Best cruise deals of the week

March 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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Article source: http://www.couriermail.com.au/travel/holiday-ideas/best-cruise-deals-of-the-week/story-fnjjv4qy-1226867678103

Hotel Deals in Bethesda, MD Arrive Just in Time for Spring Travel

March 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Cherry Blossoms Aren’t the Only Things in Bloom! This Season, Travelers Can Pluck Big Savings at the Bethesda Marriott Suites

BETHESDA, MD — (Marketwired) — 03/28/14 — The Washington, D.C. area is undoubtedly a year-round destination, thanks to its museums, landmarks and world-class attractions. But if there were ever a best time to visit, it would be that balmy interlude between winter and summer. Now, with its Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package, the Bethesda Marriott Suites is making a weekend getaway to the area the newest rite of spring.

Available through April 30, 2014, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package combines some of the most inviting hotel accommodations in Bethesda with the sort of perks that everyone can appreciate. Guests who book the package can look forward to complimentary Internet access and self-parking, snacks upon arrival and a daily buffet breakfast for two.

The Washington, D.C. area is undoubtedly a year-round destination, thanks to its great restaurants, museums, monuments and world-class attractions. Take advantage of the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package at Bethesda Marriott Suites and make the most of your DC visit.

The package also includes overnight accommodations within the hotel’s amply sized suites. Guests, whether they’re a couple on a romantic escape or a family on Spring Break vacation, can luxuriate in gracious rooms that feature a separate living area and bedroom. Down comforters and 300-threadcount linens go a long way toward making the property one of the most desirable Bethesda family hotels.

Visitors looking to explore area attractions like the Strathmore Music Center and downtown Bethesda will benefit from the hotel’s location, which is just a few minutes away. Others who want to get a taste of D.C. can easily get there on the Metro. In fact, this Bethesda hotel is one of the few with free shuttle service to the nearest Metro station. Such dedication to its guests’ comfort informs every aspect of the hotel staff’s service.

As one of the more generous hotel deals in Bethesda, MD, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway lets guests focus less on logistics (where to park? What to eat?) and more on entertainment. After all, springtime in Washington, D.C. translates to almost weekly festivals, events and celebrations. The Cherry Blossom Festival, for example, kicks things off from March 20 to April 13 with kite-building workshops, soccer tournaments, vignette stage performances, art shows and more. Plus there are always the perennial favorites (think the White House and the National Gallery of Art), making the District area one of the most vibrant destinations around. This package just makes experiencing it all more fun.

To learn more about the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway, travelers may visit http://www.marriott.com/specials/mesOffer.mi?marrOfferId=855874displayLink=true. When booking, guests must use the promotional code V2X to secure the promotion.

About the Bethesda Marriott Suites
Unlike most hotels, space isn’t a limited luxury at the Bethesda Marriott Suites. This property’s 272 suite-style accommodations feature plenty of room for guests to make themselves at home, whether it’s for a quick escape, family vacation or extended business trip. Living rooms, king-sized beds and elegant appointments make each guest room feel especially welcoming, while hotel amenities like the indoor-outdoor connecting pool and fitness center make it easy to stay active. The hotel’s Democracy Grille specializes in classic American dishes served within a stylish setting, ideal place casual meals or business lunches. In fact, with 10 meeting rooms and a location along the I-270 Technology Corridor, business travelers have just as much to appreciate in this property as vacationers.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2554236

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

CONTACT:
Bethesda Marriott Suites
6711 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
1-301-897-5600
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wassb-bethesda-marriott-suites/

Article source: http://www.einnews.com/pr_news/197497835/hotel-deals-in-bethesda-md-arrive-just-in-time-for-spring-travel

Hotel Deals in Bethesda, MD Arrive Just in Time for Spring Travel

March 29, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Cherry Blossoms Aren’t the Only Things in Bloom! This Season, Travelers Can Pluck Big Savings at the Bethesda Marriott Suites

BETHESDA, MD — (Marketwired) — 03/28/14 — The Washington, D.C. area is undoubtedly a year-round destination, thanks to its museums, landmarks and world-class attractions. But if there were ever a best time to visit, it would be that balmy interlude between winter and summer. Now, with its Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package, the Bethesda Marriott Suites is making a weekend getaway to the area the newest rite of spring.

Available through April 30, 2014, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package combines some of the most inviting hotel accommodations in Bethesda with the sort of perks that everyone can appreciate. Guests who book the package can look forward to complimentary Internet access and self-parking, snacks upon arrival and a daily buffet breakfast for two.

