STARTUP STAGE: Postcard Travel promotes responsible luxury tourism

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Postcard logo letter P

Postcard Travel

Bangalore, India-based Postcard Travel is a global community of storytellers, hoteliers and travel designers who want to make travel a force for good.

Founded in 2020 and launched in September 2022, Postcard’s objective is to be the platform of choice for mindful luxury travelers to discover hotels and tours that support the local community.

In early September, Phocuswright published its India Total Market Report, which provides a comprehensive view of India’s travel market, including detailed market sizing and projections, distribution trends, analysis of major travel segments and key developments. Below, PhocusWire dives deeper into Postcard Travel.

Website

https://www.postcard.travel/

Newsletter

https://blog.postcard.travel/

What is your 30-second pitch to investors?

Postcard is a storytelling media and travel representation
company for luxury hotels and tours that support the local community and promote responsible
tourism. We aim to join hands with them to inspire a new generation of mindful travelers
through storytelling.

Postcard was conceptualized in 2020 by Amit Jaipuria when he
found it difficult to find luxury hotels and tours that supported the local community and were
authentic voices for responsible tourism. Through the company website, newsletter and upcoming
podcast, we showcase stories from mindful luxury hotels and tours to a global community
of travelers and invite them to book with them.

Describe both the business and technology aspects of your
startup.

“Eighty-three percent of travelers think sustainable travel is vital, nearly
three quarters believe they have to act now to save the planet for future generations, and 61%
committed to travel more mindfully.” -Booking.com

As society wakes up to travel in a post-COVID world, people
are seeking innovative products that lead them toward more mindful travel and personal
transformation. While this is an emerging trend in the travel industry driven by a more mindfully aware and
inclusive community of travelers, more needs to be done at a global level to accelerate the
process and make it mainstream.

Postcard brings together a global community of mindful
luxury hoteliers and travel designers and invites them to showcase local stories. It then promotes
them via its website, newsletter and podcast channels to a global community of travelers.

As a membership-driven platform, luxury hotels and travel
designers apply to be featured on the Postcard directory. If accepted, the company pays an annual
fee to be included within either the Postcard Hotel or Postcard Tour directory and a commission
on sales that convert from a Postcard lead. The hotels and tour companies then
publish local stories about their people, culture, history, food, nature and
wildlife on the Postcard site in an effort to inspire travelers to book a stay
or tour with them.

For hotels and tour providers that need help with
storytelling, Postcard also offers a global directory of established storytellers they are able to hire
for editorial services.

Give us your SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities,
Threats) analysis of the company.

Strengths

  • Postcard is well positioned to be a leader in ushering in
    a new era in mindful travel. Using our brand media channels such as our website,
    newsletter and podcast, we have the tools needed to showcase our partners to a global
    community of mindful luxury travelers and a chance to inspire them with stories from
    different parts of the world.

Weaknesses

  • While we are a startup with a big vision, we are still new
    to the market having launched on Sept. 1, 2022. As such we are in the early stages of
    promoting our brand to the global market and building awareness among our consumers and
    suppliers. We partner with like-minded media outlets, industry groups and tourism
    boards to get the word out about us and support our vision for mindful travel.

Opportunities

  • We are a global community of storytellers, hoteliers and
    travel designers that share a common vision of having travel serve as a force for good. We
    have partners representing over 15 countries across five continents, and our
    application list for new partnerships continues to grow. By empowering our partners
    and helping them succeed, we contribute to helping make an impact in their respective
    communities.

Threats

  • With the countless startups in the travel industry, each
    claiming to have its own way to service consumers and partners, we can be lost in the crowd.
    As such, consumer and partner inaction can be a hurdle for us to achieve critical
    mass and traction. Therefore, we have taken the time to get our messaging right to help us
    differentiate ourselves from others and position ourselves in the industry for mindful
    luxury travel.

What are the travel pain points you are trying to
alleviate from both the customer and the industry perspective?

