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It’s not often that a new and viable business model is discovered in the crowded travel market, but those that make it find eager customers and investors that recognize the potential for growth in such a global industry.
There are two kinds of travel startups cropping up today: Those that propose a brand new business model and those that attempt to tweak or innovate on existing ones. It’s rare for either to succeed, but those that do usually change the way consumers travel forever.
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>> Trip4Real is a Spanish peer-to-peer platform that turns locals into tour guides in turn enabling tourists to access authentic experiences in a new destination. The company has raised €1 million in funding and counts world most famous chef Ferran Adriá among its investors. The startup says it has more than 10,000 users and 1,000 experiences listed for Barcelona.
SkiftTake: Trip4Real is one of several startups looking to break open the P2P tour market, although none have yet to reach the volume needed to compete with traditional tour agencies.
>> Bonjournal is a journaling app and website that focuses on text more than photos. Users can write long or short-form accounts of their travels, share it on social media or print them as PDFs. Other features include a privacy lock for personal memories and maps highlighting visited locations.
SkiftTake: Bonjournal is one of many trip sharing tools that will manage to find some users and fan, but never reach a critical mass needed to alter the travel industry as it stands today.
>> Haggle is an app that lets users enable their digital data to bargain for personalized rates at local restaurants. Each users’ bargaining power is based on their history, loyalty, social influence, and average spend.
SkiftTake: This a unique concept that aims to help users see the benefits of their online data, which advertisers tap into every day. In a logical sense, it can also help lower restaurant costs for users encouraging them to eat out and explore new places more often.
>> Native is an app connects users learning a new language with native speakers. Users can sign up, browse native speakers and set up a phone call. Native speakers are paid for engaging with users.
SkiftTake: Language learning has become a crowded market in recent years, but each tool offers a different interface and experience for users to practice. Reaching a critical mass of users will be needed to break out as the go-to app in this market.
>> UberOut is a platform where hotel guests can sell their gym membership to locals for daily rates starting at $5 a day. Guests can list details about the gym and their dates of stay.
SkiftTake: Although a creative idea, hotels would quickly catch on to the scheme and introduce measures that limited non-guests from using gym facilities — where they aren’t already in place.