The Washington, D.C. area is undoubtedly a year-round destination, thanks to its great restaurants, museums, monuments and world-class attractions. Take advantage of the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway package at Bethesda Marriott Suites and make the most of your DC visit.

The package also includes overnight accommodations within the hotel’s amply sized suites. Guests, whether they’re a couple on a romantic escape or a family on Spring Break vacation, can luxuriate in gracious rooms that feature a separate living area and bedroom. Down comforters and 300-threadcount linens go a long way toward making the property one of the most desirable Bethesda family hotels.

Visitors looking to explore area attractions like the Strathmore Music Center and downtown Bethesda will benefit from the hotel’s location, which is just a few minutes away. Others who want to get a taste of D.C. can easily get there on the Metro. In fact, this Bethesda hotel is one of the few with free shuttle service to the nearest Metro station. Such dedication to its guests’ comfort informs every aspect of the hotel staff’s service.

As one of the more generous hotel deals in Bethesda, MD, the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway lets guests focus less on logistics (where to park? What to eat?) and more on entertainment. After all, springtime in Washington, D.C. translates to almost weekly festivals, events and celebrations. The Cherry Blossom Festival, for example, kicks things off from March 20 to April 13 with kite-building workshops, soccer tournaments, vignette stage performances, art shows and more. Plus there are always the perennial favorites (think the White House and the National Gallery of Art), making the District area one of the most vibrant destinations around. This package just makes experiencing it all more fun.

To learn more about the Spring Time Inclusive Getaway, travelers may visit http://www.marriott.com/specials/mesOffer.mi?marrOfferId=855874displayLink=true. When booking, guests must use the promotional code V2X to secure the promotion.

About the Bethesda Marriott Suites
Unlike most hotels, space isn’t a limited luxury at the Bethesda Marriott Suites. This property’s 272 suite-style accommodations feature plenty of room for guests to make themselves at home, whether it’s for a quick escape, family vacation or extended business trip. Living rooms, king-sized beds and elegant appointments make each guest room feel especially welcoming, while hotel amenities like the indoor-outdoor connecting pool and fitness center make it easy to stay active. The hotel’s Democracy Grille specializes in classic American dishes served within a stylish setting, ideal place casual meals or business lunches. In fact, with 10 meeting rooms and a location along the I-270 Technology Corridor, business travelers have just as much to appreciate in this property as vacationers.

Image Available: http://www2.marketwire.com/mw/frame_mw?attachid=2554236

Add to Digg Bookmark with del.icio.us Add to Newsvine

CONTACT:
Bethesda Marriott Suites
6711 Democracy Boulevard
Bethesda, Maryland 20817
1-301-897-5600
http://www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/wassb-bethesda-marriott-suites/

Article source: http://uspolitics.einnews.com/pr_news/197497835/hotel-deals-in-bethesda-md-arrive-just-in-time-for-spring-travel

Deals of the week: Europe’s royal touch

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

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Traveller

Travel
Travel News

Date

March 27, 2014

  • (1)


MS Mendula. For Croatian cruises

Explore Croatia’s coast on MS Mendula.

ROYAL TOUCH

APT’s early bird offers on 2015 river cruises expire soon. One deal still available is free return flights with bookings of APT’s 15-day Magnificent Europe “Royal Collection” river cruise from Amsterdam to Budapest. The itinerary offers concerts, palace visits and a day trip on the Majestic Imperator train, travelling through Austria’s Salzkammergut region to Salzburg. Onboard meals, drinks, transfers, port charges and tipping are also included. This deal applies to all stateroom categories on departures March 1 to April 5 and October 1 to December 31. The price is $6395 a person, twin share. Bookings must be made by April 15.

Phone 1300 196 420. See aptouring.com.au.

Amabella on Rhine river, for item from APT Europe river cruises.

Take a cruise on the Rhine.

EGG ON

Metro Hotels has Easter specials on the go, including one for the Metro Hotel on Pitt in Sydney’s CBD. This package covers a night in a superior queen room with single and rollaway bed (up to two adults and two children under 12 can stay in the one room), a two-course dinner (main and dessert) with a complimentary glass of wine, beer or soft drink each for two adults and two children, Easter chocolates on arrival and complimentary Wi-Fi. The price is $215 a room a night and the deal is valid for sale and travel April 1-30.

