Peer-to-peer exchanges and mobile transactions the overarching trends in today’s travel landscape, giving entrepreneurs both endless opportunity and competition when developing and spread a new idea.
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>> Trampolinn is a home exchange platform that uses a points system instead of currency. Users earn posts for providing a couch, private room or entire apartment to another user. Those points can then be used to “book” a space in another user’s home. The startup was launched in April 2014 and targets an older demographic that Couchsurfing.
SkiftTake: Trampolinn is not the first startup to build a more advanced Couchsurfing-type platform that users a points system to facilitate free stays; however, none have reached the success that Couchsurfing did in its early days, built around community, or that Airbnb has reached today.
>> Behomm is a home exchange community for designers and visual artists. Users include architects, film makers, stylists, photographers and interior designers who can stay in one another’s homes for free. The concept is that hosts and guests will share many common interests. The private community is only accessible via invitation.
SkiftTake: The success of Airbnb and the larger sharing economy has spurned specialty sites for global communities of similar interests. Although none will experience mass market growth, they will likely cultivate small but engaged communities of users looking for more than the general sharing economy that they started with.
>> FlitWays is a ground transportation startup that allows travelers to pre-book a ride via a taxi, executive car, or airport shuttle via a website or app. It currently offers 15,000 vehicles available in 89 cities and more than 200 airports. The startups aims to make ride bookings available at every point of sale throughout the travel process.
SkiftTake: Ground transportation has become a massive market for startups and entrepreneurs in recent years with peer-to-peer rides and car-sharing services leading the market. FlitWays isn’t doing anything new with its platform, but a smooth UX can lead to growth and further partnerships.
>> Proxce is an identity management system for hotels that expedites the check-in process by sending guests a notification with their assigned room number upon their arrival at a hotel. Guests then proceed to the guest services counter to pick up the room keys.
SkiftTake: Mobile check-ins are one of the hottest topics in hospitality today so creating a product that makes it easy and affordable for hotels to introduce the technology is sure to quickly find customers and growth.
>> RDV Voyage is a personal travel agency started by two entrepreneurs. The site both suggests itineraries, primarily in Asia, and works with customers to customize trip schedules. The website launched in October 2014.
SkiftTake: The traditional travel agency is being reworked as a customized digital platform; however, the core services are the same — and increasingly be skipped in favor of individual research and independent booking.