Wednesday, March 4, 2009

New tools & tricks to inspire independent travellers

Our friends at joobili.com are now in open beta and like us they are trying to move online travel beyond a transactional experience.

Nowadays there is almost too much information when it comes to planning travel online. Generally if you go online looking for inspiration you'll be faced by a complex booking form asking you where you want to go, when you want to go etc.  Problem is, at this point you don't know yet! you are looking for something to take your fancy.

How can web-sites meet this "I'm looking for ideas" need?

We think the key is allowing fuzzy higher level browsing that throws up great results on the fly and most importantly that are displayed in a clean & inspiring visual format.  For example:

Joobili focuses on timely travel.  So you know when you want to get away but you're open to where and what.  Joobili lets you know all the cool events & festivals going on around Europe at and around that time, so you can build a trip around them.  You get a really good overview of what is available before you dive into the detail.

Tourdust on the other hand focuses on what you want to do or where you want to go.  For instance you might be planning a two week trip to South Africa, we can show you some awesome & different stuff to do there and you can then narrow down by activity type or into an area within S Africa.  Or you may be a mountain biking enthusiast and are open where you go, we'll show you all the ideas from all over the world to inspire you

The commonality is a user centric approach on travellers who are looking for something a little bit different on their travels.   When it comes to planning independent travel the old search forms simply don't work  - they're all very well if you want a package holiday to the Costas but simply don't cut the mustard if you are looking for something unique, a little authentic and exciting.

Things I really like about Joobili?
  • Inspired slider nav feature that allows you to easily scope out your dates and see what takes your fancy
  • Massive coverage of all of the events and festivals going on across Europe.  This isn't just music festivals, it includes loads of off the beaten track local cultural festivals and events too.
  • Nice community features

3 comments:

Jared Salter said...

Thanks for the post. As you said, a lot of us travelers are looking to get away from what I call museum-and-monument tourism. The question is whether there are enough of us out there to support sites like Joobili and TourDust. Crossing our fingers.

Cathy said...

I entirely agree. The straightforward date/price search serves a purpose but is extremely dull. Travel inspiration is where its at - on our site www.travelguru.tv we are using video and 'guru' advice to inspire the audience but believe there is plenty of room for creativity. Joobili, isango and you guys are all great examples. The challenge is letting people know you have all this fantastic content!

alastair said...

Interesting post. What if it were possible to match search results to people's tastes and personality? Not far away. Look at http://www.youniverse.com/personality and the whole VisulaDNA. I have no affiliation with them. Be warned - it is addictive!