See metrohotels.com.au.

Argentina; Patagonia.

Discover Patagonia.

BEACHY KEEN

Travel Associates has a seven-night stay package which represents 50 per cent off regular rates at Le Meridien Phuket Beach Resort in Thailand. The deal includes seven nights at the five-star resort in a deluxe garden view room with daily breakfast. The waterfront resort is near popular Patong Beach. The package costs $625 a person twin share and the deal is valid for sale to April 30 and for travel April 21 to October 31.

Phone 1800 044 066. See travel-associates.com.au.

AIRES AND GRACES

Book certain departures of Abercrombie Kent’s 11-day “Argentine Reflections” private journey by August 31 and save 20 per cent on the usual price. The 12-night itinerary kicks off in Buenos Aires and finishes at Iguazu Falls. Visit Los Glaciares National Park in Patagonia, including a half-day trip to Perito Moreno glacier. The saving applies to twin share and solo travellers – twin share after discount the price is $6220. For singles it is $10,985. The price is valid for travel till April 13, then September 22-December 12.

Phone 1300 590 317. See abercrombiekent.com.au.

SANDS GOOD

Lastminute.com.au has a package deal on stays at Peppers The Sands Resort, Torquay, on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Included in the deal is one night’s accommodation at the resort, an hour-long massage for two at SaltAir Day Spa, a bottle of sparkling wine, breakfast for two and noon checkout. The price is $496 a room, a night, twin share. The deal ends September 30.

See lastminute.com.au/deals.

LET’S SPLIT

Beyond Travel is offering $500 a couple off eight-day Croatian coast cruises aboard the MS Mendula. The discount applies to three departures: April 14 and 28 and May 5. Departing Dubrovnik, the round-trip Mediterranean cruise includes port visits to Mljet, Scedro, Hvar, Split, Brac and Korcula. The ship has 16 cabins, a large dining and bar salon, outdoor lounge areas and sun decks. With the discount, these departures are priced $1765 a person twin share and includes seven nights’ accommodation in a sea-view cabin with daily breakfast and lunch (dinner is ashore), some sightseeing, return transfers and port charges. Available till sold out.

Phone 1300 363 554. See beyondtravel.com.au.



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Article source: http://www.smh.com.au/travel/deals-of-the-week-europes-royal-touch-20140327-35l3u.html

Travel Daily AsiaAirbus pens major deals in China…

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Airbus has continued to expand its business in China, with the signing of several new agreements during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to France.

In the presence of Xi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande, Airbus sealed an order for 70 new aircraft, extended its manufacturing joint venture in Tianjin by another decade, and agreed to expand deliveries from the Tianjin plant to the boarder Asia region.

Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande
Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande

The agreements were signed in Paris by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president CEO, and the relevant Chinese parties, overseen by presidents Xi and Hollande.

“We are going to celebrate 30 years of successful cooperation with our Chinese partners next year and I am proud that today we are strengthening the foundation for extending our successful cooperation into the future,” said Bregier.

“Our partnership with China, the mutual benefits we’ve explored, have been instrumental in furthering our global strategy, and we are honoured to have China as an essential pillar in our global set-up. We are looking forward to providing top performing aircraft from our Chinese assembly lines for many years to come.”

An agreement with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will see Airbus A320 aircraft continue to be assembled at the Tianjin production line for an additional 10 years, from 2016 to 2025. This will include the production of the new A320neo from 2017 onwards, and the Tianjin plant will also expand its deliveries to the entire Asia region.

Airbus has also signed a firm contract with China Aviation Supplies (CAS) for 70 Airbus aircraft, comprising 43 A320s and 27 A330s.

Finally, Airbus has agreed to cooperate with China in two other areas; firstly the development of new Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, and secondly, research into aviation biofuel.

Pic caption: Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande

Article source: http://www.traveldailymedia.com/205583/airbus-pens-major-deals-in-china/

Hermitage Bay running 40-percent off deal

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Hermitage Bay,
a quiet all-inclusive resort on Antigua with just 25 rooms, some beach-front
cottages, some hillside villas (with splash pools) amid Caribbean flowers
overlooking the ocean, is running a deal. Book by April 30 for travel between
Aug. 28 and Oct. 31, and get 40-percent off, by booking five nights and paying
for three, or 10 nights (in suite category) and paying for six.

