There are so many search, booking, and meeting services out there today that it can be hard to remember the very important roles that spontaneity and serendipity play in travel.
This week’s roundup of travel startups crosses all sectors from hotel booking to backpacker meet-up, but each uses the Internet to make previously inaccessible connections before the user ever leaves their home.
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>> Tripme is a travel app that helps backpackers find fellow travelers to explore their destination with. Users can find fellow travelers, share their trips and plans, chat in community rooms to ask questions, and watch other users’ travel updates.
SkiftTake: Although there’s a certainly a use case for finding friends to explore a new city with, travelers are more likely to use existing platforms to connect with friends of friends or, shocking, meet people in person where they are.
>> Class is a hotel booking app for frequent travelers. Users pick their end destination and the app suggests four-star hotels in the area based on user preferences. Each booking comes with a room upgrade, breakfast, free Wi-Fi and drinks or dinner.
SkiftTake: Class is more of a concept than a working app this point and offers personalization and benefits that no other app has yet to deliver on, suggesting it is extremely difficult to deliver on.
>> GuideAdvisor is an inventory of guides from more than 75 countries that travelers can search and then connect with to plan a part of their trip. Users can enter a location, activity or both to browse potential guides, search their profiles and contact them directly them through the site.
SkiftTake: Guides are often overlooked in travelers’ decision-making processes making GuideAdvisor an interesting platform and one that can be used to raise the profile of individual guides rather than their parent companies.
>> DELI is platform on which users answer a six-question personality quiz to receive a list of suggestions for a certain destination. It will provide activities and venues for each of the following categories: Music, bars, culture, shopping, restaurants and outdoors. DELI is piloting the concept for Amsterdam and plans to expand with Paris, Barcelona, Berlin, London, Copenhagen and Stockholm in the next 6 months.
SkiftTake: A lifestyle and travel platform such as DELI will succeed in attracting a small but loyal customer base; however, it will difficult ever reaching a mass of travelers who are more likely to do their own research on mainstream sites than trust DELI’s “quiz.”
>> CampReward is a searching and booking platform for campsites and RV parks. In addition to researching different camp sites, users can search nearby activities and reservation deals. The site is set to launch in 2015.
SkiftTake: The camping industry is slowly coming online in a way that it never has before and the various players will eventually consolidate into one or two major players.
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Photo credit: DELI is platform on which users answer a six-question personality quiz to receive a list of suggestions for a certain destination. DELI Amsterdam