Today at the Phocuswright Europe conference the Travel Innovation Summit Europe took place. The Travel Innovation Summit Europe is the “Launch Pad” for the travel, tourism and hospitality industries. Applicants must have launched a new travel product or service based on innovative technology within the past year.
The Phocuswright Executive Review Committee then whittled down the candidates to twelve, who made a pitch today to a panel of Phocuswright Dragons. The Dragons are senior executives, some of whom work in the travel industry. Each finalist has ten minutes to pitch their product and then answer questions posed by the Dragons.
The Dragons judge each pitch on the following criteria:
Potential marketplace impact.
The Dragons scores are then used to determine the winner and the runner up, whilst all the attendees can also vote for the People’s Choice Award, sponsored by 33entrepreneurs. The twelve finalists are listed below:
AirHelp gets you money from airlines when your flight is delayed or cancelled according to air passenger rights. They track your flights, inform you about rights and take all the hassle of sending the claim. They even go to court if the airline doesn’t pay. AirHelp Pro is extra protection for the traveller where compensation is received instantly, if the flight is delayed or cancelled no matter what the reason for the flight disruption.
Everyglobe have extensively analysed travel and booking patterns as well as travel psychology. Those insights are mirrored by the content in their curation engine. Their recommendation engine then matches behavioural and/or psychographic user profiles and generates highly personalized travel recommendations in real-time. Actual user behaviour flows back into the recommendation engine to further increase accuracy over time.
GuestU is a mobile pocket concierge, and is the number one provider of mobile technology as a service to hotels and apartments. With GuestU, hotels and apartments become engaged with their guests using a mobile tool that offers useful information, a booking service and GPS-guided routes. Hotels and apartments generate more revenue by upselling other services and tours and activities. It is a powerful tool for the hotelier to gain a better profile of their guest.
Indigo who are based in Ireland work with companies who sell rail, taxi, bus or executive services as part of their core proposition: Indigo CONNECT works as a plug-in for any travel ecommerce platform, bringing a direct travel booking service for journeys from airport to city and beyond to any customer worldwide. Their full payment and inventory flexibility means it’s possible to add ground transportation bookings within mobile, online, agency, corporate travel and other hospitality applications.
Mondygo combines the best of metasearch and OTA functionalities, allowing users to search, compare and book both traditional package holidays and dynamic package combinations on one site. Instead of having to search and compare components on several different sites, users can compare holiday packages, hotels, holiday homes, low-cost airlines and local transport ancillaries in one search.
Mylocalscouts actively shape sustainable tourism in the future, not only because of the digital link they create between the like-minded, but because they enable people to make their initiatives coming from the non-profit market accessible to the touristic industry and provide unique experiences for travellers. They have built a new infrastructure based on influences from the sharing economy and an easy to use platform with a solid basis and necessary resources to scale fast.
Pablow offer targeted travel insurance that is made simple. Their cloud-based platform enables big travel insurers and small-to-medium travel retailers to seamlessly connect and sell personalized insurance offers to consumers at the point of sale. Initial products include targeted insurances for the car rental and vacation rental categories, where insurance offers that exactly match the consumers’ risk are fed into the booking path.
Quaribu allow the planning and booking trips over multiple destinations with friends or colleagues who might travel from different locations. Travellers can add all their destinations, set the dates for the trip and then search for all available options for transportation and accommodation, all in a matter of minutes. The customer can then book and reserve all selected products together. Every trip can be saved or shared with friends.
Refund.me is global operating passenger rights experts who help obtain compensation when it’s due. In accordance with European Union regulation, passengers are owed compensation for many scenarios on flights within the EU, refund.me collects compensation payments. With its specialised Advanced Business Logic (ABL) technology, claims can be filed directly from the website or with a iOS/Android free app.
The Travel 3.0 Suite by YouTect offers pre-built solutions for hotels, travel agencies and DMOs/associations. It includes tools for customer engagement, employee engagement, recruitment management, supplier relationship management, private workspaces and ecosystem management. All solutions are on the cloud, fully customisable and accessible from any mobile device.
TripRebel are pushing the boundaries of price comparison. Consumers don’t need to worry about finding the right moment to book. Instead of looking for savings among providers, TripRebel tracks prices between booking and check-in, where fluctuation takes place. Travelers book a suitable hotel and TripRebel then checks daily for price reductions, providing a refund if the price drops or an upgrade to a better room or better hotel at the price that the traveller paid.
Price Check, by Triptease is a smart widget that integrates into a hotel’s website. It displays three OTA prices in real-time, giving guests the confidence they need to book direct. It is proven to increase onsite conversions by 35% on average and to significantly reduce the amount hoteliers pay in OTA commissions.
All the finalists offered something unique, but I felt that GuestU, Indigo, Quaribu, Triptease and TripRebel are worth keeping an eye on. The five finalists I mentioned are using current technologies to offer something that I feel is unique in the marketplace.
GuestU and their mobile concierge service is something that will fit right in with hotels and upmarket guesthouses that do not have a concierge. The ability to customise it for your business can also give you an extra revenue stream especially if you do a deal with local tourist attractions.
Indigo allows you to book journeys to and from an airport to and also from any city or town. Their plugin will work with any ecommerce platform and it can help you retain customers.
Quaribu are offering something that could help revolutionise online hotel bookings, group bookings from multiple destinations are made easy. This can come in handy if you are booking a hen night or stag weekend.
Price Check by Triptease allows you to book directly on a hotels website and they also give compare the price you paid with other bookings websites. This allows hotels to deal directly with the customer and by not having to pay out any commission, they will save money. It also means that bookings cannot get lost and booking issues should be a thing of the past and speaking from past experience this can only be a good thing.
TripRebel are offering a product that will change hotel bookings. You will no longer have to worry about making a hotel booking and then wishing you had not booked yet as the price has come down. The fact that it can also upgrade you to a different hotel room or a better hotel if the price matches the one you booked at is sure to get people using it.