Travel startups act on an attractive market for disruptive entrepreneurs to tap into.
With more than 1.1 billion people travelling out of their home country in 2014 alone (source: UN’s World Tourism Organization), there is a huge market potential. And with the rise of new technological trends, such as smartphones and social media networks, startups must move quickly to satisfy the clients’ needs.
Asia is one of the hottest markets on this trail, with tech hubs like Singapore and Indonesia delivering top travel apps. There are already some success stories to speak of, one of them being Agoda. Founded in the late 90s on a beach in Phuket, Thailand, the startup was purchased in 2007 by the Priceline Group and is now one of Asia’s leading online hotel reservation companies!
Seedstars World is keen to discover the new and upcoming travel startups and is doing so with the help of our partner, lastminute.com group. So here is our selection of the top 10 travel startups in Asia, in no particular order!
Location: Hong Kong
Pitch: Last-minute hotel booking app at discounted prices throughout Asia Pacific.
Description: HotelQuickly brings you the biggest discounts on last-minute rooms across Asia-Pacific, with swift, easy payment and curated hotel lists to save time and money on the go. HotelQuickly hotel partners feature their empty rooms and the user can find great deals and book in seconds through the mobile app. The app is available in eight different languages and the user has access to hotels in 16 countries and 250 destinations, from Bali to Brisbane.
Location: Maharashtra , India
Pitch: A web portal that lets travelers share itineraries and plan their tours better.
Description: TripHobo is a trip planning platform that enables users to plan trips from over 14000 cities across the world. TripHobo is world’s smartest itinerary planner with largest collection of crowd sourced itineraries. Users can book their hotels, transportation and tours from the portal. A Trip Plan (Itinerary) contains details of the trip including attractions you are visiting, hotels you are staying at, things to do, places to eat etc. all arranged in a chronological order.
Pitch: A trip advisor for Muslim travelers around the world.
Description: HalalTrip provides information and resource for its users, satisfying the criteria for a Muslim traveler, and giving in-depth look into destinations across the world. The App, which has both an English and Arabic user interface, also boasts the world’s first in-flight prayer time calculator, which allows Muslims to work out prayer times and directions instantly while they are on-board a plane. In addition, the App also includes a list of travel prayers and supplications in Arabic and English.
Location: Manila, The Philippines
Pitch: Connecting travelers directly to locals in their chosen destinations.
Description: FlipTrip is a social startup that operates an online booking platform that makes it easier for people to travel and discover the Philippines. FlipTrip focuses on off the beaten path destinations, where visitors can book curated accommodation, transportation and tours directly from the website. FlipTrip connects travellers to local experts in destinations where you can experience unique and amazing adventures.
5. Very Local Trip
Pitch: Marketplace that connects travelers with passionate locals, all over the world.
Description: Very Local Trip is a platform of alternative tourism, that gives passionate locals in South East Asia a chance to share their culture with visitors from all over the World and make some extra money, just by doing things they're good at! With Very Local Trip, travelers make the most of their time, explore unique local spots, alternative sights, and discover hidden places that only locals know about!
Location: Hồ Chí Minh, Vietnam
Pitch: Platform that enables travelers to enjoy private tours passionately crafted by handpicked local experts.
Description: Triip is the social global travel platform to connect travellers who want to learn and experience the local lives with local experts. With local experiences in 86 countries, there are plenty of options: it can be a 2-hour tour for Art Lover wandering city's best galleries, a Foodie tour showing off different local delights, a streetlife view from our cyclo drivers, Coffee tour, Tea tour, Cooking tour, Homecook meal tour, city by night tour or Startups tour…
Winner of Seedstars Ho Chi Minh 2014!
Location: Guangzhou, China
Pitch: Platform offering web packages for scenic discoveries.
Description: Yikuaiqu offers information about tourist attractions, discounts on tickets, and a hotel booking service. It also makes an app that runs on top of WeChat to help users find nearby tourist spots and discounts. Yikuaiqu is also a sourcing vendor and service provider on major platforms like Ctrip, Lvmama, Qunar, Meituan and Taotravel, servicing mid-range local travelers.
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Pitch: Flight search and booking service.
Description: Traveloka is one of the leading flight and hotel booking platforms in Southeast Asia, serving more than 18,000 routes and thousands of hotels in Asia Pacific. Traveloka provides the customers with the cheapest hotel and flight rates every day, without charging any booking fee for all payment methods.
Pitch: Online community for medical tourists to connect with a doctor abroad.
Description: TopDocs is an online community that provides medical tourists access to the top doctors abroad. Through the TopDocs platform the medical travel journey is simple, safe & seamless from researching a doctor and scheduling an appointment to booking travel and aftercare.
Pitch: Tailor-made travel deals and packages.
Description: TripZilla.sg was built to help you find the best tour packages and deals with the greatest ease, hence making your travel experience more relaxing. TripZilla.sg offers a free service that lets you compare real prices and itineraries from Singapore's top travel agencies. It collates the latest tour packages from hundreds of travel agencies from all over Singapore and put it all here for you to browse. Apart from that, it also updates you with the hottest bargains in town everyday.