TLabs Showcase on travel startups featuring Australia-based Explore.Travellr, a university project around trip planning.
Who and what are you (including personnel and backgrounds)?
Explore.traveller is a real-time mash-up of travel content from around the web. Essentially it is a travel-based search mashup which provides a central resource of information and inspiration for travellers.
Users are able to search for a location or activity across from various sources such as Flickr, Geckogo, Travellerspoint, Travellr, Twitter, Youtube and WorldNomads. The user can view results inline on the webpage and also follow to its source.
The project was created by a team of computing students from the University of Tasmania as a proof-of-concept to explore new ways to interact with travel search results and content.
The code is open source and available to all.
- Tim Heap (@tim_heap)
- Robert Tilt (@robert_tilt)
- Matt Platts
- John Cobb (@john0514)
- Jake Kobes
- Clare Vivarelli
- Jake Bresnehan (@jake_bresnehan)
- Nathaniel Burgess (@npburgess)
The team was headed by Travellr founder Ian Cumming from World Nomads Group.
What financial support did you have to launch the business?
There has been no financial support. The team donated their time over the course of the year to develop the project, as part of their final year studies.
What problem are you trying to solve?
Travel search is boring - we wanted to make it fun and explore new ways of displaying search results. We’re aiming at the inspiration stage, where a visitor might not know where they are going and are looking for images, videos, blogs, etc. to inspire them and find out more about a particular destination.
Describe the business, core products and services?
This is primarily an R&D project and we hope that it provides a proof-of-concept of how open data APIs across multiple websites can be combined into a single result set.
Who are your key customers and users at launch?
The website will be aimed at Travel 2.0 users currently in the inspiration phase of trip planning, where they are searching broadly and would like a wide variety of information on destinations and types of trips.
Did you have customers validate your idea before investors?
We’ve shown it off to a number of companies in the travel industry including Yahoo! and have had some good feedback.
What is the business AND revenue model, strategy for profitability?
The business model for the project is to help the members of our team get a job! In all seriousness, however, we could build revenue through affiliate referrals from partner sites where a result is clicked through.
SWOT analysis – strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Access to knowledge and information from the travellr.com team
- Access to geo-located data from travellr.com
- Innovative display
- Search function isn’t destination specific
- Application will be extensible and modular
- Visual aesthetics and flow
- Reliant on external data
- Limited interactivity
- Information provided by site may not be relevant to the user
- Innovative and engaging mash-up
- Growth in 2.0 travel industry
- Potential for compatibility with mobile browsers
- Possible integration with social networks
- Adaptation with new data feeds
Who advised you your idea isn't going to be successful and why didn't you listen to them?
- Competition from travel mash-up websites
- No control over external API’s
We didn’t ask anyone to begin with, so we didn’t have to listen!
What is your success metric 12 months from now?
The goal is to be integrated into a major travel brand and to increase the number of partner feeds to improve search results and quality.
NB: TLabs Showcase is part of the wider TLabs project from Tnooz.