It is difficult for
mindful travelers to find authentic boutique hotels and tours that support the local community and promote responsible tourism. This is
because search platforms are algorithm-driven and the attention is won by those best
at SEO and with deep advertising budgets. Social media is also very noisy, and it
is a challenge to find companies. Given that boutique hotels and travel designers are SMEs and
have relatively limited budgets, they find it difficult to connect with like-minded
travelers. Postcard curates the members it brings onboard, ensuring only high-quality
and authentic companies are listed in its databases. This makes it useful for
travelers to have Postcard as their preferred platform to identify
like-minded partners to plan their trips with.

So you’ve got the product, now how will you get lots of
customers?

Postcard’s objective is to be the platform of choice for
mindful luxury travelers to discover luxury hotels and tours that support the local community and
promote responsible tourism. To achieve this the company utilizes different marketing channels to
get the word out and build its global community of mindful travelers.

  • Advertising The Postcard Tour and Hotel Directory to drive
    leads and bookings
  • Advertising The Postcard Newsletter and building a global
    mailing list
  • Advertising The Postcard Podcast and to drive more
    listeners to subscribe
  • Boosting company posts on its social media channels
  • Advertising The Postcard Blog to drive more subscribers
  • SEO and performance marketing of individual tours, hotels,
    blog posts and podcasts on social media
  • Partnership with media outlets, industry groups and
    tourism boards for awareness building
  • Public relations and media exposure for company updates,
    product launches and key partnership announcements
  • Referral and word-of-mouth marketing
  • Influencer marketing

Tell us what process you’ve gone through to establish a
genuine need for your company and the size of the addressable market.

Becoming members of industry groups such as the
Transformational Travel Council has enabled us to network with and listen to
the challenges faced by companies whose values and visions we aligned with. We sought to build a
product that would help them succeed. After hundreds of Zoom calls and one-on-one
interviews, we were able to identify pain paints, uncover opportunities, design the
product and establish the business model for Postcard.

How and when will you make money?

Postcard has multiple channels for revenue generation. As
the company grows, it will activate its various monetization strategies, such as:

  • Listing fees from hotels and travel designers
  • Commissions on transactions
  • Sponsored ads on our newsletter and podcast channels

What are the backgrounds and previous achievements of the
founding team?

As a serial entrepreneur for the last 22 years, Amit
Jaipuria has started multiple companies across industries such as consumer tech, retail, agri tech, fine
art and travel. He is passionate about creating and empowering communities to bring about change to
the status quo. He has also authored multiple patents on social media platforms and is a Media
Herald and Ally Partner at the Transformational Travel Council.

How have you addressed diversity and inclusion within
your business?

Being community driven, we represent partners who are local
hoteliers and travel designers from over 15 countries, and our vision is to have local
representation from all countries around the world. We invite them to showcase their products using
stories featuring their people and lands. Showcasing their stories helps us amplify their
message and connect them with potential partners and donors who can support them in their
initiatives.

What’s been the most difficult part of founding the
business so far?

Getting the product design and messaging in place and building
a community of suppliers and consumers.

Generally, travel startups face a fairly tough time
making an impact – so why are you going to be one of lucky ones?

We are a community-centric business built on the foundation
of having travel serve as a force for good. With every booking we do via Postcard, we help our
partners make a direct impact at the local level. We also share their vision and have
committed 10% of all revenues towards conservation and community empowerment with an intent to
grow this percentage as we scale.

A year from now, what state do you think your startup
will be in?

We will be a global representation company with partners and
clients from over 100 countries. We will be cash-flow positive and will have made an impact in
local communities the world over by connecting our partners with like-minded travelers.

What is your endgame? (Going public, acquisition, growing
and staying private, etc)

We believe in social enterprise. We plan to remain a
privately held company with a culture of empathy and inclusiveness and give back to build a more
sustainable world.

India Travel Market Report 2021-2025

This report provides a comprehensive view of India’s travel market, including detailed market sizing and projections, distribution trends, analysis of major travel segments, key developments and more.

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