Bound Round: The end of an era

This update about the failure of Bound Round is all I have the energy for right now. I want to fill some of the gaps in the story that the publicly available liquidation documents don’t tell.

Not only am I sad and disappointed to see 7 years of hard work and significant cash investment from family, coworkers and friends go down the drain. But I also feel a bit battered and bruised from the stress of trying to mitigate the impact of the business failure on the lives of the people who worked with me as employees and contractors. 

Before the administrators were appointed, only 2 team members were made redundant. The others were all offered roles in different organizations. Some chose to take those opportunities. Others chose to leave. 

I documented the business history, including explaining a couple of significant, poor, strategic decisions that I’d made over the past couple of years for the liquidators. It was a cathartic, if not at times, heart wrenching process.

But what it did show me was that despite the fact that Bound Round failed, over the course of the last 7 years we did some pretty awesome things. Things that the people who were a part of making it happen should be proud of.

Since 2012 the Bound Round team:

  • Built the world’s first (and award winning) by-kids-for-kids travel app. It remains aligned to the Australian primary school curriculum and can be used for free in classrooms.
  • Worked with cutting edge technologies  to experiment with and test some super cool features like 3D globe interfaces on websites and digital stamps 
  • Developed a school excursion portal for teachers and educational experience providers
  • Sponsored Wave Warriors for 2 seasons, supporting an inclusive nipper competition around Australia
  • Created over 1,000 videos giving everyday families an opportunity to share their home town. And providing opportunities for them to experience things they may not have done otherwise tried.
  • Worked with the Direct Group to create their travel agency brand MyDiscoveries. Turning it into a thriving business unit before handing it back to them to manage in-house.
  • Created the Families of Australia web series, showcasing more than 70 cities and towns around Australia and their family-friendly attractions.
  • Injected hundreds of thousands of dollars into the Australian freelancer community, providing income and opportunities to micro and small business owners.
  • Created Family Travel as a brand with an increasing readership and subscriber base  within a competitive market
  • Designed and created a series of teacher education resources for the NSW Department of Environment & Planning
  • Helped Julie Jones launch Australia’s first accessible and inclusive travel magazine, Travel Without Limits

My decision, with the unanimous support of Bound Round’s shareholders, to appoint an administrator in July 2019 was not taken lightly. The decision was made knowing that the shareholders would lose their money. It was made knowing that there were creditors who would likely lose their money. It was made knowing that I’d done my best to minimize the impact that making the decision would have on other people. 

It was also a decision that, once the liquidation process is complete, will hopefully allow me to simplify my life and focus on my new priorities – my husband, baby, family and friends. And now I’m a mum I will be able to write from lived experiences at Family Travel.

If my personal circumstances hadn’t changed dramatically in 2018 or if I were still able (or wanted) to give the business my undivided, 24/7 attention, I might have investigated alternative options for continuing Bound Round more thoroughly. But the entrepreneur in me is burnt out and that’s not the best state to try and transform a business. Nor is it an ideal state to be bringing up a baby. 

So…

To the people I’ve disappointed by letting Bound Round fail, I’m sorry. 

To the people who genuinely supported me along the way – staff, contractors, family, friends and industry colleagues – thank you. I’ve learnt a lot and will be forever grateful for the guidance and support.

To my husband and daughter, I promise I’ve now got the time to put you guys first.

Family Travel People’s Choice Awards revealed

Sydney, Thursday 22 November 2018 – Family Travel today announced the results of its annual awards recognising the best of the best in family travel.

Providing a 100% independent snapshot of the family travel segment, this survey was carried out from April 2018 through to July 2018, and polled a broad cross section of Australians from coast to coast, small families to large, single parents to blended families, and those travelling with special needs considerations.

“These awards enable us to share useful insights to our ever-growing audience of families,” said Janeece Keller, Founder & CEO, Bound Round. “Our consumers can feel confident selecting these destinations, brands and businesses as they have been voted as the best by a large pool of family voters just like them. And our winners can celebrate the fact that the award means their customers genuinely value their brand and this accolade helps set them apart.”

Family Travel People's Choice Awards 2018 websiteWith over 120,600 unique votes case in over 70 categories, consumers submitted a record number of responses rating their travel experiences, providing a clearer picture of the current Australian family travel climate.

