I’m a bit of a futurist in that I love to read about new ideas, technology and trends. It’s fun to imagine what it could mean for the future, but it can also provide a competitive advantage if you can be an early adopter of new technology and services. A wise person once told me that “Knowledge is ultimately never wasted.”
Here’s a grab bag of links from around the web that specifically relate to the travel and hospitality industries that I thought were interesting or though provoking. Enjoy.
Interesting article by Peter Greenberg on new Travel Insurance offerings. Some TI companies will now pay travelers $1,000 if their plane sits on the tarmac for more than 2 hours, or if their luggage is lost or stolen. Crazy that plane delays have become common enough that you now may want to buy insurance for it.
Here’s an interesting (and slightly disturbing) article at the Economist on a mobile travel app that tracks where the traveler is at any given time in order to find them the shortest route to their plane, the nearest lounge if their plane is delayed, and allows stores to ping them with offers tailored to them as they walk by. (Here’s an interesting companion article about smart phone adoption. It predicts that by 2020 80% of the adult population will have smart phones. Apps and mobile technology have gone from an interesting novelty to a mainstay of managing our lives.)
Google Flights will be integrating with RouteHappy, an online service that allows travelers to compare amenities (wifi, leg room, paid or free movies, etc.) across flights and choose the one that best matches their preferences and budget. I played around with it a bit, it’s a neat little tool that I will likely use to book my next flight.
Finally, there are some neat companies mentioned in EyeforTravel’s Start Up Awards finalists list.
- PalPrices helps travelers book a trip on a budget. It provides a calculator that allows the user dial their expenses up or down across different areas (comfort of travel, size of car, etc.) to stay within their budget. Right now it is limited to a fairly short list of locations, but it has a ton of potential. Something like this integrated into a vacation rental companies website could be a very cool thing, and another way to take in additional revenue.
- Wellobox is limited to hotels and only one city at the moment (it is a start up after all), but for a fee ($79) a traveler can have a box of goodies delivered to their lodging that will help them explore the area based around a particular lifestyle. (Foodie, Sightseer, Family, or Adventurer.) The boxes include things like transportation passes, coupons and gift certificates for restaurants and activities, bottles of water, and more. This is something that vacation rental companies could easily start doing on their own, right now.
- Tripcipe is a browser app that allows the user to save things to eat, see, and do as they browse around the web planning their trip. It eliminates the need for handwritten lists or Excel spreadsheets.
- Tripstr is a mobile app that allows the traveler to share their travel “story” with pictures, maps, and commentary. I don’t know how unique it is given that many people already share their travels on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but I do like the idea that there is a “story” for every trip that someone takes.