dot Travel Domains: What does your company do? How did it start?
Valeria Villalobos: Faro Travel is a social network for travelers from around the world. Within it, users can generate world travel ideas; Through an algorithm created by us, we connect that idea to our online store, offering them all the products and services they need to carry out that trip. The idea came about when we realized that people had to enter too many different websites to get inspired, organize their trips and buy everything necessary to carry them out. In this way, we wanted to give them a unique space where they could do all this process.
dot Travel: Which audience is it aimed at?
V. Villalobos: Faro Travel is aimed at travelers from all over the world who, beyond their age, feel that they have a “globetrotter” spirit. What does that mean? That apart from the love of travel, they circle the globe with a positive impact on destinations, they are responsible with the environment and local communities, they are tolerant and, above all, they consider that travelers are good for the world.
dot Travel: How was it received by the public?
V. Villalobos: Very well. The social network began with a dry run in September 2016 and today we have almost 14 thousand registered users. In addition, we have an important number of fans and followers from all over the world in our social networks, so we have managed to impact a good part of the traveling public.
dot Travel: What is your business model and philosophy?
V. Villalobos: Our philosophy is that the traveler is good for the world, which is why we want many more people to dare to come out to fulfill their dreams and live their adventures. That’s why we created Faro Travel, to give them a platform where they can get inspired and buy everything they need for their trips. The business model of Faro Travel is based on our online store where we sell accessories and travel services – from tents, backpacks and luggage scales to tours -, making money by earning commission on sales.
dot Travel: What is your ultimate goal?
V. Villalobos: Our dream is to become the largest travelers’ community in the world. For that we need to continue to grow and develop more tools to generate value for users, so that you can find in Faro Travel a place to be inspired, interact with others and purchase your trips.
dot Travel: What are your main characteristics? What makes you different?
V. Villalobos: During this whole time that we have been working with Faro Travel, we have developed a series of values that characterize us and reflect the traveler spirit we are looking for. These values are:
Enjoy your young soul
Awaken the senses
Do things with passion
Do not stop exploring
Contribute to a better world
Let your dreams guide you
dot Travel: And what services do you offer?
V. Villalobos: We make sure to listen to our users, to be able to constantly develop the tools they seek in a platform like ours. And, on the side of the online store, we try to have products and services that are useful for travelers, but which also have a positive impact on the world. In this way, many of our products and services stand out for being sustainable, friendly to the environment and, often, developed by entrepreneurs, to contribute to local commerce.
dot Travel: How and when did you find out about .travel and decided to work with us?
V. Villalobos: The partners of Faro Travel have always been linked to the field of tourism, in which circle the .travel domain is pretty well known. When we decided to use “Faro” for our project – in mid-2014 – we did not hesitate to opt for this type of domain, because it was the best way for people to understand just by hearing the URL, that our venture was about travel.
dot Travel: What has been the evolution of your company?
V. Villalobos: Faro Travel was born almost three years ago as a blog in which various Chilean travelers wrote their stories and shared them through the web. With the passage of time we realized that a platform like ours should be able to generate interaction between travelers, since it was also useful. So, we decided to turn our site into a social network, where we work every day to meet the expectations of our users.
dot Travel: Companies and businesses have realized the importance of being part of the digital world in order not to lose competitiveness. How has .travel helped you achieve and maintain this competitiveness?
V. Villalobos: We must work on the basis that Faro Travel is a purely digital business; meaning, 95% of our actions are focused in that area. But beyond our experience, not being in the digital world is simply not existing in the minds of consumers. After all, the first thing a person does when hearing about a brand is to look for it on the internet!
For us the .travel domain has been key especially for the expansion in our test market, because in Chile the use of this extension is still not very popular.
dot Travel: Choosing the right domain/brand on the Internet is the first step to success. How was the domain name chosen?
V. Villalobos: Three years ago, when we started working on the project, we looked at different name alternatives. However, Faro really called our attention, because it is a very important symbol for travelers, in the sense that it is the light that guides them to their destination. In addition, the word “Faro” is transversal in many languages, which would help us whenever we decide to internationalize our company.
dot Travel: How has .travel helped turn your page into a solid tool to deliver your message or product to your audience?
V. Villalobos: This domain extension has been fundamental in our positioning. To be honest, at first, we just referred to this project as “Faro”. However, the users themselves started referring to it as “Faro Travel” when seeing the domain, which made us realize how important it was to add that term to give context to our platform.
dot Travel: How do you see the future?
V. Villalobos: For us, the future looks just like our great dream: to become the largest travelers’ community in the world.
dot Travel: Would you recommend .travel?
V. Villalobos: Absolutely, especially for those who need to position their business in the field of travel. The .travel domain is key for people to recognize a company that works in the world of travel, settling in the minds of its customers as such.