Airbnb, HotelTonight and Uber may have established themselves in the travel landscape, but once they were just start-ups with little funding and large ideas trying to make a name for themselves.
Their rise to greatness reflects the immense growth in the importance and in the number of travel start-ups. In Asia-Pacific alone, the number grew a staggering 285% for the 2011-2013 period as compared with 2008-2010.
So who is coming through on the latest wave of innovation?
Research firm PhocusWright has done its homework in a number of categories. Winners were selected by a panel of “dragons” from the fields of travel and technology and announced at PhocusWright’s Travel Innovation Summit which took place in Florida this week.
“Travel startups and legacy travel companies are pushing the envelope in terms of making travel easier for everyone,” Phocuswright managing director Tony D’Astolfo said.
“This year’s presenting companies are amongst the most exciting we’ve seen demonstrate to date at The Travel Innovation Summit, and we look forward to seeing each make a greater impact on the travel industry in the future.”
Here are the five travel start-ups you need to keep your eye on:
Winner of PhocusWright’s general catalyst award for travel innovation and also the award for the most innovative startup company, Tansler is an online vacation rental marketplace that enables travellers to name their price, with hosts competing for their stay.
This group travel planner provides powerful collaboration tools for travel brands, suppliers and agents and scooped the Brand USA Award for Travel Marketing Innovation.
With the 33entrepreneurs Best Team Award now under its belt, Trekkable helps mobility challenged travelers shop and book lodging alternatives to fit their needs without extra cost, time or effort.
A real-world federated identity manager, Proxce uses proximity-based, contactless identification for mobile check-in, service delivery and keyless entry at hotels, snaring it the award for Most Innovative Startup Company.
The victor in the category of Most Innovative Established Company, Revinate helps hotels create personalised experiences pre-, during and post-stay with a range of mobile and desktop solutions that create valuable relationships and lifelong customers.