During the recent conference I had the opportunity to talk to some companies that were not presenting at the Travel Innovation Summit or on Center Stage but offer innovative solutions that have already, or will in future, appear on our radar screens:
Is a site that offers a trip planning tool based on personal preferences. This is the direction sites have to go as the attention clearly shifts to the process that takes place prior to the actual booking and where the experience still too often disappoints. Tripbase takes a shot at improving this. It’s not perfect as the results often don’t change enough when preferences are adjusted but no site I’ve come across so far offers the perfect solution.
Another one is
Founded by former Expedia Europe executives, TVtrip provide professionally produced hotel videos which are by now an essential part of any trip decision, especially for leisure trips with an extended stay. Who wants to end up in a dump for the most precious days of the year? They are expanding rapidly across with properties across the globe and with the right partnerships to drive traffic could become a player in this segment.
The tag line of
is “Empowering the frequent flyer” and expertflyer certainly delivers on that, based on a demo I received from their CEO, Chris Lopinto. This is a very useful tool for the road – or should we say Air – warriors out there who hold a gazillion frequent flyer miles and want to make the best use of them for upgrades and flights. The site has real time tracking of seat availability for miles upgrades and live seat maps so you can view which seats remain available. Of course, the data can also be accessed and viewed on mobile phones, essential when you’re on the road. Looks like worth the price of admission to me, although I no longer really qualify based on my limited flying nowadays!
Last but by no means least there is
they have morphed from what initially was a restaurant booking service to a technology provider for all kinds of ancillary services that provide incremental revenue to a range of companies as diverse as Amtrak, KLM, Air Canada, Mastercard and Priceline. With major companies focusing on their core business, this seems the type of solution that has a strong position in the marketplace by delivering the platform necessary to maximize customer value.
These companies are just a few more examples of how the travel industry is undergoing constant change by having innovators adding value, or eliminating friction in what still is often an inefficient market full of complexities in the access to and distribution of services to a huge audience of increasingly savvy travelers. Exciting to be part of it and observe who will be the winners in the next phase of the web.