Loic Le Meur interviews the CEO of Trivop

21 05 2007

Here is an interesting interview of Thomas Owadenko that Loic Le Meur just uploaded on his blog. Thomas is the CEO of the new travel 2.0 site called Trivop.


[vpod.tv loiclemeur/200710]

Trivop.com is a very good example of a good use of web 2.0 in the travel industry. It is a platform of video reviews of hotels (located in Europe and then in the future in the US).Like I said in the past, the future of hotel reviews is strongly connected to the future of online video; we previously saw the impact of a simple video uploaded on youtube to report a poor hotel room in Madrid. We also saw Tripadvisor launched a video uploading feature on their website to follow this (hotel) trend.

Trivop

Now we have a dedicated website only for hotels which combined a mashup of Google maps, Tripadvisor text reviews and videos generated by hoteliers and guests.In the video Thomas says that it will be focused on hotels for the first 3 years, Trivop does not have a real competitor since there is no other 100% similar site. However it might somehow compete with videos of websites like Youtube, Google Video, DailyMotions etc. and also with sites like www.travelistic.com that have a wider approach and publish video content for everything related to travel.

When Trivop has been launched at the beginning of April 2007, it already had filmed and uploaded about 170 videos of hotels. Trivop will also intend to create a marketplace community where video producers could meet the demand for video of hoteliers.

Ceo Trivop - Thomas OwadenkoDuring the interview Thomas says that not only the hotelier can upload a video but also the guest. As of today I have not been able to find a video generated by a guest, but only video “ordered” by hoteliers, with a very good editing by the way. The only negative comment I would make is that there is no way you can control the playback of the video other than using the pause button. Videos are played sequentially (divided into segments: lobby/standard room/suite etc) just as if you were watching plain old television. When deciding what hotel I want to book, I have a limited available time for making my choice. I need to compare hotel prices, hotels reviews and so on; watching each segment (of about 50sec to 1min40) without having the choice to fast forward the video is time consuming.

In my opinion the challenge for Trivop will be to generate revenue by proposing their services as filmmakers for hoteliers while they offer a free platform for guests to upload their “videos reviews” that could criticize and hurt their own clients.

Anyway I found that the concept of Trivop is innovative and useful for travellers and I wish them the best of success.

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Pegasus acquires Wizcom

2 05 2007

PegasusThe Dallas, Texas based Pegasus has acquired yesterday its long time competitor Wizcom (a subsidiary of Travelport). That means that Pegasus becomes the only provider of Global Distribution System (GDS) switch services on the market! A switch being an alternative to the so called direct connect to the GDSs.

Wizcom’s product range includes Global Distribution System (GDS) and GDS-related products, Internet Distribution Systems Connectivity and Data Management solutions.

GDSs use switching companies like Pegasus and WizCom to access hotel, car rental and tour inventory. Now that Pegasus is the only switch solution, we will take an in depth look at the pricing strategy that will adopt this broader offer of Pegasus Solutions.

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Looking for a Dopplr.com invitation (offering Joost invitations!)

2 05 2007

There is a lot of buzz for a new travel website called Dopplr; buzz is mainly coming from the “web 2.0 blogosphere”, if I may call it this way. Unfortunately, I am not able to give you a lot of details concerning the new website as I have not received an invitation yet. (my email can be found in the contact section of this blog).

What is dopplr?

Dopplr

“Dopplr is an online service for frequent travellers. It was created by an international team of world travellers as a tool for our own use. We liked it so much that we decided to open it up to our global friends. If you travel more than five times a year and have friends who do as well, then Dopplr is for you. How does Dopplr work? It lets you share your future travel plans with a group of trusted fellow travelers whom you have chosen. It also reminds you of friends and colleagues who live in the cities you’re planning to visit. You can use the service with your personal computer and mobile phone.”

joostOn the other hand I have received today an invitation to try Joost (former Venice Project) and I’m willing to invite to Joost anybody that could get me an invitation to Dopplr.com (or to the new Babelgum.com).

Please post a comment with your email if you can help, I’ll try to do my best to invite you as well and to review Dopplr for Blogontravel.com’s readers.

By the way if you need a Joost invitation and you don’t have a Dopplr account, it does not matter, I have plenty of Joost invitations to give away!

UPDATE: I have receive 3 invites for Dopplr.com: Thank you v. much!

UPDATE 09/06: If you want to get a free invitates to Bablegum, go there:

Free Babelgum invites for my fellow readers:

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Web Reservations International to launch a “revolutionary” travel website!

1 05 2007

Web Reservations InternationalIf you passed by WRI’s stand at the last ITB in Berlin, you certainly saw it! The Dublin firm Web Reservations International (WRI) is about to launch a new online travel website that claims to “revolutionise the travel industry and pit it against internet giants such as Google.

WebReservations International is a well know actor of the online travel industry. They bought the famous Worldres in 2005 and is now at the head of the following major online brands: hostelworld.com, worldres.com, hostels.com and trav.com. Hostelworld provides the hostels product of RyanAir’s website (whereas Expedia provides the hotel product).

Web Reservations International CEO and Co-Founder, Ray Nolan, stated in January 2007 that “Google throws you the Yellow Pages and says go find it yourself“. Ray Nolan also had good things to say about the aggregators, stating: “For any one destination, there are probably only 10 places you really want to stay, but the aggregators will make you go through 20 pages of hotels”.

As far as we know the new website (whose name has not been revealed yet) will be a fusion of social networking, travel information (with a system of reviews) and online booking system. It has been rumored that investment for this project might be as high as €30million. WRI planned to launch the website on Wednesday (tomorrow), back up with a large marketing budget.

I can’t wait to see this new product; at least on the paper the new website looks quite challenging! I hope it will meet my our expectations… Stay tunned.

Via Sunday Business Post
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Inside look of the Easyhotel of London (video)

1 05 2007

easyHotel South LexingtonArt Du Service“, a french blog that talks about the service sector in general (with a focus on services in the tourism, telecommunication and banking industry) stayed at the Easyhotel of London and came back with a candid video of the room.

easyHotel brand is part of a larger group known as EasyGroup which also holds easyJet, the famous budget airline mostly known in Europe.

Check below the amateur video of the easyHotel London South Kensington. You will see that the bathroom is as tiny as the toilets of an easyjet aircraft!

[dailymotion 5ixTzFiYomr034nT]

For your information, he booked his room online, willingeasy Hotel room to pay 10 pounds (about 15€) as advertised. In the end he paid 60 euros, his credit card was instantly charged . His room did not have any window, there was only one towel (an extra towel would cost 1 pound at the reception) and a soap; the room came with a TV but you need to buy a remote control from reception (£5 for 10 channels for 24 hours). There is no bar, no restaurant in the hotel.

easyHotels definitely target people in need of a cheap bed … and only a bed! In this case Bruno paid 60€. It’s quite a low cost budget for a hotel in London but maybe there are hostels (with more services) that could compete with this rate.

I just did a search for a hostel centrally located in London on www.Hostelworld.com; I found a private double bedroom in the Smart Hyde Park View hostel (50 meters from Hyde Park) for about 47 pounds with a lot more services included in the price (internet access, full english breakfast, linens, locker, towels, tea making facility, color TV, luggage storage). Besides this it has a 24hours Lounge Bar.

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