This week’s roundup of travel startups touches all aspects of the industry from search and inspiration to booking and branding.
There are websites and app that let travelers pick their hotel price, create their own mobile travel guide, and make very specific searches. There is also a new brand for RV parks and a HomeAway created for the Latin America market.
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>> Uxplr is an online travel website that lets people search vacation destination based on certain preferences and requirements including dates, budget, departure points, weather, and activities. Uxplr then ranks destinations that best meet users’ input.
SkiftTake: There’s undoubtedly a market for this type of search for young travelers that have limited time and money to spend on getaways. It’s halfway between an image-based exploration site and point-to-point bookings website, and could become an attractive acquisition to more established, traditional booking websites.
>> iWANNA Travel lets travelers propose their own rates for hotel rooms. Users can search hotels by destination and date and propose a rate to several hotels who based on occupancy can accept or decline. The first hotel to accept a proposed price will immediately book the room and process the payment.
SkiftTake: Most hotels will be hesitant to accept a lower rate until the last minute or during traditionally slow travel periods. But it gives them a guaranteed source of revenue, which is always better than an empty room.
>> Urban Travel Guides are travel guide apps for iPhone and Android. There are separate apps for 21 cities that let users search for attractions based on budget and interests, build an itinerary, keep track of places they’d like to visit in the future, and access offline maps.
SkiftTake: UrbanTG is competing with every other inspiration site and itinerary builder out there. It’s success depends of the smoothness of its design and the quality of its recommendations.
>> SegundoHogar is a home rental booking platform based in Argentina. The website launched in July 2013 and just announced its its 20,000th property listed throughout Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Mexico. The site uses a commissions-based model, similar to the one that Homeaway recently launched, so homeowners can try the service for a low upfront cost.
SkiftTake: HomeAway can list properties worldwide so SegundoHogar will have to work quickly to gain a competitive advantage in the region and provide the supports and business necessary to keep customers. It’s rapid growth suggests the startup is tapping into a pent-up desire that should translate into long-term sustainable growth.
>> Cruise Inns launched last week as an outdoor hospitality brand that independent RV park owners can join to attract customers and guarantee a certain standard of quality. Park owners that join the brand have access to sales and marketing services, new technology, and branding materials.
SkiftTake: The RV park industry is not one that immediately pops into mind when considering the travel industry, but there’s a reason that Best Western is the world’s largest hotel chain. A single brand can boost business and attract customers more efficiently than most independent properties could ever hope to.