It’s worth it,
even in the steamy off-season for the Caribbean. Hermitage Bay, which is about
seven years old, is a unique place, where you will be waited on hand and foot,
but also where you can get down and dirty in the name of culinary adventure:
Take advantage of cockle fishing with resort Chef Desi Bahnan, who brings
you to a nearby saltwater lagoon to ferret out small clams buried in knee-deep
mud with your feet. It’s the messiest fun you could have, and later, he gives a
cooking class on how to make cockle water, a delicious broth of clams, spices
and veggies, much of which is grown at the resort’s garden, also worth touring
with Bahnan.

Besides the
rooms, and spectacular food (much of it of Antiguan flavor, including saltfish
atop a sauté of eggplant, pumpkin and okra for breakfast, and Caribbean lobster
for dinner), the beach is a big draw, a sweeping crescent with cooling shade,
courtesy of umbrellas and palm, sea grape and turpentine trees. If you’re a sea
glass fan, this place rocks. My girlfriend and I found tons of it on beach
walks, mostly green but with the occasional harder-to-find brown and white.

Hanging by the
pool is a lazy option, one with deck of green heartwood, in a resort largely
made of the stuff. Owner Andy Therrien is a South African with a lumber-family
background who knows his wood, and much of it at Hermitage is Guyana heartwood,
green and purple, noted for its extreme hardness and durability.

The resort was
named one of the Top Small Hotels in the Caribbean and one of the Top Luxury
Hotels by Trip Advisor’s Travelers’ Choice Awards last year. Rates start at
$965 a night. For more information and booking, visit www.hermitagebay.com, or call
855-562-8080.

Top photo, villa view, courtesy Hermitage Bay; bottom photo, beach walker, photo by Paul E. Kandarian

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Article source: http://www.boston.com/travel/blog/2014/03/hermitage_bay_running_40-percent_off_deal.html

Airbus pens major deals in China

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Airbus has continued to expand its business in China, with the signing of several new agreements during the state visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to France.

In the presence of Xi and his French counterpart Francois Hollande, Airbus sealed an order for 70 new aircraft, extended its manufacturing joint venture in Tianjin by another decade, and agreed to expand deliveries from the Tianjin plant to the boarder Asia region.

Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande
Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande

The agreements were signed in Paris by Fabrice Brégier, Airbus’ president CEO, and the relevant Chinese parties, overseen by presidents Xi and Hollande.

“We are going to celebrate 30 years of successful cooperation with our Chinese partners next year and I am proud that today we are strengthening the foundation for extending our successful cooperation into the future,” said Bregier.

“Our partnership with China, the mutual benefits we’ve explored, have been instrumental in furthering our global strategy, and we are honoured to have China as an essential pillar in our global set-up. We are looking forward to providing top performing aircraft from our Chinese assembly lines for many years to come.”

An agreement with the Tianjin Free Trade Zone and Aviation Industry Corporation of China (AVIC) will see Airbus A320 aircraft continue to be assembled at the Tianjin production line for an additional 10 years, from 2016 to 2025. This will include the production of the new A320neo from 2017 onwards, and the Tianjin plant will also expand its deliveries to the entire Asia region.

Airbus has also signed a firm contract with China Aviation Supplies (CAS) for 70 Airbus aircraft, comprising 43 A320s and 27 A330s.

Finally, Airbus has agreed to cooperate with China in two other areas; firstly the development of new Air Traffic Management (ATM) systems, and secondly, research into aviation biofuel.

Pic caption: Fabrice Bregier signs the CAS deal in the presence of Xi and Xi Jinping and Francois Hollande

Article source: http://www.traveldailymedia.com/205583/airbus-pens-major-deals-in-china/

This week’s best travel deals

March 28, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Land

● B Resort, a new property opening in Disney World’s resort park this summer, is offering introductory rates. Book by May 31 and pay from $159 per night for a Chic Room, from $179 for a Captivating Room and from $199 for a Stunning Room. Rate includes resort fees (valued at $20) and self-parking ($16); add 12.5 percent tax. Typical rate is from $209 and does not include resort fee or parking. Stay July 1-Sept. 30. Info: 407-828-2828, www.bhotelsandresorts.com.

