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The trouble today’s most innovative services come up against is balancing the desire to deliver personalized benefits with individuals’ desire for privacy. It’s a fine line and companies must make easy for consumers to select.
This week’s roundup of travel startups tries to create connections between industry insiders, fellow travelers, and companies and their customers. The online connections, — some active and some passive — all translate into real-life benefits from discount offers to helpful recommendations.
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>> Guiomatic is a white label travel guide generator for clients including rental car companies, airlines, and travel agencies. It uses technology to add real-time updates, adapt the guide to new language, and scale quickly.
SkiftTake: The Spain-based B2B company will surely see more business in the future as travel companies of all types turn to content marketing to build brand awareness and maintain meaningful contact with customers.
>> TalkHotels is a platform where hoteliers from around the world can trade and share insider advice and thoughts on operations, staff, and local vendors. The platform currently has 2,200 members in more then 100 countries and plans to continue growing the community before introducing revenue generators.
SkiftTake: The site’s greatest asset is also its greatest flaw. Hotel employees and executives are hesitant to the release the same information that other hoteliers are most interested in knowing. A community too cautious to share is not very open after all.
>> GuestDriven tracks guest preferences and behavior in real-time giving hotels the opportunity to engage customers and offer relevant perks during and after their stay. The company announced a $3 million funding round in February.
SkiftTake: The service currently allows guests to opt in to its features, but the technology’s potential to make customers feel uncomfortable must be balanced against his benefits.
>> Geopieces lets users add branded posts and tags on a world map as well as discover what notes have been left by other users around the world. The app can be used to find out what’s going on in nearby locations.
SkiftTake: The apps needs a large and active user base to make it useful to newcomers, which may make it difficult initially gain fans.
>> HeyLets, a self-described Pinterest for experiences, limits recommendations to 140 characters and a photo. Users can find experiences based on their popularity, location, and how well this align with users’ interests.
SkiftTake: The app’s concept is great for passive viewing or spontaneous activities, but research shows that users researching activities appreciate being able to see a variety of long and short opinions before making a choice.