South East Asian travel content site TravelFish has unveiled its new iPhone app for the Angkor region of Cambodia and launched a thinly veiled attack on bigger travel publishers.
The app features guides, recommendations, tours and images for the historic Khymer temple site near Siem Reap and is available from the iTunes appstore.
But with a plethora of iPhone travel content apps launching in the store almost on a daily basis, TravelFish managing director Stuart McDonald says publishers need to think carefully about the pros and cons of investing in products.
TravelFish hopes to launch around 30 apps over the course of 2010 in the South East Asia region, with a product for one of Thailand's popular islands currently waiting for Apple approval.
McDonald says there is huge opportunity for niche content providers such as itself because the likes of Lonely Planet, which has an app strategy of its own, are too focused on building apps for places where they can get an easy return.
"Because of this focus, we're able to invest in producing guides to places that are not cost effective to bigger players like LP. There is no way in a pink fit LP would release 30+ apps just for South East Asia - they just cherry pick the big cash cows, cross their fingers and hope for the best."
The argument goes to the heart of the new wave of online content publishing where niche players can supposedly concentrate on specific areas and leave the larger firms - often with legacy print publishing businesses - to worry about volumes and general coverage of a region.
To this end, traditional travel publishers are also unable to invest in the quality and content included in apps because of the ROI issue.
McDonald says: "We plan to pour a lot of the cash sloshing around into the apps as I think longer term they'll be the big payout."