Today’s Here & There covers updates from the airline industry, hospitality industry outlook for 2013, travel industry survey results, updates on travel mobile apps and thought provoking reads like – What does it take to fly for free? Increasing demand for self-service functionality at airports.
Planning for a trip is getting better and better with many new innovative applications flowing in. Some applications target to inspire travellers, some offer reviews, some offer things to do in a place, some offer budget / homestay accommodation etc. If you are looking for a pre-defined itinerary or create your own itinerary for your trip by looking at maps that have attractions / accommodations pinned in it, then you should be looking at Tripomatic, Czech Republic based startup.
Toozla, a mobile audio tour/guide app has been selected by Samsung as “App of the year 2012″ in Samsung’s App Store. Samsung has summarized popularity of mobile apps in Samsung App Store (both mobile and tablet platforms put together) with Toozla in top with 5/5 ratings. Other popular apps in the top category includes Angry Birds and Opera Mini.
HipTravelMama.com, a website that provides inspiration, travel tips, holiday and destination reviews for family-travel has revamped its look and feel. The website was launched in 2008 by Anne Taylor Hartzell a.k.a Hip Travel Mama. The site is targeted towards parents (esp moms) to share with their kids the value of planning and enjoying a holiday trip.
Cambridge Consultants, UK based technology enabled product development company has developed a patent-approved device called ‘DropTag’ that monitors and alerts the parcel/baggage handling at transit. Baggage handling is a critical aspect in an airport, both for the airline company and the customer. Airlines levy a variety of fees centered around baggage. But, are the customers 100% satisfied in the way their baggages are handled?
Travelocity’s India website is shutdown, permanently. This is indeed shocking. Reason for this move is unknown at this moment. We’re trying to reach out to Travelocity India team. Travelocity global launched its India portal in 2007 and at that point in time their strategy was to focus on hotels.
HolidayIQ, India’s leading travel review community secured its third round of funding from Tiger Global Management and Accel Partners. The total deal worth is not disclosed, but according to Economic Times, the deal is said to be in the range of Rs 26 to 30 crore (~US 5 million). Also, HolidayIQ has demerged from Wego, south asia’s metasearch engine company. HolidayIQ and Wego established a merger partnership in November 2010.
Travelzoo, a global travel deals company has launched a totally refreshed iPhone app. Travelzoo calls it as ‘second generation iPhone app’. The previous version of the iPhone app was downloaded by 1.5 million users across the globe. Travelzoo also has an Android app too. Travelzoo says that one-third of their traffic comes from mobile devices.
Google India has announced Mapathon 2013, first of its kind event in India where anyone living in India can participate in the event and edit Google India maps. Mapathon 2013 starts from Feb 12 and ends on March 25 2013. The event is open to anyone living in India. Users can register at this site to participate.
Zomato, India’s leading restaurant review portal has launched its service in Doha, Qatar. This new launch takes Zomato to its sixth international country. Customers can browse reviews for Dine-out and Delivery restaurants in Doha.
Google+ Local is a godsend feature for local businesses. It’s a feature within Google+ for businesses to establish their online presence. It’s extremely important for (at least, local and small) businesses to create a Google+ Local page. The page should be kept up-to-date in terms of description, address, contact details, pictures, videos (if any). The one thing that adds power to this entire equation is – Reviews.
Yelp, SFO based user generated review giant today announced that their website noticed a record (all-time-high) 100 million unique visitors in January 2013. This number doesn’t include the 9.4 million unique visitors from mobile devices. Earlier this month, Facebook launched Graph Search where Facebook highlighted ‘search restaurants’ as one of its core feature. This news from Yelp arrives at the time when Graph Search was seen as a threat to Yelp.
CompareTheMarket.com, a leading insurance price comparison website in the UK has launched a new microsite to compare travel insurances among a wide range of insurance providers. CompareTheMarket was launched in 2006 and since then they have launched price comparison for car insurance, life insurance, energy insurance, pet insurance.
TripRental.com, a startup focusing on vacation rental market has secured Series A funding of $500,000 from private investors including William Vaughn Moore. TripRental is planning to fuel this investment capital to expand their sales team across the country (US), expand product development, increase traffic to the website, provide high quality content on site and marketing efforts.