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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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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Information is spreading…fast.

6 02 2007

I have been looking around to find out if hoteliers were uploading video about their hotels on www.youtube.com or www.dailymotion.com. My third try was to search for the term “hotel madrid” in youtube.com, and on the first page of results, I saw the following entrance:

Youtube hotels

Translation of the spanish comment with the video: “Don’t go to the hotel Mediodia in Madrid in front of Atocha.” [...] “This is our wash basin.” This video has been here for 3 months now, and is posted under the category “Comedy”. It has already been viewed by 361 persons.

Here is the video of an anonymous customer of this hotel located in Madrid:

[youtube QaQM4GZ9Ilw]

I was looking for a new type of hotel promotions (using youtube, dailymotion and else) and in the end I found a new type of hotel review… I saw a lot of comments on the internet about Travel 2.0 and a lot of them were trying to define “Travel 2.0″. Maybe it is just about that; about spreading the information, about having potential customers more informed.

On the other hand, there is no way for the hotelier to remove such a video from youtube, even if he has already completed a renovation in his hotel or even he has fixed the problem. This applies to Tripadvisor as well. People should not pay attention to old comments, as hotel management team may have changed and as the hotel may have been renovated since then.
I recall people who told me that there were hotels that disallowed the use of camera and filming devices in their hotels in order to keep the mystery around their hotel intact…Anyway hoteliers won’t have any control over people using filming devices in their hotels; they cannot hide those flaws anymore.

Here is a positive hotel review of an independent hotel called Hotel Las Palapas in Playa del Carmen (Mexico). You will see that it looks very professional and nicely edited with commentaries of the guest. A nice piece of work. That reminds me I need to go to Tulum!
[youtube Pq5_qJ7Uyvs]

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