This week's very diverse set of early stage travel startups highlight the broad and unlimited potential of businesses built around the global travel industry.
This week features a diverse set of early stage travel startups from Google Glass apps that bring virtual reality to historic attractions to commerce platforms for hotels looking to increase revenue through ancillary sales.
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>> Guidekick is a mobile app that triggers content including historic images, narrated audio, and music whenever a visitor passes by a specific part of a historic attraction. The startup’s goal is to recreate what historical places were like during their peak. The app is app is available on iPhone, Android and Google Glass.
SkiftTake: Guidekick provides historical context to destinations without the need to listen to or read a traditional tour guide. It’s launch comes at a time when travelers are looking for more meaning and more independence in finding it.
>> FindYourItaly is building a network of Italian “buddies” and travelers interested in learning more about destinations outside of the usual vacation spots. Users can search for natives with similar interests or in a certain area to learn more about local restaurants and events.
SkiftTake: The startup’s target network is part of a growing movement towards more local and authentic travel, but FindYourItaly will need to compete with existing tour operators and primary tourist cities like Venice and Rome.
>> TravelNuts is a mobile e-commerce platform that enables hotels to sell ancillary products including local activities, dining, and transportation directly to guests. The startup manages the sourcing, personalization, and distribution of sold products.
SkiftTake: There are a number of web and mobile tools emerging for hotels that want to create a personalized sales platform, or online concierge, for guests. And there’s room for several to succeed by targeting different kinds of hotels in different types of destinations.
>> Blujack is a group trip planning tool that coordinates individual’s flight schedules. Users can create a trip, invite friends, add flights to the group itinerary, and discuss travel plans.
SkiftTake: Blujack has a simple website with a clean design that makes it easy to view multiple flights on a single site, but it’ll need to add more functions while maintaining simplicity to scale.
>> WildLands Collective is a destination club and community where adventure travelers can share, discuss and plan travel experiences. The site shares a curated collection of remote outdoor lodges and camps.
SkiftTake: There’s a big opportunity for WC to become an inspiration, planning, and booking channel for a very niche group of travelers looking to get as far from the bustle of humanity as possible. Editorial content and community forums will make the website a resource outside of booking alone.
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Photo credit: Blujack is a group trip planning tool that coordinates individual's flight schedules. Blujack