Travel Compositor completes its next round of funding

TravelC have announced a €1 Million funding round with Caixa Capital Risk, and with it the integration of hotel booking management provider Hotelerum.

TravelC have created a unique set of unique booking engines that are licensed and branded for Online Travel Agents, Tour Operators, Travel Agents, Destination Marketing Organizations and Hotel Groups. The platform has already been has been sold to more than 70 companies across 25 countries.

The product enables the creation of multi-product, multi-destination itineraries through a patented dynamic packaging engine.

TravelC LogoTravelC is based in Palma de Majorca. The company was started in September 2014 with founders Manuel Aragonés and Vicente Rosselló who both have vast experience in the tourism and technology sectors. In 2015 Travel C won the Emprendedor XXI award for the like best Spanish start-up.

This funding enables TravelC to strengthen market deployment in the United States and consolidate the commercial actions in Europe whilst developing new product and content features.

As part of this transaction TravelC will integrate Hotelerum which was founded in 2010 within the accelerator Inspirit. Hotelerum provides an integral part of the overall TravelC solution by providing contracted hotels to be entered into the platform plus expanding TravelC’s value proposition and addressable markets. The former owners of Hotelerum are also now shareholders of TravelC.

http://www.travelcompositor.com/

The Travel Marketing Store is assisting  TravelC with its go-to-market activities and has already established a highly experienced and well connected business development team on their behalf.

View their entry in The Travel Marketing Directory

If you want to find out more about their excellent solution please contact us:

The Travel Marketing Store

Under Brexit cloud, travel leaders share experiences of Asia – WIT

The timing of the first WIT Europe in London held last week could not have happened at a more poignant time in the city’s history and travel industry leaders, while grappling with uncertainty, agreed there couldn’t be a better time than now to seize the Asia opportunity.

Every speaker expressed their dismay at the UK decision to leave the EU, with the consensus that the implications will be felt globally, including Asia.

Kenny-Jacobs-photo-websiteKenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer of Ryanair, who had to cancel his appearance at the event citing “having to deal with the fallout of Brexit”, sent this message, “Ryanair, as with all airlines, are disappointed with the referendum result. For the next few months it’s business as usual as Europe and Britain will go on their holidays. After the summer we could be facing a long period of uncertainty as UK politics is in turmoil and the new UK government will have to negotiate the exit with the EU, the single biggest issue for the entire travel business will be maintaining the single market. “If the UK stays in the single market then things should continue as normal and the UK will stay part of open skies, if the UK leaves the single market then we have a lot of complications”.

“We are hopeful and we expect both sides will find a way to maintain the free movement of people. But while the is uncertainty and currency fluctuations businesses including ourselves will be slow to make additional investments in the UK. We have 50 new aircraft joining our fleet next year and we now don’t expect to deploy any of these in the UK market at this stage, instead we will focus on markets that are part of the single market like Italy, Spain and Germany.

“This is not the end of the world but it is a period of unprecedented uncertainty. The UK will be in recession and the UK consumer will travel less and spend less, that is a certainty. On the flip side, a weaker pound will mean Europeans travel to the UK more as their euro goes further and they may want to say goodbye to a wonderful country and fantastic people before Boris and Nigel pull up the drawbridge”.

Hugo Burge

Hugo Burge: “Our mission remains to open our world.”

Hugo Burge, CEO of Momondo Group, said there were too many uncertainties currently to predict the future but called on the industry to be positive and work together to ensure travel’s interests were heard by those in power. Short-term, because of the devaluing of the pound, companies like his are gaining but it is clear they are more concerned with long-term impact and what this could mean for the European Tech Alliance of which it is part.

He said that Momondo’s DNA Journey Youtube video, which has gained more than 120 million views and released in June, could also not have happened at a more poignant time. “Our mission remains to open our world,” he said.

He said, as a geographer, he was blown away by the sheer size and scope of Asia’s potential and that the group would be expanding the cheapflights brand in the region. “It’s a name that works,” he said. “While Europe remains our main focus, the group is now ready to expand beyond and grow in Asia.”

Bobby Healy, CTO of Dublin-based the CarTrawler, while saying Brexit meant opportunities for Dublin – which is positioned as a tech hub and already there are talks by companies in London to move there – said it wasn’t good for travel in general.

Speaking about CarTrawler’s experiences in Asia, he said its focus has been on China, where it’s seeing 180% growth and the mainland is now among its top 14 markets. He admits China is tough to penetrate and private equity-run companies are disadvantaged in that it cannot make the necessary investments necessary to make a dent.

Bobby Healy:

Bobby Healy: “We should have got product and market first before we entered Asia.”

