Business Proposal for remodeling Localhotels, by Mehmet Kurtkaya



Short timeline leading to the start of Localhotels

One day in Autumn 1991, while still a graduate student and research assistant working towards masters degree in Mechanical Engineering in Florida Atlantic University in the US, I suggested my lab colleague Saravanan, an Indian PhD student, and Kevin an American PhD student in Ocean engineering, who were interested in trading penny stocks, to stop investing in stocks and together start selling airline tickets on the internet and become trillionaires. They laughed a lot. There was no web (www) yet!

There was noone to finance me for my entrepreneurship idea, and I could not find a job due to the recession of 1992 to support myself upon graduation. I returned to Istanbul in 1992 and started my own company with the intention of doing internet commerce, one of the firsts in the world. Still, there was no web.

I started my first travel site in 1995 for Turkey, twarp.com and a few years later Localhotels, probably the oldest global hotel directory in the world continuously online since 1998!

I founded this website as an alternative to global companies such as Microsoft's Expedia, Travelocity etc. by linking local reservation companies and hotel websites around the world in a directory. I also added affiliate links from some smaller global reservation companies for revenue and also for giving the travelers the opportunity to compare and shop while still on Localhotels because the site did not have many local reservation company or hotel links. In 1999, bookings.nl (later bookings.com with Wall Street funding) had requested a link exchange with Localhotels when they were only a local company in the Netherlands which I had provided ( the page back then at archive.org)

Localhotels did not work out because of globalization fueled by unlimited money printing handed out to big travel companies thereby creating monopolies like in other Big Tech fields. However, even now, 26 years later, I still think it was a good idea. With Russia leading the multipolar world with China and BRICS expending, I think Localhotels is still a good idea for both local travel companies, hotels, villa and apartment rental companies.


In November 1998, right after starting Localhotels, Grand Canyon (a stop in my only US West Coast trip)

Potential Content Creator collaboration based on Localhotels

There are many Content Creators who create travel/destination content and many already showcase accomodations in their videos. Localhotels could be at least useful, and maybe also income generating for a potential Content Creator collaboration around the world.

How can Content Creators potentially make money ?

The regular way is they receive an advertisement fee or an affiliate link. There might also be a cooperation among content creators around Localhotels sharing the revenue of Localhotels. The actual work of mentioning Localhotels is quite easy: Mention Localhotels in the video and link it in the description. Takes a minute!

Your video will be linked from the country/city page of Localhotels and you get part of the revenue of the Localhotels. Wherever they go, if your viewers use Localhotels you could get a share of the revenue of Localhotels. How this revenue will be shared is a difficult task but Content Creators can come up with an agreement such as shared ownership of Localhotels for example. Not necessary for Content Creators to invest any money but a fair collaboration standart must be established before starting.

Additional potential income:

If in addition to doing a video about a destination, you also cover an accomodation in that video, an extra income may be generated, if the hotel decides to join Localhotels.

Current situation/problem with Youtube travel videos

Content Creator revenues are too dependant on donations. I think it is great that people support Content Creators hence independent content but Localhotels may make some steady additional revenue.

Another problem is that when people see your videos, it is unlikely that they would be planning a visit to the region you cover any time soon, most often your video is not directly/immmediately helpful for the viewer's travel plans. Even if they travel to that town at a later date many would have already forgotten about your video, even if they continue to follow your channel because there is no separate website where a list of videos are hold. Such a repository of your videos, along with other Content Creators', is useful and could also provide income and even additional viewers to your channel in the future.

Which Content Creators/Content Providers would be most appropriate for a collaboration

Obviously travel/destination/city information content providers are the first to come to mind but language and history channels are also important as travelers are interested in these subjects as well. Culinary, art and artistic channels too could be included.

Less Reliance on Youtube if successful

If successful, both repeat traffic and search engine traffic to Localhotels may provide visibility for your videos too, in addition to some potential income. Also Localhotels is a catchy domain name and appropriate for the concept.

Starting Point

An initial content and graphic update of Localhotels will be needed. After the remake, localhotels could be collectively launched by Content Creators, enough of them to make a good start. And additional Content Creators may join if they like the project.

Advantages For Travelers

New world, new destinations, new travel ideas. Find hotel and travel agency websites otherwise buried in search results full of global companies. Save hours of travel research, find out what you may have been missing. Check and compare hotel rates quickly and easily. And don't miss out on local deals!

No additional cost to travelers and potentially getting better deals as the hotels and agencies will greatly save on marketing. Plus easy structured access to many videos including that of hotels and travel by Content Creators. Plus less known accomodation suggestions with direct hotel website links or phones for accomodations not found in global reservation sites.

Would this idea work and provide income to Content Creators?

Maybe.

Currently Localhotels receives little to no traffic from search engines except some "local hotels" related keywords, but this would change with the content update and Content Creators mentions.



2000, Prague, Charles bridge.

I started Rentinprague.com in 2000 the same year I started visiting Prague, because I was already using vacation apartments as a cheaper alternative to hotels. For many years Rentinprague.com was not only among the earliest vacation websites for Prague but also the second most popular until 2007 when competition from local websites and Wall Street funded Airbnb made it obsolete. I achieved a comparable success with Rentinbarcelona.com and successful but to a lesser degree with Rome, Tuscany etc. websites.

In the past, I made money only from destination specific travel websites that I ran for many years such as vacation rentals in European cities and Twarp (my Turkish travel website).

Localhotels is a different concept.

Tourism is an information business in a way, and with Content Creator collaborations Localhotels could be successful.

If interested, please contact me by sending an e-mail to biz AT localhotels DOT com.