It's better to be an early mover in an emerging trend than compete against a dozen or more established companies -- unless you can innovate on others' ideas and emerge with a far superior product.
This week’s travel startups build on emerging trends including the rise of mindfulness in travel, recognition of travel’s side effects on the environmental, and growing awareness of boutique destinations. These aren’t the first movers in their respective industries but they are building products for growing customer bases.
>> Tramaze is platform that connects travelers with local fitness instructors giving users the opportunity stay healthy while enhancing their travel experience. Users can select from a number of activities including yoga and biking and schedule an appointment similar to a tour.
SkiftTake: Travelers are becoming more conscious of staying healthy and fit on the road as well as seeking more local experiences. Tramaze sits at the intersection of these two trends giving it the potential to grow.
>> GreenHotelWorld is a hotel booking platform for eco-conscious travelers. The site only lists green-certified hotels, ranks hotels using its “green rating,” and compensates for travelers’ CO2 emissions by donating to climate protection company cyclamate.
SkiftTake: Consumers are becoming more aware of their impact on the environment giving GreenHotelWorld a growing customer base who will appreciate the site’s similarities to traditional booking engines.
>> MyBhutan is a platform that connects Bhutan’s tourism industry with travelers in order to improve and ease the booking process. Users can learn about local tour groups and businesses, streamline the visa process and sort through local government regulations.
SkiftTake: Bhutan is a far-flung destination for most mainstream visitors and the country actually intends to keep it that way with a daily tax. That said, a platform that informs travelers about the opportunities and challenges of the country can help attract the right kind of visitor.
>> Orbirental is app designed to improve the vacation rental reservation process. The app, can used with a number of vacation rental sites including Airbnb, Someway, and VRBO, identifies where leads come from, schedule stays, and analyze real-time data. The goal is to facilitate faster response times, increased conversion rates, and higher occupancies.
SkiftTake: An entire ecosystem of vacation rental services and technology have cropped up in recent years making Orbirental just one startup in a crowded market. Success will come down to user experience and design.
>> Amons.co is platform where travelers can exchange their personal services for a place to stay from a local host. Hosts lists what kind of help they need, how many hours of work they require, and what they can provide travelers. Travelers can list their skills and desired locations and the two parties can search and contact one another.
SkiftTake: The Internet has fostered marketplaces that facilitate travel without trading actually money, however, such communities are destined to remain small with restrictions on destinations and lodging options.
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Photo credit: MyBhutan is a platform that connects Bhutan’s tourism industry with travelers in order to improve and ease the booking process. MyBhutan