With wonderful timing, Hostelworld has unveiled what is believed to be one of the first major real-time collaboration, travel search and booking engines for Google Wave.
Google announced this week that its much criticised and hype-driven Google Wave platform would finally be available to the wider public after months of seemingly stagnating in a closed, invite-only environment.
So what has Hostelworld done?
The Dublin-based budget accommodation giant has teamed up with Columbus Internet, a company from Berlin, Germany which developed some proprietary tools for Google Wave with its Travel WithMe trip planning service.
The system created by the pair is called Hostel WithMe and allows a single user to search and browse different properties on the Hostelworld inventory from within a widget alongside their inbox.
At this point the Wave element really kicks in - the user is able to highlight different properties and throw them into a full interactive discussion folder.
Once other users are selected they are able to browse through Google Maps and Streetview tools for each property from within the Wave, all in real-time.
In addition, rather than leave a stream of text, each member of the Wave can simply vote for a particular property.
Properties can be de-selected by the group and comments left against each hostel until a winner is picked.
Any member of the group, once a decision is made, can go forward to a booking engine in a separate window to reserve the property of make a payment.
Hostelworld says the widget is ideal for the budget sector given that 89% of its customers do not travel alone and therefore a collaboration online planning process is hugely important.