Travelers face problems and brands face their own problems but sometimes those issues overlap and their solutions may be found in the same places.
The five startups we look at this week are starting points for both sides of the equation — travelers and brands — to find common solutions to challenges they face: Hotels wanting to brand city experiences and travelers hungry for things to do, travelers eager to escape airports during lengthy layovers, and destinations searching for ways to get more tourism dollars spent. It’s worth remembering that a travel startup may find success in catering to both consumers and businesses.
>>CityKey is a B2B platform helping its hotel partners build custom branded interactive city guides to distribute to their guests. It then leverages the platform to sell exclusive VIP discounts for guests staying with its hotel partners.
SkiftTake: Hotels already want to be experience curators and suggest things to do for guests. This startup helps them build on their branding and lets their voices reach beyond the walls of their properties.
>>Properly provides an online, visual checklist for cleaning staff of short-term rentals to help guide them through their tasks so that the host can manage cleaning schedules and maintenance.
SkiftTake: Of course this is a great tool for hosts, but this only adds to the problem of hosts not needing to have any presence in the short-term rental. They can be thousands of miles away and manage every aspect of a guest’s stay. Before we embrace more of these startups, we have to consider if this is actually hospitality.
>>TripAside helps travelers build short itineraries for long layovers they have in cities.
SkiftTake: There are plenty of airports that are the banes of travelers’ existences, unfortunately. Being able to escape them and do some sightseeing for a few hours would be a welcomed reprieve.
>>Runke suggests running routes in destinations that include popular tourist sites and points of interest.
SkiftTake: Running is one of the best ways to experience a new destination. You get a workout and some sightseeing in at the same time.
>>FlightKitty finds travelers discounted and negotiated fares on low-cost airlines.
SkiftTake: This doesn’t seem to be another “hidden city” metasearch site, with such sites like Skiplagged posing problems in the past. Travelers have to meet specific criteria to be eligible.
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