New Stuff on Tour Egypt
by Jimmy Dunn
It's perhaps time for a little update on the Tour Egypt website, as we have added so many new services lately, to help you our readers, better understand Egypt and find the answers to travel questions. Indeed, we have a new forum system, which also includes an open community blog system, a new system for user travel logs, a new auction system for tours, and a new system for travel specials, most of this in just the last several months.
Of these, the new Tour Egypt Forums is the newest, though it actually is replacing an older forum. Our old message system dates from the very origins of Tour Egypt, though it hadbeen updated a number of times over the years.
However, we were experiencing some problems with the old system and felt that it was time to move on to a new, more modern one. We did so with the Invision Power Board, which includes many options and features that were unavailable on the old board. Furthermore, we had been looking far and wide for a good, open community blog system for some time, and with this software, we found exactly what we were looking for, pretty much seamlessly integrated into the forum system. The blogs are easy to set up and operate. We will also be adding some other features, such as chat, in the immediate future.
Upgrading to a new forum system was a big move on our part, for we have had an active community on the old board for many years. Many of the old regulars were somewhat resistant to change, but after seeing the new system, almost all, along with some new ones, have made the transition. That was important, because just about all of our regulars are well versed on Egypt, and are always of considerable assistance to those planning a vacation to this grand destination. For this reason, the forums are one of Tour Egypt's most valuable resources, where readers can get help on just about any topic.
For our readers, another new section, running off of software written in-house, is our travel log section. It is somewhat similar to a blog system, but specifically designed for travel logs. It includes both the ability to add and edit texts, as well as photos. This is a brand new section, with actually only one completed travel log in it so far, but we note that several readers are working on new ones. We will be improving this section as we go along, and would love to have your comments and suggestions.
For people planning on visiting Egypt, we have two new systems that we think will be of continuing importance. One is our specials section, which allows travel operators to list their special deals, and there are some pretty good ones already in the system, but more will be on the way. Remember, all of this is pretty new, and we are actively educating the tour operators on its use.
Another larger, more complex and diverse system is our Tour Egypt Auctions. Here again, we are having to educate the tour operators to correctly use this system, which has many options, but there are some tours already up on the site, and it really is a great way to get a wonderful tour at a bargain price. High end tour operator Travel Egypt, with offices in the US and Egypt, has a number of tours currently on line in this system, with listing well below what their tours sell for normally, and we can expect to see a number of other operators placing their tours, and hopefully other services, on this system in the near future.
The new auction system does have a certain eBay sort of feel to it, and in fact has most of the same features. We expect it to work out very well for both tour operators and tourists. Tour operators are able to list tours that are not up to capacity at bargain prices, and tourists will be able to bid on these tours, often getting them at near wholesale pricing. Its a win/win proposition.
Look for more to come in the very near future. We will be working to improve most of the above systems, but we are also very hard at work on a new database system for our hotels and other Egyptian resources. At Tour Egypt, we are dedicated to improving all of our services for tourists, and everyone who simply likes to learn about Egypt.