Prague may not be the first city you would think about hearing about innovative travel startups – and you could not be more mistaken! With its robust infrastructure, highly skilled and professional workforce and relatively low wages and living expenses, it is a home for dozens of successful startups working in all spheres of human activity. Travel and hospitality are no exceptions. In this article, we will cover some of the most impressive companies operating in this sphere so that you know where to take your cues from.
Mews Systems is an excellent example of what a tech startup can achieve when it solves the problems its founders are personally familiar with. This company has been created by hoteliers who tried out every PMS on the market and found them wanting. None of them ticked all the boxes, and even the best of them had crippling flaws. Enter Mews – a property management system engineered by hoteliers for hoteliers. Fast forward a few years, and it wins the best hotel software HotelTechAward of 2020 and is rated #3 best place providing hospitality jobs.
Takeaway: people who know best what the travel and hospitality industry needs are those who work in it. If you only see the industry from the outside, you are likely to offer solutions to nonexistent problems.
Lime&Tonic is a platform for easy booking of exclusive and customized experiences and activities, from personalized culinary tours to extreme sports. With a choice of more than 1,000 activities across seven cities, it offers a fantastic way to diversify one’s vacation with unique and hand-picked experiences.
Takeaway: millennials and Generation Z are much more concerned with unique and highly customized experiences than with the conventional understanding of what constitutes a good vacation. They are often willing to forgo personal convenience if it allows them to see or do something fascinating – and they are ready to pay those who give them this opportunity.
Skychatters is a platform that provides travelers with an easy and convenient way of connecting. It is an answer to those who regularly have to travel alone but like to meet new people and make new friends. In the most basic sense, Skychatters allows its users to get in touch-based on specific prerequisites and arrange to sit together during flights. Also, users can share rides during their stay in foreign cities, travel together for the duration of a trip, and much more.
Takeaway: in our mobile and connected age, most people highly value both traveling and networking. Skychatters allows its users to combine these two things, guaranteeing they will find new friends every time they take a flight somewhere.
Travel a la Carte
Travel a la Carte is an app that tremendously simplifies booking for its users. Instead of using half a dozen different accounts and services to arrange their trip and pay for it, they can install a single app and carry out all the necessary operations through it. One can insert the dates, locations to visit, and even the approximate budget of the trip, and the app will offer an optimal selection of services along with an easy way to book everything: tickets, accommodations, events, etc.
Takeaway: considering the number of different services and accommodations an average traveler has to use, any tool that allows one to simplify and streamline this experience is a godsend. Create something that genuinely makes the traveler’s life easier and allows him/her to concentrate on the trip itself rather than its technical aspects, and you are golden.
ClaimAir is a solution that helps its clients deal with issues like delayed flights, cancellations, misplaced or damaged luggage, and other similar problems. It analyzes your situation, evaluates compensation you are likely to get, and leads you through the process of filing your claims. It charges 25 percent of compensation as commission, but only in case, you win your case.
Takeaway: traveling is not all fun and games, but also problems, and problems at the time when one is the most vulnerable and the least ready to deal with them. It means that any service that takes heavy lifting upon itself and allows the client to enjoy his/her vacation without worrying about the details is going to be popular, mainly if it develops a reputation for solving problems quickly and efficiently.
As you can see, Prague is a home for many travel-related startups covering all areas from PMS to finding travel buddies. Each of these startups signifies an idea you can apply when planning your own business – with a bit of ingenuity, one can apply them in any area of travel and hospitality industry – and there are dozens of other services you can learn from.