Published November 30, 2006
Came across tour management software by a new zealand based company called cadabra. Cadabra lets travel agents/tour operators integrate complex tour planning engine to their website for customers. According to their site. Product enables you to engage directly with consumers by providing them with web-based tools to interactively build complex personalised touring itineraries. These tools, both functionality and content, provide the complete environment for the tourist enabling them to research, then plan then book their tour.
Cadabra’s vacation wizard dynamically builds a selection of itineraries based on the criteria people select for their tour, for example, the length of their trip, the grade of hotel, places they know they want to visit, and the experience and activities that they are interested in, such as natural wonders, cultural experiences, physical outdoor activities, wildlife activities, food and wine, high adventure activities, etc. This can be combined with agents own travel destination knowledge for offering personalized dynamic tour. The model clearly works on inbound travel agents own database. Secondly the whole concept it to let operator reach directly to retail customers who are currently using travel portals online which limit their offerings to air,hotel,transfer. But dont provide the mix like reach Mumbai and get half day trip to Elephanta caves or goto races at Mahalaxmi race course. currently they are targeting local inbound operators based in new zealand and later plan to launch their product in US in 2007.
Wishing them luck and hopefully we will see something comming in indian market very soon for large amount of inbound travel operators.
Published November 30, 2006
With Mobile Phones being pegged as the biggest market access tool over the Computers in India. come 2007 we will see lot of travel portals lauching mobile applications. Though its very good and useful for business users. But for users who dont wish to type lot of details they phone should provide enough information to travel application for straight away start pushing deals/information to users. This is possible by taking location as a constraint. Dr Torab Torabi at Latrobe University under whom supervised me on my research in location based services always said application development should be information independent and we should work towards making a framework.
Getting back to how would location enabled travel application work on mobile phone . For travellers comming into Delhi for Commonwealth Games 2010 lot of them will be making unplanned visits with basic information on where games are being held etc. Here the travel application can help them interact with local enviornment and help them ditch the lonely planet book they carry.
# Based on user present location advice him of hotels around them and check room availability and prices. Advice game venues proximity. Example few events being hosted by delhi university so living in east delhi will not help. Advice on nearest ATM’s etc.
# Provide multilingual user experience.
# Integrate with Mobile Payment options so users dont carry cash and cards. Can access/buy metro rail tickets using phone etc.
#Enable collabration with facility to discover other travellers looking for company in vincity.
They are couple of ideas which can be made workable. The day has to come when tourist in chandni chowk will be travelling on rickshaws with not lonely planet guide in hand but mobile phone giving information on demand with location as constraint.
Published November 30, 2006
Every second indian technology or business blog is talking about travel being the next 2.0 frontier in india. My first question was how many 2.0 applications are already in use by masses in india ? Whatever portal relaunched are happening are 1.0 models using AJAX,XML for giving rich user interface and improving speed and efficency for making sites available on low speed connections.
All portals we see are screaming and saying what travel portals use to do in US in 1999. Cheap Cheaper Cheapest…. price the biggest thing to pull customers. In india none of the portals are working on niche sectors. Example Golf Tourisim or Adventure Tourism. Idea is to create verticals and derieve revenue from them by caterning to niche high spend segment.
Use of RSS for syndicating fares is another thing which portals should look at. This way they will have further reach/distribution of deals and information. As more of these travel portals are doing is trying to compete with offline travel agents with high cost call centre’s focusing on travel plans they are moving away from travel search engines concept which is the thing to remain focus in. In india example yatra.com or cleatrip.com are asking transaction fees above the low-cost airlines published fare but to compete with airline websites directly they need to come on the same level playing field. I recently went to a travel agent who informed he is payed 3%-4% by these low cost airlines for making reservations directly with them. But being internet savvy he says yatra.com.flightraja.com have made life easy for him . He just goes to these sites first and see which airlines offer the cheapest airefare and then by logging in as a travel agent with respective airlines make the reservation. So are they just another travel shopping comparision site or they suppose to compete with these airline websites.
Secondly customers are becoming aware of reserving tickets directly on airline sites. lets say flying with jet airways if they make direct reservation on jet airways site they can get bonus frequent flyers miles etc. Which these travel portals cant do.
If cost is the big focus for travel portals then work on lowest airfare guarantee or lock cheap airfare concept. Otherwise looking at all 3-5 travel portals launched in market their is no difference from customer perspective.