Launchtrip | September 30, 2021
Launchtrip the world's first Together-Travel company, today releases its group-centric travel booking app. Available on iOS now, Launchtrip removes the roadblocks historically associated with group-travel by allowing users to plan and book travel based on destination city or event, and the ability to divide costs and pay separately, taking the awkwardness out of invites and chasing down money - all within the native platform's ecosystem.
Launchtrip is the first application to address a longstanding challenge for consumers and the hospitality industry: the need to facilitate group bookings in one application including payment processing and soon, with an industry first: fair and transparent pricing. From today, users will be able to:
Search by city or event to book accommodation and restaurants close to major sports, music, and entertainment events across the country, with more events being added regularly
Book hotel accommodations from a curated selection of 3 - 5 star properties across the country. From independent boutique hotels to 5-star luxury properties and everything in between, Launchtrip offers thousands of hotels across 8 major US cities to start (including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, Orlando, Austin, Phoenix and Las Vegas), with more becoming available every month
Review thousands of highly recommended restaurants and book right in the app using Resy as Launchtrip's official restaurant booking partner
Split and manage payments of your group trips (available for group trips of 3 or more people)
Receive scaling group discounts with partnered hotels
Take advantage of Launchtrip's signature 24/7 concierge service - online and with text-driven customer support, powered by humans
Ground transportation and travel insurance will be available by the end of the year
Google Play store availability will launch in Winter 2021
Customers will also benefit from Launchtrip's 'My Trip' feature, where users can manage all of their group reservations and guest list, meaning they won't be stuck with reservation emails from multiple vendors. Within this feature, users can name their trip, check the trip's guest list and whether they've paid or not, and send reminders to anyone who hasn't yet paid.
Launchtrip recently surveyed 1,000 US adults to find that for 25% of Americans, dealing with payment is the most painful part of planning any group trip. A third (34%) of respondents even said they spend hours figuring out how to split costs. To reward these Group Trip 'Heroes' who've had to deal with organizing woes for far too long, Launchtrip is giving away an all-expenses paid vacation (including accomodation at select luxury hotel properties across the country) to one lucky 'Hero' plus three friends.
Launchtrip CEO and Founder Julian Ing is dedicated to providing a better travel experience for groups a category that he believes has experienced little innovation in nearly 25 years.
"Launchtrip is a new kind of travel booking company and one that we believe will transform the travel and hospitality space. From group travel to complete transparency for consumers and partners, we are committed to creating the best experience possible for our users and are thrilled to open to the public today."
SaidJulian Ing,Launchtrip CEO and Founder
Looking ahead, Launchtrip will roll out additional features dedicated to creating a seamless travel experience, including curated trip recommendations, an AI-driven rewards system and more
Launchtrip is the Together-Travel company that makes booking group trips easy and rewarding. Founded by entrepreneur Julian Ing, Launchtrip's ethos is to make every experience outstanding, from end to end. Launchtrip's team of advisors include some of the industry's top experts with previous leadership roles within HomeAway (Expedia), MealPal and Tripping.com to name a few. This includes Traci Mercer, Taleeb Noormohamed, Michael Drever, Kathleen Reaume, Terry McBride and Mark Spencer.
AIRLINES AND AIRPORTS
VST Enterprises | December 15, 2020
British cyber technology organization VST Enterprises (VSTE) has today launched the worlds first public 'FIT TO FLY' secure health passport intended for air travel. The cross border platform called V-Health Passport™ would already be able to be downloaded from the Apple App Store or Google Play via looking for 'VPassport' or by visiting www.v-healthpassport.co.uk.
It is the worlds first publicly accessible secure computerized health passport that public in general can download and use close by any type of Covid 19 testing and vaccination that does NOT utilize unstable standardized tags and QR code technology. Aircrafts and transport carriers can likewise download and utilize the framework.
Skift | July 29, 2021
Brazil is proving to be a fertile ground for travel tech companies. According to a recent study, the country has 219 companies that provide corporate travel, online travel, distribution, and business intelligence. Entrepreneurs established the majority of these businesses in the last seven years.
The country is positioning itself to become a Latin American travel tech hub comparable to Mexico, Colombia, and Argentina. These companies are investing now to gain a competitive edge in the post-pandemic period, and they are playing the long game.