The awards were broken down into four distinct categories:

  1. Best of Australia – focused on domestic destinations, attractions and services
  2. Best of International – focused on international destinations, attractions and services
  3. Best Travel Providers – focused on service providers such as tourism operators, airlines etc
  4. Best for families of all shapes and sizes – focused on families of larger or smaller sizes and those with specific requirements
The full list of the 2018 Family Travel Awards recipients are published on the Family Travel website www.familytravel.com.au/awards and are celebrated in the next issue of Family Travel magazine, hitting newsstands on 24 December 2018.

– ENDS –

Notes to media:
Embargo: 5:00am (AEDT), 22 November 2018
Image: attached
Interviews: Founder & CEO, Janeece Keller is available for interview on request and can discuss the results, insights into the findings and what it means for the summer holiday season and beyond into 2019. Please contact ASAP to arrange an interview time if interested.

Bound Round unveils new look Family Travel website

Family Travel website refresh November 2018

Family Travel website refresh November 2018
Family Travel website refresh November 2018

SYDNEY, 20 November 2018 – The number one editorial family travel platform in APAC, Family Travel, today reveals it’s website redesign, putting user experience front and centre.

Since the original launch in 2015, the Family Travel website has evolved from kids-only to whole family focused. Today the website includes high quality, focused content directed by Family Travel’s (ex-AAP) digital editor Alison Godfrey, and curated family-only hot travel deals. Family Travel is the obvious choice for parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, carers and friends to find the best holidays and things to do with the kids in their lives.

“Quality, meaningful and useful content is what the Family Travel audience craves,” said Bound Round CEO, Janeece Keller. “In today’s hectic family life, time is a precious commodity. Our audience are actively searching for a specific type and depth of content and need access to it quickly and efficiently. The refresh of the website brings our breadth of content and products to the fore and puts what our audience wants and needs within easy reach.”

Family Travel has undergone numerous changes in the past 12 months from a rebrand in December 2018 (from Bound Round to Family Travel) through to this most recent unveiling of its website that delivers key functionality to better service the site’s rapidly growing audience.

New features of Family Travel include a modernised design with improved search, filtering and smoother navigation to improve consumer experience and offer enhanced commercial opportunities for branded content and holiday product offerings.

– ENDS –

Latest issue of Out & About With Kids magazine is now available

Out & About With Kids Autumn 2018 cover

Issue #56 of Out & About With Kids is now available.  Grab a copy in newsagents around Australia or read the digital version here.

This issue of the magazine hints at the changes we’re making to the magazine and online and it’s the last issue of the magazine as you know it . The next issue (out on July 12) will have a new look and feel. The magazine will be called Family Travel, with an Out&About With Kids section inside. Be sure to pick up a copy – we’re confident you’ll love the revamp.

 

This is the first issue with Bound Round as publishers and with Tatyana Leonov as editor. We hope you enjoy reading this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.

We’ve covered everything – from USA adventures to the snow season and a whopper Fiji rundown. Find out why Fraser Island has always been on Tatyana’s must-visit list and where the best Australian whale-watching locations are. We’ve got camping in New South Wales and a how-to guide for the Gold Coast on a budget covered. And that’s just some of the Australian content! This issue also sees us open the 2018 Best in Family Travel awards, so make sure you go online and vote for your favourite family travel provider, and in doing so get in the running to win an amazing family holiday to Hawaii, including flights.

Researcher says travel marketers need to rethink families

Families of Australia families 2017/18

According to My Travel Research co-founder Carolyn Childs, travel marketers need to rethink how they target families and women.

Presenting at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit on 12 April 2018, Childs said “We’re going to have to start thinking beyond Janet and John families – I’m showing my UK origins, that’s the book I learned to read with – mum, dad, boy, girl,” she said.

“Families are single parents, they are blended families, they are all sorts of different family structures, and that’s going to keep powering the circumstances that are driving multi-generational travel. [They] are not going anywhere, so that will continue.”

Carolyn Childs at Travel Marketing Summit 2018
Carolyn Childs from My Travel Research presenting at Mumbrella’s Travel Marketing Summit 2018

 

Childs didn’t point to specific findings, however her presentation supports research into family travel from other sources, including Mastercard, HomeAway and Google.

