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Hotel search? Video completes the picture

Travel & Tourism

Launched a few weeks ago, Trivop claims to be the first online hotel video portal. Using Google maps to help users find hotels, the website gives them the next best thing to visiting a hotel in person—a video walkthrough. Each video begins with some street footage near the hotel. The video camera then takes the viewer up to the entrance and into the lobby and other public spaces, and on to a room. Videos are available for each of type of room a hotel offers (standard, deluxe, junior suite, etc), including shots of the bathroom and the view through the window. No running commentary, just some fairly innocuous background music. Additional information includes the five most recent reviews on TripAdvisor, a full street address and a link to the hotel’s website. French Trivop currently lists 144 hotels in Paris and 11 in London. Within a few weeks, the site will expand its reach by harnessing the power and video cameras of the masses. Travellers (and hotels) will be able to upload videos they’ve shot. In addition to amateur videographers, Trivop is also seeking freelance filmmakers to shoot professional videos: “Trivop is convinced that hotels must provide a video on their website. We want to open up many business opportunities for you by building the biggest community of filmmakers all around the world for the hospitality industry.” About time, considering the very limited still and moving imagery most hotel websites offer. Thomas Owadenko, Trivop’s founder, informs us that 500 filmmakers signed up over the past three weeks. So besides the providing travellers with previews of hotels, Trivop will also tackle the B2B side by creating videos for hotels, or brokering between hotels and freelance filmmakers. With both professional and user-submitted candid videos, the website’s visitors will benefit from the same kind of transparency that candid photos on TripAdvisor offer. Sources of revenue include production fees and hosting charges for hotel-directed videos, as well as referral fees. The company will also license its catalogue to online travel agencies. Trivop’s main challenge is to build content and traffic quickly, since TripAdvisor (which has 20 million unique visitors each month and is owned by Expedia), started letting users upload videos last month. Watch this space! Spotted by: Benoit Rigaut



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