.

The company’s capital is open to everyone, with a share price starting at €100. Through this means, we’re hoping to enlarge the community and gain visibility, in order to grow together.

TourMaG.com - What are your future projects?

Baptiste Frérot: We are going to work on the writing and explanation of the concept and offers, but also on our marketing policy and image.

There will also be improvements made to the technological tool that will allow the listing of guaranteed departures.

Written by Anaïs BORIOS translated by Joséphine Foucher the 02/06/2015
Read 442 times

Tags : Planet Ride

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