● STA Travel, which specializes in discounted student travel, is wrapping up its March Adventure Tour Sale. Save 20 percent on more than 75 adrenaline-spiked 2014 tours in such destinations as Turkey, Peru, Nepal and Iceland. For example, the seven-day Atlas Mountain Trek, which travels round trip from Marrakesh, now costs $559, down from $699. Price includes four-day guided High Atlas trek with Berber home visits; six breakfasts, three picnic lunches and four dinners; two nights’ hotel and four nights in a gite; van transport; and taxes. One departure per month June-October. Use promo code STAACTIVE20. Book by March 31. Info: 800-781-4040, www.statravel.com/adventure-tour-sale.htm.

● Magdalena Grand Beach Golf Resort on Tobago is offering a March Madness sale, with savings of 25 percent. A deluxe oceanfront room in May and June now starts at $214 per night per couple, including taxes and fees; price typically starts at $286. For April, the discounted price starts at $246 per night, a savings of $82. Rates include breakfast. Book by March 31. Travel through June 30; April blackout dates apply. Info: 866-353-6222, www.magdalenagrand.com.

Sea

● Victoria Cruises is marking its 20th anniversary with two-for-one prices on its 2014 Three Gorges Highlights sailings along China’s Yangtze River. The deal applies to private balcony superior staterooms (the basic cabin category) on three-night cruises from Chongqing to Yichang and on the four-night reverse itinerary. The discounted price starts at $880 per couple aboard the Victoria Grace; all other ships start at $980 per couple. Port charges and taxes are included. The promo also extends to shore excursions, which are now $90 per couple. Deal is based on availability. Info: 800-348-8084, www.victoriacruises.com.

Air

● South African Airways is offering sale fares from Washington Dulles to Johannesburg. Round-trip fare is $1,155, including taxes, for travel May 1-31. Other airlines are matching, but fare typically starts at about $1,350. Book by March 31. Info: 800-722-9675, www.flysaa.com.

Package

● Receive discounts of up to $1,000 on all Gate 1 Travel and Discovery Tours packages departing June 1-Aug. 31. Savings are based on amount spent per package. For example, spend $500 to $999 and receive $50 off (use promo code SPRSUM50); spend $1,000 to $1,999 for $100 off (SPRSUM100); $2,000 to $3,999 for $250 off (SPRSUM250); $4,000 to $9,999 for $500 (SPRSUM500); and $10,000 or more for $1,000. Book by April 3. Sample tour: On the nine-day Classic Scotland tour departing June 18, a couple saves $500 on the $5,878 trip, which includes round-trip air from Reagan National. Info: 800-682-3333, www.gate1travel.com.

● Apple Vacations is offering air credits on already discounted packages to Mexico and the Caribbean. Credits range from $150 per room for stays of three nights to $350 for seven nights. For example, a seven-night Cancun vacation in early June now starts at $1,829 per person double and includes round-trip air from BWI Marshall, accommodations at the all-inclusive Dreams Riviera Cancun Resort, airport transfers and taxes. If booked separately, the trip would cost $2,139. The promo also includes $200 in resort coupons for spa services and other extras. Book by April 28 and travel through Aug. 22. Info: 800-517-2000, www.applevacations.com/air-credit-promo. ●


Carol Sottili, Andrea Sachs

Submit travel deals to whatsthedeal@washpost.com. Prices were verified at press time Thursday, but deals sell out and availability is not guaranteed. Some restrictions may apply.

Article source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/travel/this-weeks-best-travel-deals/2014/03/27/c8131b18-b43e-11e3-8cb6-284052554d74_story.html

Startup pitch: TripsIdea wants to be the last-minute trip planning tool

March 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

TripsIdea is positioning itself as a last-minute travel planning site that users can rely on. It claims a trip can be planned on its site in just ten minute and still saving money.

Once a user selects a destination, the site displays all things to do in the destination, along with hotels, deals and national parks.

The US-based startup has partnered with daily deals sites Groupon and LivingSocial to display travel deals at user selected destinations.

Users can browse through the tours and activities listed (with details such as price, timing, address, Google reviews), add products to the trip itinerary and finally let the system create an itinerary based on its proprietary algorithm.

TripsIdea was launched in 2013 and continues to be a bootstrapped company.

The startup claims companies such as TripAdvisor, MyGola, Desti, Gogobot and Peek as its competitors.

Co-founder Sunil Ayyappan tells Tnooz how TripsIdea was launched:

“TripsIdea happened over a casual chat. Who wouldn’t want to escape for a getaway in between those hectic schedules and meeting deadlines, to rejuvenate themselves?

