Interview with Atevo Travel President and CEO Hyun Shin
Q: What kind of products or services do you sell on your site?
A: Atevo Travel is a full-service travel solution for consumers. We provide extensive travel information and services on the site, such as worldwide destination profiles, maps, weekly articles, and online travel reservations for air travel, hotel, and car rentals. People can also purchase packages and cruises.
We provide a lot of content in order to encourage people to explore the travel opportunities available to them, as well as to provide travelers with some information for their upcoming trips.
We also provide a forum for travelers to interact with each other. We believe that online travel services should be an experience superior to going offline, for consumers. We know that making reservations online is easier and more convenient for the consumer, but we wanted to explore other capabilities of the Internet. Our site allows people to interact with each other, share their ideas, and share their experiences.
At Atevo, we deliver a travel solution that integrates content, commerce and community. We try to integrate these three ideas, and create the best context for travel planning and purchasing for consumers.
Q: Can you tell us a little about yourself and how you got started selling over the Internet?
A: I started this company upon graduating from Stanford Business School. Before going to business school, I had worked on interactive television projects at Bell Atlantic, so I was pretty "in tune" with interactive potential. Also, while being out in Silicon Valley, I was exposed to the early Internet companies and people, like Jim Clark who founded Netscape, so I was aware that the Internet would be the next mass-market medium.
Back then, the Internet was a relatively foreign concept, and the online market was more in flux than it is today. Upon evaluating a number of different opportunities, the travel market stood out in a class by itself, both in terms of market potential and the inadequacies of current solutions. Travel stood out as an exciting, gigantic opportunity because it is the world's largest industry today. At about $450 to 600 billion per year, it's the third largest industry in the U.S., after healthcare and automotive. Travel services offered online are still tremendously fragmented, so it's a market that has room for new businesses to make a huge difference, both in terms of efficient business operation, and delivering a solution that's superior to what's available offline. Currently, the online travel market is experiencing explosive growth, and is projected to go from $2 billion this year to $30 billion by the year 2000.