With over 200 travel tech business attracting £2.5billion of funding in 2016 and with over 1.4billion global travellers in 2018, the travel industry is booming. In fact, since 2010 tourism has been one of the fastest growing sectors in the UK with online bookings rising to an all-time high.
Against this backdrop, travel tech is evolving at a rapid pace with entrepreneurs exploring new niche markets in the industry. From programmes that democratise air travel to end-to-end booking platforms, the potential for real-life applications that can transform the way we travel and see the world are endless.
With innovations revolutionising the way in which we travel, here is a list of five of the most promising companies to watch.
Founded in 2011 by pilot turned computer scientist and entrepreneur Jonathan Nicol, Stratajet was developed to democratise flying by private jet.
Frustrated by the out-dated and inefficient process to book a private jet, Jonathan developed an algorithm that connects flyers to available aircrafts. The programme, which took him five years to develop, finds the best deals, maximising capacity and cutting out the need for a broker between the airline and consumer.
Today, Stratajet partners with international aircraft operators to deliver its service to customers across forty-four countries in Europe and the US. By enabling consumers to search, compare and book a private jet at the best price in minutes, Stratajet provides a seamless and reliable booking process, opening up luxury travel to the masses.
Established in 2015 TalkTalkBnb is a collaborative platform that connects people who want to travel with those who want to improve their language skills. Free for both parties to use, it provides a way for travellers to enjoy free accommodation by connecting with their host and talking in their native language.
With travellers increasingly drawn to local experiences rather than package tours or hotels, TalkTalkBnb is one of the few companies offering a way to access a truly unique and authentic experience alongside a way to exchange value.
Since 2017 the platform has also opened up to businesses, demonstrating how the sharing economy can have a profound impact on business travel as well. By creating your business circle on TalkTalkBnb you can bring all your company’s employees together from across the world in one place. This can open the door to job swaps and even provide access to an ‘internal air bnb’ whereby colleagues can stay with each other, rather than in hotels when travelling on business.
Live2Leave is a travel app that allows users to record their favourite hotels, restaurants and activities, and see recommendations from a community of friends and local experts, providing a more interactive and exciting experience whilst travelling.
Launched in May 2017 by Celeste Owen-Jones, a former journalist turned entrepreneur, the app targets tech-savvy travellers and it already has over 11,000+ recommendations across 2,800 cities. With travellers increasingly booking their trips online, the app is soon to expand to include additional planning and booking features. This will enable individuals to manage their entire trip on one app, transforming the ease at which we can plan a holiday.
Designed with today’s time-strapped individuals in mind, srprs.me takes all the hassle and stress out of researching a trip and plans it all for you, even answering the question of where to go.
The online platform allows you to tailor your trip down to every last detail from dates, departing airport and accommodation type, however, your exact destination will remain a surprise until you arrive at the airport.
With over 100,000 travellers using the digital platform to design their holidays, the idea is still very much centred on making the process of planning a trip quick, simple and hassle-free. With no planning ahead, travellers using srprs.me have no set expectations and can, therefore, enjoy every moment of their holiday.
Founded in 2014 by husband and wife team Tikky and Evan Davies, The Booking Factory is an all in one hotel management and marketing platform that helps independent hotels manage their business and master the guest experience.
Inspired by Evan’s parents who ran a hotel in Wales for more than forty years, they built and launched the platform because they needed a simple tool to manage the business online and increase direct bookings. The platform does this through providing access to software that can help users build a website, automate repetitive tasks, generate online bookings and implement online check-in.
With 74% of travellers now planning their trips online and increasingly turning to independent hotels for a more unique experience, companies such as The Booking Factory are crucial to ensure these boutique hotels remain visible and competitive within a market dominated by hotel chains.
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