Earlier this week we presented at The Travel Innovation Summit at the PhoCusWright conference in Hollywood, Calif. Along with 31 other innovative companies, we gave a 10-minute demonstration of our product, which you can see here. Some of the other innovations we found interesting include:
Dealbase.com—launching at the conference and run by Sam Shank, DealBase provides the largest hotel deal Web site and clearly presented its easy to use search and filter tools. In this economy, who’s not after a deal?
Rezgo.com—run by Tips from the T-list publisher Stephen Joyce, Rezgo also launched at the conference and provides an online distribution platform for tour and activity suppliers, as well as managing payment and fulfillment. It’s a winning idea and reminds me of WorldRes when it provided a platform for the long-tail bed and breakfast market.
UpTake —Yen Lee clearly explained the semantic search capabilities that UpTake provides to simplify the travel research process through creating a comprehensive database, analyzing travelers feedback and filtering preferences. Sounds like you’d need a Ph.D. to work at UpTake—impressive!
Yapta—Tom Romary launched its frequent-flier award seat alert service, enabling travelers to be notified when they can use their frequent-flier miles to book an award seat that becomes available on a specific flight. Again, in this economy, who doesn’t want to leverage their air miles—smart move.
Of the innovators who made it through to the five minutes of fame on center stage (Home & Abroad, Wandrian, Yapta, TripIt, Triporati and IM@), it was IM@ who grabbed the attention of the judging panel. You can watch the demo featuring its mobile content management platform and mobile applications here.
In addition to presenting, we seemed to talk non-stop—to our peers at the innovation summit, interested potential partners, and press and bloggers. In the pavilion, we enjoyed the company of newly launched TravelBeen.com and particularly enjoyed Technorati’s supply of Charles Chocolates. Also, it was fun to catch up with BootsnAll, OffBeat Guides and to compare notes with our friendly Austrian competitors Tripwolf.
At the Bloggers Summit, the panel of seasoned bloggers discussed a number of topical areas relating to blogging and business—some useful tips and pit falls to avoid. It was interesting to meet up with some of the industries most respected bloggers, including The Boot, Jen Leo (Los Angeles Times), Travolution and the Cranky Flier to name a few. If you’re not following these guys, then you should be!
It’s great to see so much innovation in the travel industry up close and to be a part of it. We’re back home with many more new ideas, now it’s just a case of implementation!