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Fashion app founder trades in flats for flights to create Mr. Arlo

@SamShankman

Dec 14, 2012 1:31 am

Skift Take

Although the site still has some design kinks to work out, Mr. Arlo has successfully taken what it’s learned about women consumers on Pose and translated that into a visual but efficient booking site.

— Samantha Shankman

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Mr. Arlo  / mrarlo.com

Mr. Arlo gets to know travelers to suggest activities and accommodations that fit the booker's tastes. Mr. Arlo / mrarlo.com


Many travel startups today set out to create well designed and user-friendly booking websites where travelers can explore destinations and easily book trips. However, it’s ultimately the responsibility of the user to pick destination and find enjoyable activities.

Mr. Arlo aims to do that for you.

Who is Mr. Arlo? He’s a traveler’s proactive well-traveled (virtual) personal assistant that consider users’ personalities and their friends’ recent trips to recommend new destinations and activities.

How fashion fuels the website

The idea for Mr. Arlo came from popular fashion app Pose that kept track of what fashions users favorited and then recommended stores or deals that fell in line with their styles. In travel, this translated to a website that looks through a user’s friends’ hotel check-ins on Facebook and the traveler’s online interests to come up with creative and customized itineraries.

Chuck Lang, founder of Mr. Arlo and Pose, gives the following example: If you’re Jets fan whose booked a trip in L.A. and the Jets happen to play in L.A. while you’re visiting, Mr. Arlo will push you a link to tickets for the game.

Lang explains the parallels between travel and fashion and how each prompts a person to “create a persona around who that person is when they travel.” Travelers look around to see where their friends are going for trip inspiration in the same way women look at one another’s outfits.

How it works

The site is divided into three parts: Plan provides accommodations and activities based on users’ destination input, traveler persona, and reliance on reviews. Restaurant reservations and hotel bookings are available via OpenTable and Expedia. Although the site currently lacks any flight-booking capabilities, it could be added depending on users’ feedback.

Dream is designed as the site’s springboard that is meant to inspire travelers that come to the site without a set destination in mind, while the Feed shows what other users are looking at or booking at the moment on Mr. Arlo and serves as another source of inspiration.

Competition

The marketplace for booking sites is currently crowded with competitors like Hedonist. What sets Mr. Arlo apart from others is the user’s ability to act on the site’s inspirational components and complete a booking without leaving the site.

The site is in middle of its seed round of funding.

Follow @SamShankman

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