According to the So Paulo consultancy Loureiro Consultores, Brazil’s travel tech businesses are expected to generate or service about $6 billion (35 billion reals) in gross travel volume in 2022. The report expands on a rough version published a year ago by business travel company Onfly.
The “agency and online reservations” area seems to be Brazil’s most robust category of travel IT firms, accounting for 29% of the total.
To be sure, global brands like Booking.com, Expedia, and the Despegar-owned brand Decolar are major online travel sellers in Brazil. In addition, Hurb (formerly Hotel Urbano) is a local player, although it is backed in parts by Booking Holdings. Finally, Submarinoviagens is the online brand of CVC Corp, the established travel giant that claims itself as the largest group of travel and tourist businesses in the Americas.
Nonetheless, despite these well-capitalized brands, smaller local competitors seem to be gaining momentum. 123milhas and Viajanet are among the agencies that have maintained or increased their market share throughout the crisis, thanks in part to smart marketing on Lusophone social media.
Voopter has maintained its share of the travel price-comparison search, or metasearch, market, despite competition from Mundi, a brand purchased by Booking Holdings, Skyscanner, Trip.com Group, and Google’s travel search.
YouVisa is a travel company that provides an adjacent service by digitizing and simplifying the still enigmatic process of obtaining visas for international travel.
Just as Oyo Rooms and Ayenda Hoteles in Colombia have generated buzz with their branded hospitality franchise models, Brazil has its own similar tech-forward hospitality startup: Voa Hotéis.
Housi in Brazil, like Sonder in the United States and Casai in Mexico, operates on similar business models. It sometimes signs master leases from property managers, creates short-term rentals, and markets them through online agencies. In addition, it sometimes owns the property itself. In December, the startup raised $11 million in funding.
Optimized for Brazilian Travel
The rise of domestic travel tech and trends in internet use and flight expansion is laying the foundation for a rebound.
Millions of Brazilians moved from offline to online due to pandemic restrictions, similar to how China experienced a spike in digitization after the SARS epidemic in 2003. An estimated 150 million Brazilians use the internet, with the recent expansion of mobile broadband benefitting them.
The success of the new airline Azul in introducing flights to places that other carriers had overlooked is also benefiting the growing middle class.
Investors have mostly ignored the Portuguese-speaking country because they believe its middle-class has not yet reached “the inflection points” at which it would substantially increase travel spending, to use language from a Boston Consulting Group report.
Investors have also been cautious about the country, which had only attracted around 5 million international visitors each year on average before the pandemic.
However, the relative lack of foreign investor activity has made room for newer homegrown players to take and solidify positions in the long term.
Strength in corporate travel tech
Brazil’s travel tech scene seems to be doing particularly well in corporate travel.
Brazil currently lacks a competitor to Barcelona-based TravelPerk or Palo Alto-based TripActions.
Onfly, Paytrack, and Voll are three of the most promising businesses that could follow in their steps. However, it is still early on in the game.
B2B Reservas is another promising company. It handles corporate travel distribution, reservations, and payments by connecting hotels to the biggest travel agencies, similar to HRS’s corporate travel marketplace.
In an economy dominated by family-owned or state-backed conglomerates, the growth of these stand-alone companies is remarkable. However, it seems that many legacy companies in Brazil’s travel industry have left gaps that can be exploited by entrants, as Azul has shown in the face of established airlines like LATAM and Gol.
Enterprise or business-to-business technology vendors are another intriguing categories in Brazil’s travel tech scene.
Sensys Travel, for instance, is a business intelligence company that assists travel brands in tracking the rates that their competitors are placing on the market in “real-time.”
Any effort to capture a travel company ecosystem should consider whether or not to include so-called mobility players, including ride-hailing companies, ground transportation operators, and next-generation aircraft manufacturers. Some analysts, such as Lufthansa Innovation Hub, include mobility players in their assessments.
Brazil may offer a more compelling case for adding mobility players than other markets.
The line between IT players providing tourism, business travel, and mobility in Brazil is often more hazy than in other markets. Much of the country’s leisure and business travel occurs outside of aircraft (almost no rail). WiiMove, like Berlin-based Omio, aims to capture multi-modal choices for travelers.
The little cruise industry in Brazil is one of the country’s travel mysteries.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the country’s Economic growth is expected to expand by more than 4.3 percent this year. In addition, a gradual easing of the pandemic should lead to a recovery in leisure and business travel.