In today's edition: Mobile websites for airports, Organising the MICE, Ole! for OlaCabs, Human-free for Poland PURA.
This is the regular Tnooz roundup of product news from around the travel, tourism and hospitality industry, all with a technology, online and digital twist - Tuesday 26 April 2011.
- Many airports have been slow to hop on the mobile bandwagon, but Des Moines International Airport in Iowa appears to be an exception to the rule as it just launched its first mobile website, which is powered by FlightView. The mobile site has been optimized for Droids, iPhones and Blackberrys and travelers can access flight information, airport services and nearby amenities, including parking, dining and shopping. Flight-tracking features cover time-zone conversions, diverted flights and codeshares, among other areas.
- Meetings planners looking to organize gatherings that won't fill mega-sized convention halls have new tools from MeetingsIn, which launched a corporate site as well as 17 global microsites geared for small meetings. The sites, handling meetings from London to New Orleans, and Berlin to Hong Kong, are powered by StarCite. The latter's tools enable planners to insert details about their upcoming meetings and compare rates from suppliers.
- More Indianonline travel investment news, with car rental and cab aggregator OlaCabs winning a Series A funding round. Undisclosed but believed to be in the region of $1 million, high profile Indian investors Rehan yar Khan, Anupam Mittal and others are spearhearding the round. The company says funds will be used to build operations and marketing teams as well as product development.
- Some hotel staff in the Polish city of Wroclaw will soon join others in Europe twiddling their thumbs as the human-free accommodation experience comes to the new PURO Hotel. The property will be the first in the country to have an entirely self-service check-in kiosk system for guests, provided by Ariane Systems (creator of the world's first human-free hotel in Oslo).