Question :
Use a website platform or get a new build?Hi there. I’m looking to start a new tourism business that will require a website with the capability for people to book a time slot (I will be limited as to how many cars I can have on the property).  I have used Squarespace to build my husbands site but unsure whether SquareSpace, Wix or Shopify have this ability?Or would I be best to go to one of the good local companies I know?Also – any goss on whether the Govt might be releasing some funding for startups  or local tourism activities? CheersA

Question submitted 08/05/20 @ 10:27am
Industry: Brand & Marketing
  • Hi Amanda

    Great question.

    As you’re a company in the startup phase its really going to come down to your budget. You can get something stood up by yourself on Wix or Shopify very easily and affordably. With Shopify, you get a 90-day free trial and it does have booking apps. Its a low-risk way to test your idea and see if Shopify/Wix is fit for purpose. The other benefit of those platforms is they are constantly evolving and have a host of apps you can leverage as you grow.

    If you want something bespoke or need help with development there are many developers out there. It can just get expensive quite quickly. So it comes down to where you want to put your limited early-stage investment. A consideration might be, investing in an expensive website or using the budget to validate your idea in other ways.

    Some other experts might be able to recommend a tourism/reservation specific platform for you.

    Exciting times.


    Thanks for the reply. Yes I saw that Shopify had some add on capability. I used to work for Callagahan so I have a fair idea of the funding around. Just hoping they might throw the $5,000 grant open a bit wider to start up new enterprises. Fingers crossed

    I would reiterate Andrews points above.
    If you are in the early stages of launching a new tourism venture, look to define, road test and refine your value proposition. Be clear what problem you are looking to solve, the value you offer customers and be very clear and focussed on the cost base (and viability) of your operation.
    Leveraging the product roadmap of something like Shopify makes a lot of sense. Website dev sounds premature at this stage.
    The Govt seems more focussed on trying to provide stimulus and support for existing tourism operators, rather than invest in new ventures.
    All the best.

    Thanks Thor. I’m actually teaching/ tutoring an Entrepreneurship Level 3 paper at Waikato University (here in Tauranga) and I also used to be a BDM for a tech incubator so yeah I have done the hard yards on validation and business model etc. Ive created startups from within a safety net but this is the first time I’ve been crazy enough to do it myself (!).

    I was hoping to find someone who had used Squarespace/Wix or Shopify booking systems so I could rate the user friendliness of any or all of them. However I might pop through to linkedin or twitter. Thanks anyway. A

    Hi Amanda,
    definitely worth getting some UI feedback via LinkedIn.
    All the best with your new venture. From challenge comes opportunity.

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