Tour Amigo Challenge Finalist 2018

May 25, 2017

Tour Amigo QUT bluebox Innovation Challenge Finalist 2018

In the modern world, we work longer hours and live high-stress lives. Taking a holiday is a great way to refresh. But finding which holiday, which tour and which location can be a time consuming and overwhelming experience. This is not how anyone should start their break. For an easier and enjoyable process, Murray Decker has created Tour Amigo.

Q&A with Tour Amigo founder Murray Decker

Who is Tour Amigo?

Tour Amigo was founded by QUT Marketing Honours alumnus Murray Decker.

With experience in business and marketing under his belt, Murray decided to travel in 2008 and switched careers from banking into tourism. Working an enviable job as tour operator throughout Europe, he then worked his way up, built his travel and tourism experience and knowledge into Asia, and then Australia.

Tour Amigo was born on a flight in Europe, Murray had an epiphany for a business which he quickly scrawled on a motion sickness bag, the only available paper on the plane. The concept was for a travel magazine, which included a section on helping customers select the best tour for their needs and wants. Murray quickly realised the magazine may not work, but creating an independent tour selector website was something that was absent in the tourism market.

“I realised that over the years I had been asked countless times by passengers and friends which tour operator would I recommend for future tours that may suit their specific needs. They wanted to know because there was nothing online that helped them with the choice,” Murray explained.  It was there, that the idea for Tour Amigo was sowed.

Now, Murray has a tight team of content innovators and developers helping to make Tour Amigo a fun and easy online experience.

What does Tour Amigo do?

Tour Amigo is an e-commerce technology company in the group tour industry, that has digitalised the last tourism vertical by comparing and booking package tours such as Contiki, Topdeck, Globus, Intrepid etc. The website allows users to compare, book and explore the features of guided holiday packages easily.

“So the traditional way of looking for a tour is you would go to a travel agency and you would get different brochures, then you would have to compare them all by reading all the features listed, finding the ones you wanted, and eventually you have to go back and book with the agent.

Where we add value is you can do all of that quickly, and easily in the one place. For example you can filter dates, define destinations, the age group, the price range, the location you want to start, the location you want to end in, the trip style, the type of accommodation… so you can put all those filters in and it would narrow down your options. Then you can even directly compare four different tour operators or tours, you can actually put them in your backpack, which allows you to compare the inclusions and components of the tours side by side. When you make a choice you can go ahead and book it! All at once, all simple,” Murray said.

Biggest challenge with starting up Tour Amigo

Murray explains the behaviour change and the technology required to make the change was one of the hurdles for Tour Amigo.

“No one else at the time had done this before so there was a lot of time invested to integrate tour operators with varying technology capabilities.  Many had not gone down the technology path because they have had bricks and mortar travel agency selling them for 30 years. It was a challenge, and we have really succeeded with our unique technology and that is one of our main points of difference. We are just a little bit ahead of our time so now the industry can catch up!”

Greatest Tour Amigo success to date

“Honestly building the technology and the website!  A lot people said that was not possible to do but you can now see different tours, set different filters, book and compare all on the one website! Something that at the time hadn’t been done before. I was told a lot that it couldn’t be done, the tech just wasn’t there, and being told it’s impossible is something that gets me excited -  so we set out to solve the problem.”

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On the QUT bluebox challenge

“The QUT bluebox Challenge has been great.  It has been very supportive. The pitch session was also really good. I’ve actually really enjoyed just sitting down with Yotam and going through some different ideas and the pitch.  I really enjoy that sort of expertise that we're gaining from it.

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