Ten cities where travel tech is hotNews / TechnologyBy Viewpoints | December 13, 2016Share This article was originally published on In the business venture world, travel tech startups and established firms alike have to compete for attention with financial tech, property tech, education tech, to say nothing of AI and security, the list goes on.NB This is a viewpoint by Evan Davies, founder of The Booking Factory.Online travel has been growing since its early days and still appeals to startups around the world which are looking to launch new and exciting ventures into the market.The travel startup community is a truly global one, and around the world a number of cities have emerged as hubs of excellence, driven by not only a critical mass of expertise but also favourable social and economic conditions.Here are ten excellent locations to make your base camp.Silicon Valley What kind of tech location list would this be without Silicon Valley on it? Undoubtedly the world’s tech capital, Silicon Valley in San Francisco, California and is home to tech giants such as Apple, Google and Facebook. However it’s also a hub for tech businesses of all sizes, including startups.It’s like its own little bubble, densely filled with established tech companies and startups alike, Silicon Valley is full to the bursting with people working on tech ideas - many of which are in the travel industry.Advantages ease of access to large cities in Californiahuge tech ecosystem, home to large and small startups alike - great hub of knowledge where you can learn from other companies who have been there and done it Disadvantages very expensive for hiring workforce, living costs etcwill require a lot of money fund developmentpotential issue of building what’s considered cool in the valley but not the rest of the world Notable travel tech companiesAbroadler - This is a comparison site which helps you find the best prices on hotels, flights, rental cars and cruises. Abroadler helps users save up to 80% on their next trip and covers worldwide destinations.Purple Tent - It’s a little like AirBnB but for renting tents or campsites. You can register either as a camper or a host and they even provide you with your own little purple tent if you want to become a host but lack the camping equipment!London London has always been a thriving hub of business, and with Shoreditch being nicknamed “tech city” it’s no wonder the UK’s capital is an attractive prospect for startups and aspiring entrepreneurs.Advantages easily access other parts of the UK and Europe in a matter of hoursplenty of scope to meet clients/investors in one of the world’s largest citiesclose proximity to world-class universities such as Oxford and Cambridge, London is a city full of talented professionals with many skills to offer Disadvantages expensive to live in“Brexit” still yet to happen and could make the economic and regulatory climate in the UK unstable in the short-term and unknown in the medium term Notable travel tech companiesNot quite a startup itself, but Travel Tech Lab is a co-working space for tech companies in the tourism sector.Bd4travel is a travel AI app for those selling travel. It interprets an individual’s user signals to interact on a personal level, creating a bespoke buying experience.Amsterdam Amsterdam is one of Europe’s most connected tech cities. Its compactness means Amsterdam is easy to travel around.Home of Booking.com, Amsterdam also boasts a wealth of both established companies and startups. Its cost of living is cheaper than most large European cities, and the quality of life is great, with a large focus on liberal values.Advantages great number of English speakers (only a plus if you’re an English speaker yourself of course!)large amount of freelance workers, which means that if you can’t hire talent permanently you can always take on temporary/fixed term contractorswhile Amsterdam itself has a high cost of housing, it’s easy to find cheap accommodation outside the city within a 30 minute commuting distance Disadvantages all laws will be in Dutch, so you will either have to learn the language or get a Dutch translatorwhile the Dutch have a great work ethic they also value job security and added benefits which could prove costly Notable travel tech companiesTravelbird offers travellers unique travel packages and deals.Favoroute lets users create personalised travel guidebooks based on the sights and attractions they want to see when they visit a new location.Berlin Berlin is one of the hottest European cities to live in at the moment, which means there’s a large population of tech startups there. It’s similar to Silicon Valley in that it’s seen as a sort of bubble.People from all over the world to come and work in Berlin’s thriving internet sector, which makes it a great place for finding talented workers. There’s also Germany’s strong network of large manufacturers and research bodies (such as the Fraunhofer and Max Planck institutes), which gives it a bit of a business-to-business edge over other European cities.Advantages very cheap living costsestablished technology hub with a thriving startup ecosystemlarge number of English speakers in a multicultural city Disadvantages the attitude to failure is...not great. Startups are taught to embrace failure and see it as a learning curve (which can be seen as good) but you don’t want to end up flitting from startup to startupsimilar to Amsterdam, most employee laws will be written