We’ve picked out our top ten Tourism & Travel articles from the last 12 months on Springwise. We hope that the ideas listed below provide entrepreneurs with plenty of inspiration and spark even more innovative efforts in the future!
The point of a break away is to immerse yourself in relaxation, but all too often this is forgotten by those who find it hard to switch off from their busy work lives. The Marriott Renaissance hotel in Pittsburgh recognized this problem and decided to employ tough love with its guests. Guests must surrender their laptops, cell phones and any other digital device when they check in to the hotel. In their place, the hotel offers a selection of literary classics for guests to delve into.
When Elvis first crooned out the words to his hit ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ he probably didn’t have Berlin-based Die Liebeskuemmerer in mind. However, the company took his words and made them a reality, offering holiday packages to the lovesick. There are a range of getaways available from cottage breaks, spa holidays and mountain retreats and the only stipulation is that the tourist must be suffering from heartache, whether in a relationship or recently coming out of one. Psychologists and health and styling therapists are on hand to give guests a much-needed boost. A niche area that is perhaps overlooked, this travel company is innovatively catering for a unique market.
While there are plenty of sites offering price comparisons on flights, Australian-based Flightfox encourages users to challenge the rest of the site’s visitors to find them a good deal to their desired destination. A finder’s fee of AUD 29 is offered as an incentive to find the best deal. As price comparison sites become ever more prevalent, often overwhelmingly so, services such as this offer a more personal alternative. On average, Flightfox claims to help fliers save AUD 369 on their trips.
Many people go away on holiday to escape grim reality. However, others take an active interest in the history of their chosen destination – warts and all. For these people, CorruptTour.com may be a welcome addition to the selection of tourist offerings in Prague. The tour takes in major government buildings such as the Ministry of the Interior, and reveals the dubious undertakings of previous administrations. This refreshing take on the tourist experience seeks to shed some light on the political workings of the Czech Republic, and in so doing reveals an aspect of the country that most tourists would be oblivious to.
Holidays can be meticulously planned down to the tiniest detail, but the one thing that can’t be controlled is the weather. Netherlands WaarSchijntdeZonWel.nl aims to minimise the risk of bad weather by displaying possible holiday destinations based on weather predictions. The site recognizes how much the weather can affect a person’s enjoyment of their holiday and aims to please accordingly.
One problem airlines encounter is the fluctuating popularity of certain destinations – whether it be based on season or a place that has fallen out of favor with the masses. To counter this, GetGoing have added an exciting risk element to the selection of a holiday destination, whereby the site’s users can enter two preferred locations and then leave it up to the luck of the draw to find out which place they will be visiting. For taking the risk users are rewarded with a 40 per cent discount on their holiday, and airlines can fill empty seats. A win-win situation for all involved.
When visiting a luxury hotel visitors can often come down with a severe case of envy after having enjoyed the glamorous decor, and the return to drab normality can feel like too much of a wrench. Discover & Deliver came to the rescue with a service that uncovers the source of luxury items in hotel rooms and then offers them for sale on their site. Similarly, pleasebringme.com recognized the importance of holiday tokens to return home with, and set up a service where locals can request items from tourists and vice versa – a chance to forge relationships across cultural divides as well as returning home with an authentic piece of the place visited.
Soverinn asks tourists to enter their ideal holiday location preferences and then encourages hotels local to this destination to offer packages and deals to the user, personalized to their preferences. Individualized deals are becoming increasingly popular as the travel and tourism sector grows and becomes increasingly competitive – Soverinn makes the most of this crowded market and gives hotels a chance to compete directly against each other with promises of unique experiences.
For families, children are often one of the main considerations when planning a holiday, perhaps to the detriment of organizing the rest of the trip. For parents with too much on their plate, Nanny in the Clouds offers help in the form of a babysitting service during flights. To make matters even easier they match up babysitters already travelling on the same flight as those looking for someone to keep an eye on their children, leaving parents free to relax on their journey.
Tips from locals knowledgeable in the history of a location can be invaluable and can help tourists stray from the well beaten track. Nectar & Pulse decided to make the most of this advice by employing citizens to act as visitors’ personal guides. The service matches tourists and guides by comparing interests and then compiles the guide’s tips into a book. Berlin-based Plus One hosts a service based on similar thinking, offering a studio apartment to stay in along with a selection of 28 local residents, from which the tourist can pick one to spend time with and learn from their knowledge of the city. As with Soverinn mentioned above, and Springwise featured Rambler — which gamifies travel experiences — all of these services go above and beyond to ensure the tourists’ experience is as personalized as possible, drawing heavily on local knowledge and unique experiences — a far cry from the generic tourist packages of old.