Trips into the unknown: A young company from St. Gallen offers surprise trips for customers who do not have time for planning and consultation.
Cheap flights have turned city breaks into a simple consumer good. “This market dynamic made us see an opportunity,” economist Andreas Näf, a University of St. Gallen graduate, explains. He and his two co-founders have set up Surp Reisen, a platform for trips that let customers only find out where they are going at the airport. No deliberation, no planning necessary: Just enter your name, six clicks, and off you go to Valencia, Warsaw, Oslo, or Palermo. The offer is tempting, especially for young people between 18 and 35. For the first time this year, sales will be in the seven-digit range. Margins, however, are low in the travel industry. “That’s why,” says Näf, “we’ve been following a lean approach from the beginning.” All employees still have another job, so the money saved on salaries can be used to optimize our business model: The first volume contracts with local hotels are to be concluded in 2019. At the same time, Surp is improving its service: Näf and his colleagues are thinking, for example, to add a chatbot that will provide customers with information and tips on site.