“Create a start-up and get the cash to run,” he advised the audience of close to 100 who turned up to learn about the Asia growth story at the Tate Modern.

To enter China, CarTrawler bought Finland-based Cabforce in 2015 to acquire the necessary technology for the market.

On hindsight, he said of CarTrawler’s Asia strategy, “We should have got product and the market right first before we entered Asia. Our other mistake is not investing enough.”

On Skyscanner’s part, Andy Sleigh, who ran the APAC region out of Singapore for two years before returning to Edinburgh, said between 2013 and 2015, Skyscanner saw rapid growth in average APAC Unique Monthly Visitors and is projecting £30m revenues by 2016.

It’s been hair-raising ride and Asia today is a total turf war, with Sleigh likening it to the TV series, Game of Thrones. He advised companies against spending money on marketing when you do not have the right product and user trust.

Andy Sleigh:

Andy Sleigh: “It’s a commitment that pays you back in spades.”

Japan is one market it’s had good success. Said Sleigh, “Japan is the third largest travel market in the world, with 2015 bookings estimated to rise to $71 billion. The establishment of Skyscanner Japan provides both partners in the joint venture (with Yahoo Japan) an opportunity to accelerate their growth in this important market and offers millions of consumers comprehensive travel options for free. Visitors to Skyscanner’s Japanese site grew 40% in 2014,” said Sleigh.

For China, it bought Youbibi and its founder Steven Pang now runs Skyscanner’s China operations. “Getting the right people is key,” he said, with Healy agreeing. Healy said he had been advised to hire only Chinese women and “you cannot run a business in China by hiring people who look like me”.

Sleigh advised against “seagull management” – “where you fly in, s… on everyone and fly out”.

Skyscanner ran “Immersion” programmes where visiting executives from head office would be given truly immersive experiences in Asia markets.

Leading a team in Asia is all in. “It’s a huge commitment that pays you back in spades. It’s personal hypergrowth, long hours, huge amount of travel. But you make great friends and have unbeatable experiences.

“The Asia travel tech community is incredibly friendly, we need more European businesses to take the plunge.” 

Source: Under Brexit cloud, travel leaders share experiences of Asia – WIT

Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

Google logo.jpegThe giant search engine, Google, will roll out a new advertising program, which will help to offer more local adverts to consumers using the popular GPS-based Google Maps app.

Under the new program, various adverts of relevant companies that are nearby a user will be provided at the bottom of the apps navigation interface on the users smartphone. Destination marketing businesses are likely to welcome the new feature. The new advertisement program is expected to bring consumers with ads which will include businesses such as hotels, restaurants, cafes, tour companies etc.

The tool is designed to provide local businesses with more exposure to potential customers by providing localized adverts to the consumers based on the location. However, it is also expected to have a huge positive impact on travel and tourism-related businesses, and destination marketing sector, given the fact that a huge portion of location queries using Google Maps are related to travel and tourism.

In addition to providing localized search based on the location of the users smartphone, Google also intends to personalize the adverts based on the users preferences and interests, which will have been acquired from past search requests using the service, as well as online behaviour of the user. This will be of a great benefit to travel related brands, as the personalized advertising will help to target potential customers who have a higher chance of paying for the service being offered.

Google has already started testing the advertising program on some of the Google Maps users. People wishing to advertise their businesses will be able to highlight their locations on Google Maps, which will then be shown to the users through what is being referred to as “promoted pins”. The pins will highlight the exact location of the business, and will also include other details such as company logos to help in easier identification of the brand. As such it is likely that destination marketing companies will make use of the tool extensively.

In addition to the localized ads using Google Maps, the search engine will also extend the reach of the Google Display Network Remarketing campaigns. This will offer businesses advertising on Google with a broader reach to a more valuable target market, which will help to increase the chances of lead conversion, thus increasing the revenues.

Source: Destination Marketing: Promoted Pins on Google Maps to Help Local Businesses | .TR

WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

WhereIsWhereWhereIsWhere.com, a location-marketing tool for businesses in the tourism industry, has unveiled its demo microsite, allowing travel marketers to check out its content and features before it goes live to consumers mid-2016.

The live demo can be accessed at: preview.whereiswhere.com

The microsite is a sample demonstration of the end-user experience, as travellers explore the interactive map to find out where everything is, and what each location has to offer, in the form of rich media content – videos, pictures, promotions and more.

