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Despite stalled growth in China, Brazil and Russia, a wave of newly middle-class travelers from the BRICs and beyond will start visiting international destinations in the coming decades — dwarfing the numbers we’ve seen thus far.
Identifying a specific customer set is one of the first steps to a successful startup and one that most on this list have mastered.
This week’s startups find are focused on the trip planning process. Using expertise and customization, they help travelers create the best trip for themselves.
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>> PlanMy Travel is an advice platform where travelers can connect with destination experts for insights. Users can vet several “travel ninjas” before selecting one that will provide a personalized itinerary and unlimited advice during the planning process. Working with a travel ninja starts at $5.
SkiftTake: The market for customized travel advice has yet to take off with most travelers still content with scouring peer reviews and recommendations; however, such platforms could one day replace travel agents for travelers seeking more informed advice.
>> MobileSuites is a hospitality app that lets guests access hotel services including room service and transportation directly via their smartphone. The service also includes software for employees to receive and respond to guests as well as on-demand reports to measure guest engagement.
SkiftTake: Mobile is the future for hotels’ customer and concierge services making MobileSuites one of several young companies looking to get ahead in what is set to be a competitive market.
>> The Bach is a trip and activity planning website for Bachelorette parties. Users can search destinations, venues and itinerary suggestions for this specific kind of trip. They can also use the platform to communicate plans with other attendees.
SkiftTake: The niche focus of the Bach is what sets it apart from other travel and wedding websites, giving it room to develop a loyal customer base.
>> Komoot is a planning and mapping app for cycling and hiking tours in Europe. Users can customize and judge the difficulty of routes as well as direct and save users’ trips.
SkiftTake: Outdoor and adventure tourism is starting become vogue again and apps that make such trips as easy and safe as possible are helping drive that trend.
>> Detour publishes audio guides for destinations. Using the detour map, users can follow the audio walks, sync the audio across a group, and pause or skip section of each tour. New guides are created by journalists, radio producers, tour guides, and artists and released each month.
SkiftTake: The tours and activity market is going through a renaissance period as it transitions to mobile. Detour represents one small innovation in an industry going through critical changes.