Technology

Industry veteran returns to fill travel gap

Hannah Edensor

David Tonkin is a long time industry veteran, and today is making his return with a fresh tool to help out agents.

Launching World Events Online, Tonkin’s aim is to help travelling Aussies find cool events and attractions around the world.

The website is specifically targeted at Aussies heading OS, and agents working with clients, to buy secondary tickets to major sporting matches, theatre shows, concerts and festivals.

“For travel agents, it’s a great tool if you’ve got a client in front of you,” Tonkin told Travel Weekly.

“Basically the site hand picks or curates and presents thousands of events in North America and Europe that we believe many Australians would attend if they knew this particular event was on while they were in that city. Then we help them to price and purchase some of the best tickets available (sold out or not).”

From Cannes Film Festival in France, red carpet premieres, Coachella music festival, Rolling Stones concerts and NBA finals, WEO has it all on offer.

WEO

The site “initially” will only focus on North America and Europe, Tonkin told TW, but based on feedback would expand to incorporate Australian events in the next two to three months, before spreading out to other parts of the world like New Zealand, Asia, South America and Africa.

Tonkin’s background includes providing the initial concept and name, and setting up the first ever Flight Centre in 1982 with Graham ‘Skroo’ Turner and Bill James, as well as being the co-founder and original CEO of Travel.com.au/Lastminute.com.au, which was the second “dotcom” IPO in 1999.

Tonkin also told Travel Weekly the site could be made into “a white label version for agencies such as Helloworld or Magellan,” and used as a “self- branded/commission shared” website by both agencies and consultants.

“Compared to the big US ticketing sites, we’re a niche site that hand picks and collates events in North America & Europe for Australians travelling overseas, and directs users to two of the biggest global ticketing sites to buy tickets,” Tonkin added.

“We don’t just list every Broadway show, every NBA, NFL game etc – just the ones we believe Aussies would love to attend.”

“The site coincidentally taps into the current public interest in the success of a number of Australians on the world’s biggest stages – Jarryd Hayne, Jason Day, Nick Kyrgios, Andrew Bogut, Matthew Dellavedova to name the most prominent sports stars.”

“Most Australians wouldn’t know that in the majority of cases, tickets are available at reasonable prices right up to the event date.”

“And many of these events are at iconic venues that Aussies would love to go to once in their life [like] Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, Wembley, Wimbledon, Old Trafford, and St Andrews,” Tonkin added.

“The recent 99,000 Aussies attending a “practice” match between Real Madrid & Manchester City tells me that Australians would love to see an iconic team in a “real” game.”

The site went live this morning, listing over 1500 events that Tonkin says is of interest to Australians travelling or living in North America and Europe.

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