Preview.whereiswhere.com currently features only London and Singapore, with more travel destinations to be added later. On WhereIsWhere’s interactive map platform, travel marketers can zoom in from country to area to street level; and within each category – Attractions, Lodgings, Activities and F&B, select filters according to their interest types. Speaking about the newly launched demo site, Terence Mak, the CEO, noted that “WhereIsWhere enables travellers to learn more about different destinations easily, straight from the industry itself; this way of direct marketing in Travel is a change from what travel marketers are currently doing.

ABOUT WHEREISWHERE

As an interactive world map, WhereIsWhere.com functions as a location-marketing tool, enabling businesses including hotels, attractions, icons and tourism authorities in the global tourism industry to show the world where they are, and what they have. Travel marketers claim their pins on WhereIsWhere’s map platform; and under their pin, they can upload media in the form of videos, pictures, or even their latest promotions, to entice travellers to visit.  Mid-2016 will see WhereIsWhere launch to travellers, offering them the latest information from the travel industry, as they explore the world.

For more information, visit www.whereiswhere.com.

Contact us at pr@whereiswhere.com

Source: WHEREISWHERE LAUNCHES LIVE DEMO FOR TRAVEL MARKETERS

A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

News that Google would soon begin testing a new mobile travel application leaked out in April and TechCrunch were quick to cover it.

The app, called Trips, is being trialled with a small group of testers, and will allow users to keep track of past and upcoming trips, while also making recommendations about tourist destinations, restaurants, local transportation options, and more.  Access to the Trips mobile app is only being made available to members of Google’s Local Guides program.  A revamp and rebranding of Google’s prior City Experts effort, Local Guides launched last year as Google Maps’ competitor to Yelp’s Elites.

As with Yelp, program members are offered a variety of rewards and benefits in exchange for writing business reviews, posting photos, and helping to fill in and correct Maps information. One of those benefits, as Google previously indicated, is early access to new Google products and features. This appears to be one example of that perk in action. According to the initial leak, Local Guides were invited to be among the first to try a new “travel assistant app for Android and iPhone.”

What’s interesting about the new app is that it’s able to pull in your trip information just by scanning your Gmail messages, similar to how Google’s virtual assistant, Google Now, also works.

That makes it slightly competitive with TripIt, which has the larger goal of helping to automate collection of your trips into a single interface, then provide useful services on top of that, like tracking points, getting flight alerts, setting reminders, changing seat selections, sharing trips with others, and more.

However, in the case of the Google Trips app, it seems the focus is less on mimicking the somewhat utilitarian nature of most travel planners and companion apps, and more on the fun that comes with exploring a new destination.

As an app built using Google Maps data, Trips lets you find things to do – both inside and outdoors – around your location. It also helps you manage reservations, find nearby food and drink, access a list of saved places, and plan how you’ll get from one place to the next.

For this reason, Trips would likely have more of an impact on local travel guide apps, instead of more comprehensive trip planners.

This latter feature is found in the “Getting Around’ section, which offers details on the different options, including public transportation schedules for things like buses and trains, plus information on taxis and ride sharing services and more.

Also useful is that Trips allows you to browse your saved trip information even when you’re offline.

The screenshots and details regarding the app were posted to the Dutch blog AndroidWorld, then picked up by 9to5Google.

Much of what Trips offers can actually be found in Google Maps, thanks to the enhancements of that app over the years to offer more information than just maps and navigation. However, the Trips app puts this information into a standalone, native interface complete with a Material design and easy-to-use layout.

While the app being tested is available on Android, Google had said that it would be available on iOS, as well. The company has not yet confirmed further details about the app or its launch plans.

When asked, a Google spokesperson only provided this comment on the Trips app:

“We love to travel and are hard at work dreaming up new ways to make the travel experience hassle-free. While we do that, sit tight and keep on using our amazing tools like Google Flights, Hotel Search and Destinations on Google to plan your next adventure.”

Source: A sneak peek at Google’s upcoming travel app, Trips | TechCrunch

A new dynamic packaging experience ready to take off

TravelC LogoThe Travel Marketing Store has recently signed an agreement to jointly take to market the excellent dynamic packaging solution developed by Mallorca based Travel Compositor.   Their online product, TravelC, provides an excellent platform for travel agents, tour operators, destination management companies, destination marketing organisations, start-up and existing online travel agents to provide a new level of dynamic packaging for their customers.

The solution connects to all three major GDS, Travelport, Sabre and Amadeus plus has integrated two low-cost airline aggregators, Mystifly and Travelfusion therefore provided excellent coverage of flights.  As the flight search takes place the lowest direct and connected fares are offered with simultaneous hotel suggestions being presented.

The solution also can connect to a variety of hotel aggregators or “bed banks”.  The system dynamically packages hotel content with selected flights with the ability to add transfers and activities all from a single screen interface.  Complex itineraries can be built at speed and saved as a brochure to share with customers or friends.

