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This week’s travel startup roundup cuts across the industry spectrum. Starting with smarter city search, we look at startups that want to make it easier to book a great hotel, relax in an airport lounge, or read quality content from around the world.
Although each startup touches on a different part of the industry, they are all trying to make the travel planning process more efficient and better designed.
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» Likewhere is a destination search engine that suggests neighborhoods users will like in a new city based off where they’ve been in the past. Users select the city of their upcoming trip and then pick on area of a city they already know. There are currently 20 U.S. and international cities on site with approximately 12 to 16 areas for each city.
SkiftTake: The descriptions of specific neighborhoods are relatively simple and the locations are well-known tourists areas. The concept is smart, but more detailed content and local gems will need to be included to make Likewhere a website worth consulting before your next trip.
» HotelConfidential is a hotel review website where the reviews are videos instead of words. Users upload videos that are shorter than 90 seconds of a hotel room, lobby, pool, or restaurant. The site is still in beta with just 100 hotel reviews. It is offering $25 to new users that upload a minimum of four hotel videos as it grows its review base prior to a public launch.
SkiftTake: Almost every hotel guest today is armed with a smartphone making videos even easier than text to submit to a review website. It might be difficult to capture the friendliness of staff or quality of service, but it is perfect for property descriptions making the startup one that could eventually find itself bought by TripAdvisor.
» Webflakes is a content website that aggregates lifestyle blog posts from Spain, France, Italy, and Japan and translate them into English. At the root of the website is a desire to erase language barriers to quality content while giving bloggers and translators a new platform to practice their skills.
SkiftTake: Interesting from a content discovery perspective and a true look at what locals are talking about seeing and doing in their home country. The obstacle will be to scale with quality content and translations to provide a website that isn’t overrun with indecipherable ramblings from around the world.
» LoungeBuddy is a guide to airport lounges. The iOS app asks users to enter their home airport, elite status, lounge memberships, and credit cards so it can find the accessible lounges in airports around the world. It also shows which lounges offer day passes for flyers without access. There also reviews, a list of amenities, and photos of each app.
SkiftTake: The well-designed and easy-to-navigate app tackles one specific area of the airport. It’s utility for frequent flyers and those looking for day passes makes it’s a well-rounded service that could one day be folded into a broader app like GateGuru.
» Drivelist is an Australian startup that delivers cars to potential owners’ front steps for a test drive. Users select the car brand and model, select a drop-off time and place, and test the car on their most well-traveled routes.
SkiftTake: Everything is on demand these days so why not test drives?