Tourism website debuted

RENO, Nev., Nov. 16 /PRNewswire/ – Ruba, Inc. demonstrated its new tour review website yesterday during the Annual Business Meeting lunch at the National Tour Association Convention ’09 in Reno, Nevada to over 400 tour companies.

NTA tour operators will now automatically receive profiles on Ruba where they can promote their tours to the majority of travelers who begin their travel research online.

Visitors to Ruba.com can already browse and compare over 3,000 tours from industry leading tour operators including Brendan Vacations, Collette, Contiki, Gate1, Globus, Go Ahead, Insight, Pacific Delight, SITA, Student City, Swain, Tauck, Trafalgar, TrekAmerica, Uniworld, Viking, and many others.

Users can search for tours based on destination, duration, tour company, departure date, type (tour vs. river cruise), and price. Users can also read reviews written by other travelers who are verified as having taken the tours they reviewed. When a user finds a tour she is interested in, she can call or directly click through to the tour operator’s website to get more information or to book the tour.

“Tour operators have been very supportive of our site because third party reviews are the #1 best converting lead source — on a percentage basis — for them,” said Mike Cassidy, CEO of Ruba. “Reviews help consumers gain comfort in their purchase decisions. And consumers love to read reviews for many things they are thinking about buying, whether it’s dinner at a new restaurant or a book from Amazon. Now they can read reviews about tours and feel much more comfortable buying these tours.”

In keeping with Ruba’s highly visual style, the tours all include large photos, maps, and cleanly laid out itineraries.

“We think Ruba’s product is very exciting, and we’re looking forward to working with them to promote our award winning tours to India, Africa, China, and other destinations,” said Laudie Hanou, Vice President of SITA World Tours.

“Many of our members are looking for online solutions for reaching new markets, and Ruba offers a high-powered tool that uses today’s social media,” said Lisa Simon, President of the NTA. “NTA is pleased to partner with Ruba’s efforts to promote and grow the tour market.”

Ruba will be demonstrating its product in booth #214 at the National Tour Association (NTA) Convention ’09, Nov. 14-18, 2009, in Reno, Nevada.

About Ruba:

Ruba is a visual travel guide and tour review site that helps travelers from around the world discover their next perfect trip. Guides are collections of the best places including attractions, activities, lodging, restaurants, and more that are grouped along interesting themes such as “The Top 7 Most Picturesque Towns in Provence France”. Ruba guides are written by many talented travelers from around the world. Members of Ruba can build and maintain their own guides as well as explore guides from similarly-minded travelers. Ruba also features a comprehensive tour database and easy-to-use tour comparison tool which includes user generated reviews to help users discover the perfect organized tour for their tastes and budget. Ruba embraces the highly social nature of travel planning via tight integration with Facebook and Twitter, and Ruba integrates Google maps for geographic locations and addresses. Based in Palo Alto, CA, Ruba was founded by serial entrepreneurs Mike Cassidy and Arnaud Weber whose past ventures created over $650M in market value. Ruba is backed by two leading Silicon Valley venture capital firms–Benchmark Capital and Draper Fisher Jurvetson. For more information, visit www.ruba.com or search for Ruba’s page on Twitter or Facebook.

About NTA:

The National Tour Association is the preferred association in the tourism industry for packaged travel professionals. NTA strives to provide value for its members by advancing the packaged travel industry through its advocacy efforts and progressive leadership. Connecting its members through business development, government relations, professional development and research, NTA has remained committed to serving its members with integrity and quality service since its founding in 1951. Today, the NTA membership represents 48 countries, and includes tour and travel packagers of all types. To learn more about the most important destination for packaged travel professionals, please visit www.NTAonline.com.

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