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This week’s group of travel startups try to solve challenges from across the industry: Hiring qualified tourism professionals in emerging economies, finding Wi-Fi on the go, and giving business travelers a reason to work with their corporate travel planners.
At least one solution to each of the problems is outlined below.
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» Hospitalitee is a jobs and networking site for tourism and hospitality professionals in India. Candidates and job offers are pre-screened for quality and Hospitalitee connects employers and potential employees based on previous experience. Members can create profile pages, attend events, and connect with one another via the website.
SkiftTake: A shortage of professional and trained employees is often a problem in quickly growing tourism industries such as India. Hospitalitee targets a specific audience and quality controls on both ends to ensure the site won’t become a kind of Craigslist for travel jobs.
» Offmail App is an Android app that delivers emails even when a smartphone user is without Wi-Fi or 3G / 4G network. The app is still in development and running an Indiegogo campaign, which has so far raised $100 of its $2,400 goal.
SkiftTake: Accessing email in remote destinations is an issue for leisure and business travelers who prefer not to take digital detoxes. The proposed Gmail client will need to finish development and testing before it’s a possible solution.
» 36hrs.in features user-generated travel itineraries for 36-hour trips in destinations worldwide. There are several itineraries per a destination, which are tailored to travelers’ budget or interests. The website is funded by South American startup incubator Start-Up Chile.
SkiftTake: The site’s specific focus on 36-hour itineraries gives purpose and clarity to what could otherwise be an outlet for wannabe travel bloggers. With less than a handful of niche itineraries for six cities on the site, 36hrs.in needs to build its base of posts and contributors before gaining real traction in the travel community.
» Triptelligent is an excursion marketplace that connects cruise ship passengers with local tour operators. Tour businesses can use the platform to attract new customers who want options outside or expensive cruise-sponsored trips. The website also features detailed information on 60 ports worldwide. The startup raised $150,000 in seed funding in 2012, according to Angel List.
SkiftTake: The well-designed and informative site solves a pain point for only a small portion of the cruising community that is satisfied handing over every aspect of their vacation to a cruise corporation, only to wrangle control of the few hours-long excursions.
» Rocketrip is an incentives-based platform that encourages business travelers to spend within company budgets with a rewards and points system. Employees can find deals on their favorite travel sites and then book with the company’s main travel providers so both the individual and company benefit. Rocketrip has raised $575,000 in a friends and family round.
SkiftTake: Along with the proliferation of travel booking sites and deals, more business travelers are going rogue and rejecting corporate travel portals. Incentives are needed on a corporate level so both parties continue to work together. Rocketrip’s platform will need be integrated into existing corporate portals to make it a viable solution for large companies.