Tripfuser brings the share economy to toursSeptember 27th, 2017 | | Accommodation
We saw Airbnb disrupt the hotel industry, now a new travel site which allows explorers to create hand-crafted trips, curated specifically to their taste by Local Experts on the ground hopes to do the same. Tripfuser is a first-of-its-kind platform which launched this month and offers travellers a level of personalisation where a local expert will create a bespoke itinerary tailored to a user’s dream wishlist.
The Byte spoke to Tripfuser founder and CEO, Matt Beard to find out just how much the site will shake things up …
Which destinations does Tripfuser have on board so far?
Currently we have Nepal and Vietnam live on the site, with Thailand and Cambodia, and other destinations to follow soon.
How do you find your local experts?
We use a blended offline and online approach. Our starting point is to identify the top local operators in destinations referencing across to third party review sites. We’re looking for local experts who have a verifiable public traveller feedback rating of at least 4 out of 5. We invite these local experts to an in-destination conference through targeted email outreach supported by our existing relationships with local experts. After the conference, we remain in country to provide training and support.
How regulated are these experts?
They are existing local operators who have positive verifiable traveller feedback and a strong track record of running in-country trips.
Do you think local tour operators are going to be put out by this platform?
We believe local operators will really like Tripfuser. We give them access to a new sales channel and open up the personalised travel market to them. Our technology allows them to create stunning trip plans in minutes and collaborate directly with travellers on the design of their trip. In-destination entrepreneurial operators can build entirely new businesses by using our platform. Early feedback from local operators has been really positive.
Will you work closely with local tour operators/agents?
We believe many travellers will enjoy building the trip of their dreams by working with local experts. To do this well, we have built our platform to support both tour operators and agents. Tripfuser is already available to local operators to use for free in their existing business. Agents can take the role of the Traveller and use Tripfuser directly to create a personalised solution for their clients.
Are you touting yourself as the ‘Airbnb of tours’?
We believe many travellers are inspired about their next holiday destination. They are looking to access local knowledge, escape off the shelf tours and collaborate with locals. Tripfuser helps Travellers create multi day trips built around exactly what they want to achieve. Once the traveller
is happy with their trip, they just confirm and go. We see ourselves more as the experts for personalised experiences. The big difference between Tripfuser and most travel offerings is that we are built around letting the traveller design and personalise their trip rather than simply directing them to buy a curated pre-built experience. Local experts could be local tour operators or local accommodation providers using Tripfuser to create an experience rather than simply selling a room. With Tripfuser the trip is their experience created from their inspiration to enjoy with their friends or even on a solo trip.
Why do you think people want local advice over more traditional sources of info such as travel agents/guide books/google?
Local experts have an enormous wealth of experience from living in their country and working with travellers. They know all the popular activities and are connected into the local destination. They are the ultimate source of insider knowledge! Tripfuser lets travellers access this knowledge in a matter of minutes and lets travellers collaborate with the local experts who they like.
Are Millennials your target market?
We have built Tripfuser around travellers who want to create a personalised experience and collaborate with locals, which really means the appeal is universal. However, we also recognise Millennials are often the early adopters with new tech like this so we are targeting Millennials initially. We are already seeing a lot of interest from Millennials.
Find out more about Tripfuser here.
Interviewed by Alex Harmon