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Each of these week’s startups is focused on improving travelers’ experiences through access to in-the-know locals, more affordable and unique lodging, and better search sites.
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>> Tinggly is a platform where users can gift experiences by purchasing an activity or credit to be towards an activity, either of which can be accessed by the receiver for up to two years. The platform includes activity and tour providers across the globe.
SkiftTake: Packaging this activity and tour booking platform as a gift-giving site is a smart marketing play, but the site, at its core, remains a third-party aggregator.
>> Zapla is widget that allows vendors from tour operators to hotels to facilitate bookings directly on their website via a mobile, tablet or laptop. The widget adapts to the vendors’ website design and sends reminders to customers.
SkiftTake: Zapla, which is still in closed beta, does not indicate which kinds of businesses it intends to focus on with its product, suggesting that it’s a tool that can be used by many.
>> HovelStay is an accommodations booking site focused on bare bones lodging that gives young travelers the opportunity to have an experience at little cost. The site offers three categories of lodging including “basic” survivor hovels like tree houses and huts, “good enough” hovels that include basics like a spare bed or couch, and “clean and comfortable” hovels that most replicate private lodging.
SkiftTake: Although the idea of $11 lodging might be attractive to budget travelers, it will be difficult to squeeze much profit from such long margins and Airbnb has already dominated the market as the go-to platform for experiential accommodations.
>> Zoolafix is a marketplace that connects local partyers with travelers that want to experience nightlife. Locals, called “fixers,” design the experience around the travelers’ interests and travelers can search fixers by ratings and prices.
SkiftTake: Yet another iteration on the growing peer-to-peer economy that connects those in the know with those that want to be.
>> Paperflies is a metasearch site that allows travelers to search for flight ticket prices to several destinations at once. Users identify their departure destination and the kind of location they are looking for to receive dozens of choices.
SkiftTake: Many travelers make destination choices based on cost; however, the major search sites have dominated the market and most travelers continue to do their own research.