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.
Today, Cleartrip launched Pricewatch, a new solution that will continuously monitor air fare (after booking) and when the fare falls by more than the associated amendment chages, PriceWatch auto-refunds the difference amount. This is a much needed feature and Cleartrip is the first Indian OTA to implement this.
Next time you are on a holiday in Egypt and irrespective of whether you are in a cruise ship or enjoying in beach, you shouldn’t be surprised if you are monitored continuously through a web camera. That’s where Egypt is heading to. Hisham Zazou, tourism minister of Egypt has announced plans to install live web camera in all tourist hotspots in Egypt.
Amadeus Asia performed a study on the asia pacific market about its travel industry growth potential growth for next two decades. The study has been conducted by taking inputs from three sectors: Travel service providers, travel industry associations and travellers. Seven key markets were analyzed as part of this study – Australia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and Singapore.
In the US, car rental is a $33 billion industry that employes 126,000 people. Car rental market is on a rise. Like flights and hotels industry, car rental too has cut-throat competition. We have traditional car rental companies like Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and car sharing companies like ZipCar (now part of Avis), Get Around.
Google’s Project Glass – the much awaited next generation augmented reality product from Google is finally hitting the hands of select developers this month end. In one of our earlier articles, we wrote about the possible use cases of Google Glass in travel industry. Today, Google had sent out invitations to select developers to attend a two day conference – one happens in NYC and the other one in SFO. Google calls this conference as ‘Glass Foundry’.
FlightsWithFriends, a California based travel startup (that emerged out of beta early this month) has added ‘Hotels’ as its second offering, in addition to Flights. FligtsWithFriends launched in early 2012 offers group travel planning service where user can invite his/her Facebook friends to chat, finalize and select flights – all in realtime. Simply put, its a social meta-search engine.
Travel reservation engines are turning more visual. The entire shopping and booking experience is made visually appealing by travel players like Hipmunk in hotel sector and QuickAirLink in flight sector. An addition to visual flight search provider is – WhichAirline, a company that searches 100,000 airline routes and offers cheap flight search results in an innovative display.
In June 2012, we wrote about the possible impacts that Apple’s Passbook could create in travel industry. As soon as Apple launched Passbook app in fall 2012, travel companies (mostly tier-1 players) made their offerings ‘passbook-friendly’. Today, India based leading online travel agency Cleartrip has emerged as India’s first portal to make its offerings passbook-friendly. Effective today, customers who reserve flights, hotels and trains in Cleartrip will be able to add their bookings to Apple’s Passbook.
Recent technology developments have greatly changed the way travelers plan and enjoy their trip. With the advent of mobile, travelers started to use it as a digital guide right from getting directions, reading reviews, sharing feedback. One of the uncommon use of mobile during travel is to use it as a ‘guide’, a replacement for a human guide. Though this trend has picked up in the US and UK, in India the audio-guide-in-mobile market is slowly catching up. This is mainly to do with the adoption rate of smartphones. AudioCompass, India based
Earlier in Travopia, we wrote about next generation customer experience scenarios in hospitality industry. Some of these scenarios are turning out to be real day by day. The latest addition to this list is the launch of “iRiS Lobby” by iRiS, a leading technology company that builds innovative products for hospitality industry. iRiS Lobby is an app that can be displayed both on an iPad and larger format touch-screens.
The most time consuming and confusing part of a travel is the planning stage. Decisions like – where to go, when to go and how to go takes a lot of traveler’s time at planning stage. Wouldn’t it be awesome to have a website help you in generating an itinerary for your trip? India based Trip Tern provides this service. We had the opportunity to meet Shailendra Sason, Co-Founder of Trip Tern.
Even before the QR code concept is fully adopted in travel industry, QR code has started losing its shine. QR code dominated (and still) the print and digital medium of communication by all airlines, hoteliers, car rental companies etc. ‘Shortened-URL’ was seen as an alternative or equivalent of QR code. But, technically these two are different and each has its own merit and demerit. Now, Augmented Reality (AR) is considered as the new QR code.