Name: Anastasia Zolotova
Position Within Company: PR Manager
Period Of Time In The Role: I was appointed as PR Manager for TourBar in September 2014, although I started out TourBar’s Product Manager when I joined the company in January 2014.
Tell us a little about your company.
TourBar is a social networking website and mobile app that has just celebrated its first birthday. It’s designed to help travellers find a date or travel companion to buddy up with on a trip. Members also have the option to register as local guides, where they act as a city guide for visiting solo travellers, or alternatively members register as a solo traveller going to a new destination.
Members can equally sign up to explore both options. The TourBar app can be downloaded for free onto smartphones by visiting the iTunes Store, Google Play or the Windows Phone Store.
How long has the site been live, and how many users do you currently have?
Tourbar.com launched on 13 March 2014, with the TourBar mobile app arriving shortly after in May 2014. By March 2015 when TourBar celebrated its first birthday, the number of active users reached 90,000, and since then we have seen a huge rise in sign ups with the number of active TourBar users now standing at 110,000 worldwide.
What are your biggest demographics and markets?
Geographically, our biggest markets for our members are the USA, Spain, Russia, Italy, Turkey, UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Germany and France.When it comes to age groups, those aged 25-34 represent the largest proportion of TourBar members (33%). Members aged 35-44 are our second biggest market and represent 20% of all our members, with those aged 45-50 representing 16% of our membership. Our youngest age bracket of 18-24 year-olds account for 15% of our membership, with those aged 50-64 representing 8% of our members.
Who is your site aimed towards, and what purpose does it solve for singles?
As our member breakdown reveals, TourBar targets a huge demographic and we have members as young as 18 as well as those signing up in their sixties. Before we launched TourBar.com, we noticed by speaking to friends and family that we knew a lot of single people that were looking to travel but were put off by the thought of going alone.
With TourBar we aim to take away that problem by allowing our members to meet fellow solo travellers with similar interests, heading to the same destination. One of the key benefits for single people choosing to meet members on the site is that by selecting their interests when they register, they can be confident that their new partner shares similar interests as well as a passion for travel.
How big is your team, and where are you located?
TourBar currently has seven full-time employees working out of our London headquarters.
One of Tourbar’s unique user features is the ability to operate as a “city guide” for other travellers. Tell us a little about this.
The City Guide aspect of TourBar is very unique and has proved a really popular offering on our website and mobile app. It’s really beneficial to those that love travelling and are interested in meeting fellow travellers but have no immediate travel plans of their own. This way, City Guides are able to act as a host in their own city and tour incoming travellers around the destination.
Our feedback shows that members really benefit from having a guide that knows their way around the city and it allows them to see much more off the usual tourist trail.
Safety is a key concern for online daters and travellers alike. How does Tourbar ease the minds of users who may be concerned about meeting their travel companion?
It goes without saying that the safety of our members is hugely important to TourBar. TourBar makes the process simple and safe, thanks to our verified users, our online profiles with photos and information, and our membership services. Our team of moderators actually approves each photo that’s uploaded to the website.
It goes without saying that moderators pay additional attention when approving photos submitted to verify profile. This way we can be certain that verified members are real people and means that members can trust who they’re meeting, and feel confident to get out there and explore the world with a new travel partner.
One of the major decisions in the world of online dating is whether or not to monetise certain user features. How does Tourbar monetise?
TourBar users can register for free and browse profiles to determine whether our offering and users may be of interest to explore in more depth. In order to send a direct message to anyone though, users need to be subscribed.
To subscribe there are four different membership levels, costing as little as 50p per day when members sign up for a six month membership. Over the key Valentine’s Day period, we offered a free trial of our full membership to those that signed up on the day and this proved to be very successful. As such, we’re considering launching more promotions via the website.
Can you explain your user verification process?
TourBar offers three different comprehensive verification processes. First, we offer a photo verification service where users take a picture of themselves holding a piece of paper with “TourBar” on it, so that their photos are matched up with their profile photos. (This image is kept private.)
Then, we require that users send in a copy of a photo ID, such as a passport or driver’s license, to verify their name, age and identity. Finally, by providing a mobile phone number, we send members a verification code and have accurate contact information for each person. Of course, when members take the time to become a verified user, they’ll also enjoy other great benefits such as showing up higher in lists and searches, and other users will be more confident and comfortable in selecting verified members as a potential travel companion.
If travel enthusiasts are serious about meeting new people, travelling to new places and experiencing new things, we highly recommend becoming a verified user. With a 3-step verification process, TourBar stands apart as a leading international dating site, and a safe way to meet a new travel partner.
What do you think will be the biggest online dating trends in the next year?
I think as we look to the future, online daters will choose to favour mobile dating apps rather than dating website platforms. Whilst our website is going from strength to strength, we realise the importance of mobile apps, especially with a product like ours when members are travelling and on the move all the time, so we are concentrating a lot of our efforts and further innovations on the TourBar app as well as the website.
Also, more and more users are starting to realise that online dating is not the goal, but instead it is a tool to actually find an offline date. Thus, I think the other big trend for online dating is providing users with the tools to be able to switch from online communication to face to face communication and I think TourBar is a great example of this. Our users post updates with the real time upcoming trips they are about to take and this turns into face to face interaction.
Our subscription fee helps us to keep TourBar free of adverts and spam and grow our network, and it also a great way to ensure that users are serious and determined to find a travel partner or a guide.
What are your plans for the future of this site?
We see TourBar’s future evolving from being more than a platform to meet like-minded travellers, to a resource where members can share travel plans and their recent journey experiences with others looking to visit a destination. With that in mind, we want TourBar to become a real ‘hub’ for all solo travellers and a ‘must-visit’ tool for all those thinking of booking a trip alone.
Check out TourBar’s website for more information.