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Internet, Travel & Tourism

A critical look at PhocusWright’s Travel Innovators

By William Bakker | 11.17.08 | 10 Comments

I’m not at the conference but they’re always high tech at PhocusWright and the videos are posted on their website. Here are my impressions after the 10 minute demos:

  • Escapia: JABS (Just Another Booking System) – there must be 1,000 of them – this one is targeted for vacation rentals – and has a distribution network.
  • DealBase: Laundry lists of “travel deals” – not impressed at all – a meta search engine concept without a meta search because operators have to enter direct – problem: operators won’t enter deals if they don’t have significant traffic, and without deals they won’t retain traffic.
  • Rezgo: Yes, also JABS. But Stephen and Phill are friends of mine, and I’m a fan of Rezgo because it’s a great product. Great job guys. The barcode check-in is very cool.
  • Fogglight: System to build websites for small operators. Even though it builds a huge website, I doubt there will be a large pick-up.
  • TravelMuse: I was impressed. They would need great content. The bookmark widget and planning tool is smart. If consumers like it, they have potential.
  • TripJane: gimmick – search and book within Facebook
  • Adventurelink: JABS – for adventure travel – also with a distribution network
  • Worldmate: Manage your trip details – It’s like an assistant organizing and alerting you. Cool service, reminds me of TripIt, I think it’s only a matter of time before OLTA’s offer this as part of their service.
  • Vacationroost: JABS – again for vacation rentals – it’s does everything one would expect – and includes a distribution network
  • Your Tour: Complete itinerary building and booking. The technology is definitely impressive. Question is if people really want to use this type of tool to plan and book their trip. I’d like to play around with it
  • Travelbeen: meta search for travel information websites, sort off – it feels incomplete – I’ll stick with Google for now
  • TripIt: awesome – booking aggregation with added context – best thing is that you can take aggregate multiple booking sources automatically – should add the alert features from Worldmate.
  • Nile Guide terrible name – content aggregated with advanced filtering – some interesting features – problem with mass aggregation is accuracy. Vancouver includes some unfortunate recommendations.
  • Wandrian – global train tickets distribution system – definitely needed – booking train online is horrible – they should launch a consumer site
  • Triporati – travel discovery engine – recommendation based on your ‘travel DNA’ – like Pandora in music – lots of potential – needs work because discovery needs to inspire through an emotional connection – another problem is the subjectivity of the destination DNA determined by a single destination expert
  • eKit – keep a trip log – the twist is you can use your cell phone – auto geo-tagging, etc. – with a compatible plan or SIM card – they should take it out of travel and onto Facebook
  • Worklight – creates gadgets/widgets for travel providers – clearspring for travel? – book/check-in/etc – what’s with the ‘book from facebook?’ – is that really the future?
  • Cadabra – dynamic package generator for tour operators (like YourTour) – very flexible -do people want to plan their trip in this detail with one supplier – maybe a meta search version?
  • Tripchill – it’s like WorldMate but seems more robust – travel assistant including mobile – pretty cool
  • Farepool – JABS – for travel agents – sourcing from multiple systems
  • Sabre – Travelocity – JABS – puts the fragmentation of buying air (seat, bags, etc) back into a single price based on consumer option – consumer focused, thank you
  • Clairvoyix – Database marketing and Business Intelligence tools for hotels – nothing innovative but refreshing to see a hotel specific solution
  • TripTelevision – YouTube type video player with some added functionality – some of it pretty slick.
  • Yapta – travel meta search with new features – alert system and award miles
  • Interactive MOBILE @dvertising – JABS – on a mobile – includes a downloadable destination guide – ok it works on a mobile – but is the guide complete? – lot of focus on pushing ads

I have a few more videos to go. So check back.

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