Travel in the digital world is branching out in “pioneer” fashion more and more. One startup, GetYourGuide, illustrates this pioneer spirit vividly. GetYourGuide, founded in 2008, is Berlin based development working on becoming the digital world’s tour and specialty activity conduit.
Some really smart students at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology founded GetYourGuide obviously believing – smarts, plus energy, plus influence leads to success. Looking at the booking portal for tours and such, the sheer depth of content shows Johannes Reck, Tao Tao, Tobias Rein, Martin Sieber, Pascal Mathis, and Jochen Mattes (no longer with the company) understand value on the web. GetYourGuide is a vast information/booking portal.
Points of Pain
An old friend from the early days of Web 2.0 criticized a video startup CEO for not differentiating his service from YouTube. “What point of pain does it solve?” The answer was “none” – and the startup faltered. GetYourGuide, however,remedies at least one online travel illness – offering “add on” services TripAdvisor, LastMinute, and many others really suck at.
Face it, tours, attraction, excursions and activity booking is a hugely profitable side of the travel booking game. Not many realize just how small the margins are getting for flights, and even hotels these days – but rest assured, the big players will turn to come companies like GetYourGuide that “connect” more profitable dots (bookings). And…
The Golden Rule – Be Indispensable
One sure fire way of succeeding it to become indispensable. And in the case of “added travel value” – leading a niche sector, one almost irreconcilably expensive to cover, is something GetYourGuides is hard at. Let me explain. One thing Expedia (TripAdvisor), Sabre, Kayak, (any of the big players you can name) will not do, is fork over the vast expenditures it takes to create rich content. They will poke a stick at it, but in the end it is cheaper to partner in or outright buy the value – in investment banker terms – the Holy Grail for exit strategies.
GetYourGuides is doing just this, to the great benefit of customers and partners.
Cutting edge innovation aside (travel sites are not rocket science), catchy corporate dogma away, social media madness left out, value is really about great information and ways to apply it – in our digital realm that is. Collaborations and affiliations are something the founders of GetYourGuide excel at.
This story at Tnooz speaks a bit of this, while another one via the company’s blog suggests the “connectedness” of this company. Some smart Switzerland dudes knowing how to wheel and deal is important. But…
Swiss Watch Detail
The image above says a lot about GetYourGuide. Why? Look closely. (note the Google + icon already)
- Top left, customer service number – think
- UI complete yet simplified – text font to search bars, the designer knew his business
- Filtering, information, social components, images, prices – perfect
- Flawless integration of information, navigation, booking – clear pricing
- Large images (640×480)
- Corollary service – car rentals and other ancillary offerings
Town Crier Needed
I chose Romania for good reason. Not one of the major OTA’s, that I am aware of, offers anything like a realistic snapshot of Romania or the capital Bucharest. GetYourGuide is clearly making inroads into this secondary “point of pain” for TripAdvisor and others. Taking into account all I have mentioned, the “connectedness”, business development, rich content effort, and the market, GetYourGuide has the most potential of any travel startup I have reviewed in months.
GetYourGuide as a development is not perfect by any stretch. I do find it difficult to understand how this Crunchbase listed startup has not been on the cover of every travel magazine on Earth? In all honesty, I have already sent a Facebook message to the CEO offering our company’s online PR services.