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>> TravelStarter is a global crowdfunding platform for individuals and small businesses that need funds to start tourism or travel related projects. Travelers can donate to projects in destinations that they are traveling to and, if the project is successfully funded, receive a reward such as a meal, place to stay or guided activity in the destination.
SkiftTake: There have been several crowdfunding platform launched for travelers looking to raise funds for their own trips; however, this is a better model that will enhance travelers’ experiences and support small local tourism businesses.
>> Feastly is a platform where travelers and locals can book a seat at home-cooked meals. Hosts post their menu as well as the venue, usually their home, and set the price for each guests. The platform was built to give travelers a way to access home-cooked meals in new destinations, but it can also be used by residents within their own city.
SkiftTake: Feastly is one iteration of the growing sharing economy that is connecting travelers to more meaningful experiences and turning locals into travel entrepreneurs.
>> City CoPilot is a storefront in New York City’s Lower East Side that acts as a front desk for travelers. The small venue stores luggage, takes care of key exchanges for Airbnb hosts and guests, and accepts packages for residents. The business was built to serve the neighborhood’s large sharing economy. The Lower East Side is one of three NYC neighborhoods where 41 percent of Airbnb host revenue is generated.
SkiftTake: The booming sharing economy has spawned an unexpected volume of related companies and City CoPilot strikes a unique balance between servicing both hosts and travelers with a rare physical location.
>> Owegoo is a Swedish travel metasearch startup that helps users choose a destination based on the kind of activities that they’d like to do. Users can then search for flights, hotels, and rental cars then be sent to a third-party website for the actual transaction.
SkiftTake: The concept of turning daydreaming into bookings has proved ineffective in the past with most travelers using a broad range of personal references, media, and random inspiration to make their destination choices rather than a single site.
>> HelloTel App is a real-time social network for hotel guests on which travelers can check in at their hotel, see who else staying there is on the app, post a status if interested in meeting for drinks or an activity, and private message one another to make plans. The app is largely targeted at business travelers who often travel alone. Users can join the platform through their Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
SkiftTake: There is definitely use case for such a platform; however, it will be difficult to gain enough users to make the app useful for those looking to connect in a specific location.