Digital

5 Travel Startups Tackle Trip Planning in Myanmar, South Korea, and Beyond

@SamShankman

Aug 12, 2013 10:14 am


 PlaceList helps travelers create a curated travel guide of places they’d like to visit while traveling.

Holidayen is a trip planning website that recommends landmarks, museums, activities, and hotel for 30 cities worldwide.

VistMM launched in April as the first site to introduce online booking and e-tickets in Myanmar.

MyRealTrip is a platform for finding freelance, professional tour guides in South Korea.

Miner is a location-based commerce app that shows users relevant offers from nearby businesses.

Some travelers have their trip itineraries paid for and confirmed before they leave for the airport, while others board a plane with a few loose plans and well-worn sneakers to explore a city.

This week’s roundup speaks to both kinds of travelers with startups that range from considering every moment of a trip to those that offer spur-of-moment mobile treasure hunts.

Some of these startups cater to domestic travelers in a certain language, but the majority of travel ventures launched today have their sights set on an international, multilingual customer base.

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» PlaceList helps travelers create a curated travel guide of places they’d like to visit while traveling. These might be locations users find on PlaceList, hear about from friends, or find on the web. The website is well-designed and still in closed beta.

SkiftTake: The startup says that users can “print a collection of places,” but it should create an app that also stores those places inside travelers’ smartphones for those that no longer believe in print.

» Holidayen is a trip-planning website that recommends landmarks, museums, activities, and hotel for 30 cities worldwide. Users rank their interest in each type of site or activity and then add specific items to their itinerary.

SkiftTake: Holidayen has a wide variety activities to offer users and its ranking functionality works well for those who know what type of experience they are looking for; however, its lack of design makes it unattractive and an overall clunky experience. Holidayen has the right idea, but needs better design and a more seamless selection and organization flow to grow.

» VistMM launched in April as the first site to introduce online booking and e-tickets in Myanmar. Users can search and book domestic flights on Asian Wings Airways, search tour packages, or learn about Myanmar.

SkiftTake: By no means a comprehensive search engine for travel in the recently opened country, VisitMM is a single step in the transformation currently under way as Myanmar works to capitalize on its tourism boom.

» MyRealTrip is a platform for finding freelance, professional tour guides in South Korea. The website targets young professionals, couples, and families, and offers a wide range of tours from niche city explorations, standard city tours, or 10-day trips. MyRealTrip takes 10 to 20 percent of sales.

SkiftTake: MyRealTrip is an early mover in the strictly South Korean market, but it will need to follow through on its plans of introducing English and Chinese-language versions to capture international travelers and grow its customer base.

» Miner is a location-based commerce app that shows users relevant offers from nearby businesses. That might be shopping discounts at a mall, beers near a golf course, or ticket vouchers while at Madison Square Garden. Businesses can use the app to send relevant content to nearby potential customers or create treasure hunts that attract users to their store. The startup is raising funding after recently completing Dreamit Ventures‘ New York accelerator.

SkiftTake: Miner joins a certain breed of location-based discovery apps that look to please customers with unique suggestions and businesses with new customers. Miner could find a fate similar to discovery app Spindle, which was recently acquired by Twitter.

Look through the slideshow above for a peek at the landing page of each startup.

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