“But traveling involves planning and everyone hates doing it. Our mission was to satisfy every user by empowering them to plan their trip in less than 10 minutes. We took a unique approach for solving user’s problem to plan a trip using ratings, tags, price, and user interests.”

tripsidea 1 tnooz tlabs

QA with Ayyappan below:

Size of the team, names of founders, management roles and key personnel?

We are a team of three with a combined experience of 32 years. Having worked for fortune 100 companies, we have the expertise to deal with big data, complex algorithms and different types of frameworks.

One thing that connects us is the wanderlust. We are travel fanatics, and while planning one such trip, the idea of TripsIdea struck us.

  • Sunil Ayyappan – Co-founder. Mainly involved in design, architecture, and front-end development.
  • Jitendra Agarwal – Co-founder. Involved in design, architecture, and back-end development.
  • Nitin Moriwal – Co-founder. Involved in design and back-end development.

Estimation of market size?

Travel is a trillion dollar industry. There are many services in the last-minute hotel reservation, last-minute vacation rental booking and last-minute flights reservation sector, but there aren’t many intelligent last-minute trip planner app.

Our estimate ranges from a million to a billion users, but how we bring in this huge user base entirely depends on how users are benefiting from our app.

Revenue model and strategy for profitability?

Our revenue model is twofold. We have already integrated Groupon and LivingSocial and will be integrating TravelZoo, Amazon Local and few others.

Our second revenue generation channel is our own marketplace that will have unique travel deals. We wouldn’t want to reveal more on this.

What problem does the business solve?

On average, a person can afford to go for at least 25 trips a year, but, in reality a person only takes four or five trips a year. This is mainly because of the complications involved in planning a trip.

By using our app, a person can plan a range of trips – be it a short weekend trip or a dream vacation. TripsIdea’s highlights are:

  • A one-stop shop for planning your trip including things-to-do, restaurants, nightlife and even hotels.
  • An organized itinerary based on the geo-location, hours spent on each attraction, and various other factors.
  • Less money spent on each trip by buying travel deals from popular sites. In other words – travel deals’ aggregator.
  • A personalized feed for users based on their interests that will help them with planning a weekend trip.

The itinerary that comes out of our app is efficiently organized.

Our recommendations for restaurants and nightlife are entirely based on the “interest” categories selected by users. There are many travel deals in the marketm our app provides a common platform for users to view all deals from different vendors during their planning stage.

How did the initial idea evolve and were there changes/any pivots along the way in the early stages?

The idea evolved due to the lack of a smart travel planner. We have certainly evolved both in technology and implementation, we will continue to evolve going forward.

But, we have realized that there are competitors and we need to make sure that we have a niche over them. At the same time, we want to find all possible ways to make our app more user friendly. For example, we have integrated with popular API’s to bring in more valuable information for users to finalize an attraction.

Why should people or companies use the business?

  • Users – can spend less money, less time in planning but travel more. They can also create a bucket list and get alerts related to it.
  • Businesses – it is a unique way to sell your product or service (this feature is coming soon)

What is the strategy for raising awareness and the customer/user acquisition (apart from PR)?

  • We are in talks with almost all influential travel bloggers to try our product which will help us in building traction. So far we have been getting a great response.
  • Participating in various high-profile technology meets and various other travel community meetups.
  • We are also doing a few focused social media campaigns to increase traction.

Where do you see the company in three years time and what specific challenges do you anticipate having to overcome?

We have set small goals:

  1. We will be launching our mobile app around mid-May, this will allow users to plan their trip on the go.
  2. Our immediate goal is to build more traction around the product.
  3. Build our own marketplace and bring on-board quality vendors to provide more travel deals.
  4. Expand our coverage to the whole of North America, India and European countries.

What is wrong with the travel, tourism and hospitality industry that requires another start-up to help it out?

Given the size of the industry, we have seen very little innovation and disruptive startup ideas in travel.

There are three type of travel sites in the industry – ones that are solely based on reviews, the second kind sells pre-planned itinerary and then there is the third kind that asks users to email their tickets and then build a customized itinerary based on that.

The core component of a trip are: the activities that users will do in a destination and the place of stay. We have addressed this core requirement in an effective way. We encourage users to build their own itinerary, but at the same time we have presented the information in such a way that anybody can easily plan a trip even at the last minute.

What other technology company would you consider yourselves most closely aligned to in terms of culture and style… and why?