Duncan Alexander, Managing Director at The Travel Marketing Store stated “we are delighted to team up with Travel Compositors particularly with our approach to key destinations, airlines and airports to provide a better solution to market stop-overs and through connections.   We have been looking for some considerable time to find the right technology partner for our “flyvia out of the box campaign proposition” and we have found it in TravelC”.

Once flights and6ab9e0a7-1a98-4d34-8482-31aede6e5deb hotels are selected transfers and activities can be booked including tours and restaurants.  Soon a rental car aggregator will also be added to the packaging capabilities offering a full service suite for all leisure and business travel needs.

This unique solution can be deployed with any travel online retailer and tailored to meet their requirements.  The Travel Marketing store is currently in discussion with a number if destinations, airlines and tour operators regarding adopting this unique dynamic packaging solution.

In particular the solution can be used for promoting single and multi-stop over packages.

If you want to know more please contact us or view their Travel Marketing Directory listing.

 

Biometrics Might Help Make Your Future Travel Experience Better, But Can You Trust Them? – Forbes

Airlines in the future could feature seating sections arranged by function – families, business travellers, sleepers and those who want to watch or listen to entertainment – and lots of new technologies like biometrics and robotics that could make negotiating the travel process a whole lot easier.

But even many of those people who dare to dream of such refinements to the currently hassle-filled and and uncomfortable world of travel are sceptical about the technologies that could play a key role in making them possible.

Biometric identification systems like this Dermalog fingerprint scanner are increasingly being adopted worldwide for functions as diverse as banking and elections. Could they make the travel process smoother?

A number of airlines, hotel companies, rental car agencies, restaurant chains and other travel service providers – and the technology firms that support them – are tinkering with biometric technologies that could allow them not only recognize individual travellers so that they can pass through security checkpoints with ease but also perhaps be assigned the exact type of rental car they prefer, or have their hotel room arranged and equipped exactly as their preferred auto. Being able to provide those special touches without consumers having to request them or make special arrangements is seen by some travel industry marketing experts as the Holy Grail of revenue- and loyalty-enhancing techniques.

But results of an intriguing survey conducted recently by Boxever show both great longing among travellers for a smoother, more human and less frustrating travel experience – and deep cynicism among those same travellers that such improvements in the travel process will come about, or even be worthwhile. Boxever, based in Dublin, Ireland, is a predictive analytics and marketing advisory company that specializes in studying consumer’s interaction with travel companies.

For example, in Boxever’s recent survey of more than 500 travellers: 57% said airline cabins of the future would be improved by segregating travellers by the nature of their travel.  Business travellers would be seated together. Families travelling together with children would be seated in their own section. Those who wish only to sleep would be segregated from the rest. And those who want to watch movies or TV, or listen to music would have their own seating section.

55% said the use of biometrics such as fingerprints and retina scans for check-in, passing through security checkpoints and boarding would make the entire travel process smoother and easier.  Nearly a third – 31% – said the use of robotics would make the check-in, security and boarding processes better.

38% said the travel process would be improved by the use of self-driving cars that would drop off and pick them up at the terminal doors.

Yet:  Fewer than half of those same survey respondents say they trust airlines and other travel service companies to properly handle, store and protect their unique identifying biometric information such as fingerprints and retina patterns. As a result, concern about the protection of their biometric data is shaping up to be a major hurdle that travel service companies will have to overcome if they are to succeed in offering much more customized travel experiences – and generating extra revenue as a result.

Of that majority who are uncomfortable with the idea of airlines having and using their biometric information, two-thirds said they simply don’t trust airlines to handle such sensitive data. 56% said they are not comfortable with any company handling their biometric data.

And nearly half – 49% – of those who are uncomfortable with airlines’ use of biometrics said they are sceptical that the use of biometrics would actually improve the travel experience in the first place.

Perhaps most surprising, millennial travellers – those between the ages of 19 and 33 – are the most cynical when it comes to airlines potential use of fingerprints, retina scans, facial recognition software and cameras, and other biometric identification technologies. One might assume that millennials, who have never lived in a world without the Internet, who grew up using cell phones and playing complex video games, and who today tend to post lots of information about themselves and their thoughts online would be most comfortable with the use of biometric technologies.

Instead, 51% of this most tech-savvy of the groups surveyed said they are wary about potential security lapses among travel companies that would expose their data to hackers or others who would use it in harmful ways.

Source: Biometrics Might Help Make Your Future Travel Experience Better, But Can You Trust Them? – Forbes