What do we know about the family travel segment in 2018?

  • Family travel is $140 billion market
  • 93% families plan to travel with their children within next 2 years
  • Families who travel take on average 3.5 domestic and 1.25 international trips a year
  • Family travel accounts for 33% of all leisure trips booked

What do we know about the make up of Australian families?

  • 28% of Australian families are made up of two natural (adoptive or biological) parents and two kids
  • 23% of Australian families are made up of two natural (adoptive or biological) parents and one kids
  • Single parents with one child make up 15% of Australian families
  • Intact families with more than three children make up 13% of Australian families
  • Single parent families where there is more than one child make up 11 percent of Australian families.
  • Children in step-families experience complex living arrangements, sharing time between parents has become more common and each year, one in five children aged 4–17 years live in shared time arrangements.
  • From 1976 – 2011, the proportion of one-parent families with dependent children has increased from 7% to 11%.
  • Grandparents commonly care for grandchildren, with 65% of grandparents aged 40–69 years doing caring duties at least once a week.

Families of Australia

So what’s the implication for travel brands and marketers?

  • Family packages can no longer afford to focus on 2A + 2C as the primary marketing approach as it reflects only 28% of the make up of Australian families… not much more than a quarter, meaning that the vast majority of Australian families would’t identify with packages and marketing content that’s presented.
  • Travel often includes grandparents or aunts & uncles – again, meaning that the standard 2A + 2C approach doesn’t work. Infrastructure, especially hotels needs to cater for small groups travelling together but wanting (and in some instances needing) their own space.
  • Attraction and experience operators can most easily make changes as entry fees and family packages could better cater for today’s modern family.
  • Marketing content (especially photos & video) should depict real family experiences rather than rely on culturally homogenous images of mum, dad, son and daughter

For more on the research presented at the Travel Marketing Summit, visit Mumbrella

To find out how Bound Round can help you create family travel marketing content or packages that will resonate with Australian families of today, get in touch via email or phone.

Link to the article on Carolyn Child’s presentation that inspired this post is: https://mumbrella.com.au/travel-marketers-told-to-rethink-families-women-and-cyborgs-510914

Travel Bound – Australia’s newest family travel publication launches

Bound Round, today launches its first eMagazine, Travel Bound, to Australian consumers. This family focused, digital, quarterly publication is available on all Virgin Australia flights through the carrier’s in flight entertainment system and is also available for consumer download via the Family Travel website. Continue reading “Travel Bound – Australia’s newest family travel publication launches”

Don’t Forget About the PANKS (or the PUNKS)!

disco punk

Ever heard of a PANK or a PUNK before? No, I’m not talking about some new rock n’ roll craze, it’s travel related!

PANKs, or Professional Aunties No Kids (substitute Uncle for the males) are a significant travel market in their own right and one that is growing fast.

Who qualifies as a PANK?

People classified in this group aren’t just limited to aunties: it really applies to any professional woman without children of her own. She could be a godmother, cousin, neighbour, or mums’ friend.

What makes them important in family travel?

Recent research on PANKs shows why they’re important for the family travel sector. Some of the key statistics:

  • PANKs spend money on the kids in their lives; a lot of it! In the research 76% had spent more that $500 USD per child.
  • They’re more social: on average, they’re more active on social media and in general social activity than other woman. This means they spend more time engaging with influencers and then sharing that information.
  • They’re major decision influencers: they’ve got an opinion and it’s listened to! In fact, when it comes to travel, 77% of PANKs provide information on holidays and shared it with the family they support.
  • PANKs are online researchers: they dramatically outrank other women and are ahead of the curve when it comes to online media consumption. They’re also avid researchers!

What does it mean for us?

For any travel business targeting families, the PANK/PUNK market is an exciting one. Their ability to influence others cannot be underestimated nor can the money they have got to spend. As a PANK myself, I can see how this works first hand.

The key is engagement: you need a program that enables you to campaign directly to this market. Building a base of PANK advocates could really help boost your family marketing program.

Bound Round can help

As the parent company to one of Australia’s top travel sites for families, familytravel.com.au we know the power of the PANK. Talk to us about how you can work with Bound Round to engage with this emerging market.