in German, so you may need to employ a translator Notable travel tech companiesGoEuro allows you to easily book your rail, bus and air travel all in one search.RoomSurfer lets you quickly and easily find roommates to bunk with for long term or short term stays and even lets you filter and choose based on shared interests.Boston Boston is developing its own thriving startup ecosystem - after all, it’s the city where Facebook and Dropbox were created.Home to world-class universities such as Harvard and MIT, Boston offers a massive pool of talent and offers some of the highest rates of venture capital investment in tech businesses. The city itself is more compact and manageable that places such LA and New York.Advantages great public transport system,easy to get aroundgenerally well connected transport wise - easy to get to Europe and to other US citiesworld leading universities make an excellent talent pool Disadvantages high cost of livingextreme temperatures in summer and winter - not great if you can’t handle the heat or the cold! Notable travel tech companiesSilverRail is a well-funded and growing rail tech specialist which, although now based in London has its roots in Boston.Lola is an app-based personal travel assistant.Bangalore Bangalore is often referred to as India’s answer to Silicon Valley. This city is home to India’s IT industry housing a multitude of international and domestic technology companies and creates millions of jobs for young developers from all over the world.Its neighbouring cities, Chennai and Hyderabad, are also among the top global destinations for tech talent, meaning Bangalore is very well connected indeed.Advantages a diverse city with a good number of English speakersschools such as the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) and Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIMB) mean finding a suitable workforce shouldn’t be an issuecity is well connected with its metro network Disadvantages three- month monsoon seasons might be a bit of a shock to those not used to the climatehigh levels of traffic and pollution which could make commuting a nightmare Notable travel tech companiesTavisca is an online travel booking engine.Stayzilla finds “homestays” which saves customers money without compromising on comfort, luxury or an authentic holiday.ShanghaiChina’s booming IT industry has mostly focused on developing online applications, manufacturing high tech products, designing software, and creating innovative technologies. ZhangJiang Hi-Tech Park in Shanghai has been a major contribution to these goals, generating an equivalent of nearly $8.5 billion in 2010 alone.The park is home to a number of tech incubators which creates a great support network for startups, providing training and skills development for new companies. There’s also a great number of venture capital funds in the area that give financial support to these growing businesses.Advantages very easy to get around via public transportdomestic goods very low costexciting, modern city that’s developing fast Disadvantages high cost of living - house prices are currently high and renting is not much cheaper. You may find yourself compromising between location, pricing, and quality of housing. If you prefer to drive you will find traffic an issueimported goods' high cost. If you miss home comforts you could end up paying a lot to get them in Shanghaimany websites such Google and Facebook are blocked Notable travel tech companiesKlook is a travel booking site with a focus on itineraries and planning your holiday. [NOTE - Klook is based in Hong Kong and has offices in Shenzhen and Taipei. Sorry for the confusion]Sao Paulo There’s a thriving tech scene here, with a a great network of workspaces catering to the 2000+ startups based there.Advantages strong investment capital presencevery culturally diverse which is great for building your team Disadvantages high cost of living in popular areasfew English speakers in service industry, so brush up on your Portuguese before moving! Notable travel tech companiesAirbnb has an office here HQ here.Hotel Urbano is a regional OTA.Tel Aviv Tel Aviv has become a major business centre for tech companies and is another city often compared to Silicon Valley. It is among the top 5 startup ecosystems in the world - it actually has the highest number of tech start-ups per capita outside Silicon Valley.Advantages fewer vehicles and an excellent public transport system makes the city clean and relatively pollution freecheaper cost of living than in larger cities like London and Shanghaiculturally diverse with a lot of English speakers Disadvantages few local customers for tech productstime difference between US and Europe makes tech support difficult Notable travel tech companiesMoovit is a travel app which helps you plan public transport journeys.Car2Go is a car rental app - choose your car, pick up your car at a designated spot, swipe your card and you’re good to go.Anywhere in the world! As long as you have a reliable connection to the internet you can base your startup anywhere in the world.I should know as I created my tech travel startup The Booking Factory from a small town in Wales! But when the business takes off you might want to think about relocating to a tech hub nearby as connections, partnerships and access to talent can be much better.NB This is a viewpoint by Evan Davies, founder of The Booking Factory. NB2 Image by Jesusanz/BigStock.