Innovation That Matters

Site lets anyone earn cash by being an amateur travel agent

Travel & Tourism

Amsterdam-based platform TRVL is the sharing economy approach to travel booking.

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The travel and tourism industry grew by 3.1 percent globally in 2015, and is forecasted to accelerate over the next decade. But a byproduct of this expansion is the amount of information available online — the countless booking platforms, flight aggregators, and travel blogs. Perhaps that is one of the reasons why 49 percent of travelers will not book a hotel without reviews. Jochem Wijnands, former founder of Prss, which was picked up by Apple and turned into Apple News Format, has launched TRVL to make the most of this peer-to-peer network.

TRVL is a P2P travel booking platform, where anyone can sign up to be a travel agent. First, agents create a profile, detailing their travel experience and any tips they like to share with friends. Then, through the platform, they can connect to a wide range of travel suppliers, and book a trip for friends and family at discounted rates. The travel suppliers, hotel chains, airlines, car rental companies etc., pay a commission which TRVL splits with its agents. “Studies show we spend hours researching our trips online — just to cut through the noise, narrow down our choices and build up enough confidence to book,” says Wijnands. “Recommendations go a long way, especially if they are coming from people you trust.”

The TRVL platform is currently in private beta and will launch to the public next month. We have seen similar P2P travel recommendation networks, such as a site that offers cash for travel reviews, and an app that tells travelers the vibe of a venue via crowdsourcing on Instagram. How else can the sharing economy be merged with travel?



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