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My Destination

My Destination: A Franchise Without Borders

This interview with My Destination presents an overview of this exciting franchise concept. Learn why this unique franchise concept travels so well.

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FKH: I visited your website and was intrigued by your concept. Can you provide a brief description of the My Destination franchise for our readers?

MD: My Destination is a global travel resource powered by a diverse community of franchisees. They are our local experts on the ground, providing unrivalled local knowledge and unique local deals. Each destination website is an online franchise, and are provided with technical as well as general support from the main offices in Marbella and London

FKH: What are the basic terms of your franchise, such as initial fee, royalty, term, etc.? Is there an added cost for one territory compared to another?

MD: The initial franchise fee is £15,000 or approximately $23,200 U.S.

Every destination has unique characteristics and so it is not possible for us to devise a standard formula and on-going fee that fits everywhere, however the factors we look at include; size of territory, number of hotels, average hotel room price, potential advertising prices, volume of market, seasonality and lastly but vey importantly the competitiveness of relevant search terms on search engines. We have three franchise levels that vary based upon the above factors.

For example:

  • LEVEL ONE (e.g. Cape Verde, York , Byron Bay)
  • LEVEL TWO (e.g. Marbella, Durban, Kuala Lumpur)
  • LEVEL THREE (e.g. Sydney, Madrid, Hong Kong)

FKH: Given that you have an Internet based franchise are there any challenges in terms of franchisee exclusivity and control?

MD: No exclusivity has yet to be a problem and our franchisees who are in the same country but operating different cities will work together to get national advertisers. It is in everyone’s interest to work together in our network rather than fight each other. Quality control is something we are currently focusing on and is of course extremely important when you are growing quickly to maintain the quality throughout the new franchises.

FKH: What is it like to run an online franchise, as opposed to a bricks and mortar franchise? What are the differences and the difficulties that My Destination has faced with this online model?

MD: I imagine being a franchisor within any industry is very similar. The key thing any franchisor should be concentrating on is their support to franchisees and we are continually looking at ways to improve this within our organization. The great thing about an online business is that you do not have to invest in a shop front and décor for a store. This means that franchise fees support can be kept relatively low yet the ‘shop’ remains open 24 hours a day and has the world as a customer.

If a franchise like Subway with thousands of stores wanted to do a revamp or change this would be extremely expensive and timely for them to do. We effectively have to revamp one store (our site) which immediately changes all of our franchises. More people are turning online everyday so along with travel we are well-positioned in two big growth industries. So there are significant benefits of operating online but it has its issues too of course.

FKH: Do you a franchisee profile and if yes what are the attributes you look for in a candidate?

MD: This is the perfect business to sink your teeth into if you are a sociable person who wants to shout about the city you live in to the rest of the world. However we should say this is not a hobby business, it is fun but it is a lot of hard work. However with hard work come rewards and the revenue potential of our business is significant.

The role itself revolves around 2 key roles, writing content and sales. Our sites should be run by a minimum of two people so if your strength lies in one of these attributes, you know what to look for in a partner! People with a background in Media/Marketing/Writing or Sales will have had some great experience but we have franchisees from all walks of life, the key attribute is enthusiasm and a global outlook on life.

FKH: What attracted your franchisees to start a franchise with My Destination?

MD: It is in 2 growth markets, internet and travel. I think people see My Destination and they see a fast growing and fast developing travel business. We never sit still and are always improving the sites in some way or other and franchisees that have been with us for years will tell you the same. I think people join us because even though the model works today, the future potential of the business is vast. It is also fun to run and you are with good people and automatically have friends in 120 major travel destinations around the world.

FKH: Do you see the My Destination network growing to hundreds of franchisees?

MD: Certainly. We have surpassed 120 franchises and would expect to at least double this number.

FKH: It would appear that it wouldn’t be difficult for someone to duplicate this franchise. Can you explain where I may be wrong?

MD: We have a copy-cat or two out there but the amount we have spent on the platform to date is in the millions and the real value lies in the admin system which allows our franchisees to operate their sites on a daily basis with no previous technical experience. We were the first to market with this franchise and therefore every new franchisee and territory we get in place means the barrier to entry gets that bit tougher for a new competitor. We are very happy with what we have achieved but know the potential of our model is so much greater. You will hear a lot more from My Destination in the years to come.

James Street and Neil Waller are the Co-Founders of My Destination. We are a network of online travel guides providing unrivalled levels of local information. To receive franchise information go to the My Destination franchise site.

2011 FranchiseKnowHow, LLC

Ed Teixeira is the President of FranchiseKnowHow, LLC. He can be reached at franchiseknowhow@gmail.com

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