Facebook and Twitter. Similar to these companies, we want to focus majorly on building the user base. We would like to keep our app free for the users always. Once we build the user base, we can focus more on the revenue.

Tnooz view

While travel companies are trying to personalize the trip planning process, bring Big Data into the mix, offer a stunning look and feel, TripsIdea has taken the approach of offering deals in the trip planning process.

Currently, once a user selects the list of tours and activities, hotels and national parks at a destination, the only bookable product are the deals sourced from Groupon and LivingSocial. This complements its claim as a ‘last-minute trip planning’ service.

Barring the minor glitches, the startup has an easy-to-use interface, especially the products in the ‘Things to do’ section which sorts like a pack of cards.

But, considering the fact that other similar companies have now started offering the entire trip as bookable (after the detailed planning process) product, TripsIdea has a long way to catch-up.

It will be interesting to see the deal-marketplace feature it is working on. When that happens, will TripsIdea be seen as a travel planning skin on top of TravelZoo? We’ll have to wait and see.

Apart from the competitor sites that TripsIdea has listed above, the online travel agents also seem to be competitors because of the increase in non-booking products these companies are rolling out.

In the Indian travel context (where TripsIdea wants to expand next), MakeMyTrip recently rolled out a social trip management service TripAlong, and a multi-modal route search service RoutePlanner. Cleartrip launched WayToGo, a multi-modal search inspired travel planning platform. Ixigo, the travel search service launched On The Way, a mobile app that allows road travelers to access various point of interests on a particular journey and is hoping to tap into the growing  number weekend trippers.

Related read on this topic of trip planning include these two articles that have contrasting viewpoint (do not miss the comment section in both):

Vine video about TripsIdea

Article source: http://www.tnooz.com/article/Startup-pitch-TripsIdea-wants-to-be-the-last-minute-trip-planning-tool/

Travel news: Reduced-price trips to Myanmar

March 27, 2014 by  
Filed under Travel Deals

Price of small group Myanmar trips reduced

The specialist Asia tour operator Travel Indochina has introduced several new competitively priced trips to Myanmar in response to demand. The reduced-priced trips are available for all departures on small group journeys from May until March 2015.

Among the options is a 10-day “Highlights of Burma” small-group journey, which visits Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake. The itinerary includes a horse-and-carriage ride through the Bagan Plains at sunset and a boat trip to a little-visited village on the Irrawaddy River. Travel Indochina customers also have exclusive access to an “Insider Experience”, visiting a local nunnery near Mandalay to share lunch with the pink-robed resident nuns. Prices rices start from US$2,977 (Dh10,935) per person, including hotel accommodation, domestic flights as specified, road transport in air-conditioned vehicles, all sightseeing and entrance fees, a tour leader and local English-speaking guides throughout, airport transfers and some meals. For more information, visit www.travelindochina.co.uk.

Emirates Holidays deals under Dh2,000

Emirates Holidays has released a series of short break holidays priced at less than Dh2,000 per person, including flights. The deals include a two-night break in Muscat, staying at the Millennium Resort Mussanah, starting at Dh1,370 per person; three nights in Bangkok, staying at the Best Western Mayfair Suites or the Mayfair Marriott Executive Apartments in Bangkok, from Dh1,999 per person; three nights in Sri Lanka, staying at the Tangerine Beach resort on the south-west coast, from Dh1,905 per person; three nights in Amman, staying at the ToledoHotel, from Dh1,860 per person; and four nights in Mumbai, at four or five-star hotels, from Dh1,850 per person. Prices include return flights, hotel accommodation and taxes, and are available until April 30. For more details, visit www.emiratesholidays.ae or call 800 5252.

New InterContinental hotel opens in Vietnam

Visitors to the beach city of Nha Trang in Vietnam can check into the new InterContinental Nha Trang, which opened last week and is the group’s fourth property in the country. The 279-room hotel overlooks the coastline and waters of Nha Trang Bay and includes 56 suites. A 40-minute drive from Cam Ranh International Airport, it’s in the centre of the city, which is used as a base for island-hopping, scuba diving and attractions such as the Thap Ba Hot Springs. There’s a special opening promotion for bookings made between April 1 and June 30 from US$137 (Dh503) per night, including daily buffet breakfast and Wi-Fi (www.ihg.com).

rbehan@thenational.ae

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Article source: http://www.thenational.ae/lifestyle/travel/travel-news-reduced-price-trips-to-myanmar

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