We usually don’t like to say bad things about other travel website. For me, WAYN is a bit of a problem.
I first saw it when TripTouch was just an idea. I was a bit discouraged to see many of my ideas already implemented. But when I played with it I felt that the execution and usability aren’t so great, and decided we could do better..
I also think that their mailing policy is a bit aggressive, I get too many useless emails from them.
Recently I found a strange but intersting fault I want to share. Browsing WAYN’s travel guide to Israel I couldn’t find Jerusalem. Well, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, a holy city for 3 religions and a very impotant travel destination. They have Afikim, Baqa, Dabburya (?), Gelilot, Netivot, Or Yehuda (!) and many more obscure locations but not Jerusalem.
I’ve mailed them about it more than a month ago. Recently I’ve got a reply that ‘have confirmed that this problem is still being resolved’.
Lets see, I’ll update if something happens. Meanwhile you can use our Jerusalem page (yes we have it).
There’s a nice review of TripTouch in an Israeli web site (Israel21C). They also have a nice photo of Gil and me. I like this quote -
“Launched in February this year, and still in beta mode, several thousands of people are already and traveling with TripTouch at their fingertips. Will you be next?”
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In the past few weeks we have focused on SEO - making the TripTouch site better for Google… It’s not easy doing this correctly - because sometimes the usability can get hurt - it’s a delicate game between a good site and a site that will rank good in Google. Obviously our aim is to never hurt the usability of the site - TripTouch is first a site that should be useful to our users.
In any case the Travel market is a very tough one - even long-tail travel keywords are usually competitive…
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From various reasons I decided to get in touch with other israeli web travel startups. I’ll share some of my imressions.
A quite similar project is TripWiser. They also started with the USA but now they cover other worldwide destinations. They are based in the west coast, but the entrepreneurs are Israelis, so we are counting them as well. Even their US (compete) traffic graphs look quite similar to Tripcart.
Codeshare took a different direction. They started with a web service that was called Bemember. We found out about them in our early days and were afraid that our ideas were ’stolen’. Later they decided to approach the accommodation industry. Their main product is called Comcierge Lounge, it offers travel information and services to hotel guests.
There are 2 companies who take the B2B2C concept.
Ticketad is quite a veteran, offering local events and attraction to their partner’s clients. will be interesting to see their upcoming new version.
I think the newest project is Truvle. They offer travel agencies revising the boring e-ticket and making it a marketing platform.
And don’t forget our project, TripTouch a widget based travel homepage covering 5,200 worlwide destinations with best of the web content and services.
I think it’s not surprising to see so many Israeli travel services, because Israelis love to travel and many of them have the entrepreneurship spirit.
Personally, talking to all of these guys, I think they are all talented and nice people. I wish us all the best of luck. and maybe, as one (potential) investor told me, a consolidation of some kind can be beneficial.
Well, that’s a challenge.
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There’s a cool blog post in Oogiot about TripTouch - a company ’spotlight’ as they call it. I think it’s a good read if you want to learn more about our company. But it’s hebrew, so it won’t suit everyone
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We have just released the TripTouch travel toolbar. It’s a quick and easy way to access TripTouch from your browser. It includes the TripTouch widget, links to the site (your profile, friends, trips, etc.) and some other cool gadgets (like radio and weather). Try it out!
The toolbar has been developed on top of the Conduit Platform. These guys are cool!
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We now have an easy way for you to add our widget to your site or blog. You can follow the instructions in this page if you want.
In our personalized-pages (i.e. NetVibes or iGoogle) widget, your location is set automatically (by your IP address). You have the option to change it of course, and also to ‘fix’ your location. However for most sites this is not very good - if I have a site about London, for example, I want the widget to always display London, right? and not the visitor’s city. So in our new widget, when you set it up you can choose the location. Currently you have to enter the location-ID, which is our internal city number. You can find the number for your city here.
It’s an digital magazine rack of many popular topics. The idea is to collect stories from “all the top” sites on the web. At each Alltop site, they display the headlines of the latest stories from dozens of sites and blogs. Some of the topics covered are: Travel, Startups, Venture Capital, Bloggers and even Israel, Religion and Sex (not porn!).
I tried the travel section and liked it. There are lots of interesting sources for travel enthusiastics. Maybe even to many, but you can hide feeds you don’t like.
Interesting to see how this project eveolving.
In an interesting move, TripAdvisor acquires VirtualTourist (and also OneTime). VirtualTourist is one of the oldest and largest travel community sites, all user-generated. Interesting indeed…