These startups have ideas that build on themes travelers have already said they care about: visuals as the gateway to travel, wanting brands to actually know who they are and wanting something unique at sites that by definition are already unique.
As travelers look ahead to 2016 and romanticize where their leisure trips may take them, brands should remember how precious vacation time is, particularly for Americans. Many travelers already spend enough time searching for flights and hotels, sometimes performing dozens of searches over several months before finally making a transaction. When it comes to planning out their trip and then taking it, travelers don’t want more endless hours using sites that ultimately won’t make their trips any better.
This week’s five startups see a future where travel video has an organized home where travelers can find videos of a very specific place within seconds. Another company thinks tour guides seeking out travelers rather than the other way around is the better model, while another plans on creating new stories at historical sites that will make travelers see them in a new light. All of them call for travelers to see and experience destinations in ways they never have, and the excitement their ideas add to travel won’t disappear even if these startups eventually do.
>>Pommtree lets travelers publish their user-generated travel videos. Travelers can search and discover new destinations to visit and watch videos portraying life in various locations of a place.
SkiftTake: YouTube still hasn’t built up a platform to leverage the millions of travel related videos on the site. Travelers are basically left searching for a needle in a haystack if they want to see a video showing a specific thing about a specific place. Pommtree seeks to solve this problem by letting travelers search for videos shot in Central Park or on Bondi Beach, for example. The challenge is competing with YouTube’s name recognition with travelers and changing their inclinations from uploading to YouTube to putting their videos on Pommtree.
>>OrderTrip lets travelers crowdsource locals as tour guides. Travelers can post their itineraries and budgets on OrderTrip and a list of locals willing to help them are provided. Travelers then choose their guides and they pay for the guide after their tour is completed.
SkiftTake: Instead of travelers choosing from a prescribed list of guides, the guides choose them. This helps ensure the person leading them around is familiar with what travelers want to see and do versus a tour guide who must show several spots along an itinerary but doesn’t have deep knowledge of that one spot a traveler really wants to know more about. Paying after the tour is over always offers an extra level of comfort too.
>>Prisme projects laser and light shows onto historical sites and attractions around the world to breathe new life into these places and tell new digital stories to reinvent these sites for modern travelers.
SkiftTake: The work with the Pyramids of Giza that Prisme has done illustrates one possibility to bring new life to these monuments that have existed for thousands of years and may be loosing their luster.
>>Grab is a mobile app displaying relevant content to travelers based on their paths through an airport and personal preferences. Travelers using the app avoid queues and pickup their orders at express pickup locations and expense reporting is linked to Concur. The app is live at two U.S. airports and coming to 14 others.
SkiftTake: Many airports still lack ways to target travelers based on their interests and help their vendors attract the appropriate travelers. Airports are travelers’ first impressions of destinations and often set the tone for what kind of hospitality can be expected once they leave arrivals areas.
>>Startuptravels connects travelers to startups and entrepreneurs in more than 160 destinations. Travelers who sign-up with the site also enjoy complimentary access to 30 co-working spaces around the world.
SkiftTake: This site exemplifies how the startup scene no longer calls Silicon Valley its only home. Startups, albeit many unsuccessfully, take root nearly everywhere and Startuptravel’s integration with LinkedIn could be a good tool for investors to use while they’re traveling.
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