Tag Archives: Travelling

Travellr, the holiday match maker

One of the most difficult choices in life is: where to go on holiday? TUI, which is the largest travel company in the world, is aware of this huge dilemma. That’s why they developed an app called ‘Travellr’, which can be described as Tinder for holidays. This app helps (especially young) people to decide where to go on holiday, with a little help from the crowd.

So, they combine Tinder with holidays? I’m interested!

It’s very simple. When you open the app, you will see a number of holiday pictures. Just like with Tinder, you have to assess these pictures one by one. When you like the picture, you swipe to the right and when you don’t like it, you swipe to the left. The pictures that are shown are REAL holiday pictures posted on Instagram. Geotagging makes it possible to identify where these pictures were taken. After assessing a number of pictures, an algorithm makes a top 3 of destinations that matched your preferences. More information about the destinations is shown and it is even possible to book a holiday to this destination.

Travellr top 3

But why would I use this application?

Most people make decisions about their holiday destination by talking with other people or by looking on the internet. This app takes the decision making process to another level for the following reasons:

  • Travellr is an interactive and easy way to find some potential destinations. And because it’s mobile, it works very fast: two minutes of swiping is enough to get a result.
  • The crowd helps you by posting their holiday pictures on Instagram. And they don’t even know it!
  • It’s just fun to do. And pictures say more than 1000 words, so you don’t have to go through a bunch of travel websites which make the choice even more difficult.

Travellr info

Sounds like an innovating business model, what about efficiency?

Travellr meets the joint profitability criteria as both user and company (TUI) can benefit from the app. The user can easily find a holiday destination and they can book directly at TUI, which increases sales. Moreover, the fact that Travellr provides some information about the destination, makes it beneficial for both users and company (get people interested). Furthermore the feasibility is satisfied as all the photos are publically available, which reduces privacy issues. They even have a geotag which means that they have NOTHING to hide (well, almost then). This also implies that the judiciary and social norms criteria are met, as the name of the poster is also included in the picture, which means that there are no copyright issues.

Why isn’t it a gigantic success then?

Actually, I don’t expect that it will become a popular app in the long term. The app is more suitable to find some inspiration, it’s not likely that people will base such an important decision just on this single app, let alone booking it directly. It serves just as a promotional tool to attract millennials. But I have to say: it’s a good tool as it is fun to do. In the end, this is the goal of TUI and I believe that they will succeed in attracting a younger target group.






Polarsteps – Automatically track and share your trip

Imagine you just came back home from a long trip abroad and you want to share your experiences with your friends and family by writing a blog. Travel blogging, however, is time-consuming. So, you decide to post your photos on Facebook. Not a bad way to share your journey, but it does not really capture the essence of your awesome experiences either..

Polarsteps – Why was it created, what is it and how does it work?

Just before leaving for his sailing trip, Polarsteps co-founder Niek wrote a small script that read off his coordinates from a GPS tracker and sent them to a server via satellite phone (Ho, 2016). Niek’s website went viral among travelers, who loved the idea of telling your travel story on a beautiful map and sharing it with their loved ones back at home. This inspired Niek to further develop the idea (Ohr, 2016).

Polarsteps is an Amsterdam-based app that automatically tracks travelers’ journeys. Travelers don’t need to worry about internet costs, because the app uses offline GPS-tracking. Once Wi-Fi-connection is available, the app seamlessly transfers all tracked information to the traveler’s Polarsteps webpage. Here, the trip is displayed on an interactive map showing the traveler’s routes, key locations and photos. Polarsteps tracks a ton of other statistics, such as kilometers traveled. Furthermore, travelers can keep their friends and family updated as to where in the world they are by sharing their trip real-time. Users can instantly add photos and locations to the interactive map or do it afterwards. Thus, no need to worry about battery drain either. Travelers can also follow other travelers and explore their trips. Finally, Polarsteps offers printed travel books, which includes all travel routes, statistics and photos, turning travel moments into lifetime memories.


Efficiency criterion – Joint profitability

  • Polarsteps automatically generates users’ travel story on a beautiful map which can be shared real-time with their loved ones back at home. Polarsteps also functions as a platform where users can follow other travelers’ trips and share theirs. Additionally, users can buy a personal travel book, so they can look back on their journey.
  • The founders of Polarsteps are passionate travelers who focus primarily on helping other passionate travelers log their travels and tell their stories. Polarsteps wants its platform to enable travel organizations to create branded accounts where they can share their routes and tell their stories. The company considers adding features such as sharing the content on social media and incorporating booking reservations. Eventually Polarsteps wants to become THE app for discovering, logging and sharing beautiful routes. Other sources of income may come from selling travel books and gift cards. However, this is not the core of the business model (Tmoz.com).

Required reallocations

Polarsteps has an extensive terms and privacy statement that users must agree to. It includes the following:

  • Users are responsible and liable for all activity on their account.
  • Polarsteps collects personal information provided by the user, information collected automatically and information it receives from third parties.
  • Users can choose between 3 privacy levels: Only me, Only my followers or Everyone.
  • Polarsteps urges users to think carefully about the consequences of using the Trvavel Tracker functionality, when Everyone can view their account.



Ho, J. (2016, April 25). A Dutchman sails across the Atlantic and innovates travel logging. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://thenextweb.com/insider/2016/04/25/polarsteps-koen-droste/#.tnw_1vxuPgmT

Ohr, T. (2016, March 17). Thomas Ohr. Retrieved February 22, 2017, from http://www.eu-startups.com/2016/03/amsterdam-based-travel-tracking-app-polarsteps-secures-e500k-in-funding/?via=indexdotco

Startup pitch: Polarsteps automagically tracks and plots worldwide jaunts. (2015, April 2). Retrieved February 22, 2017, from https://www.tnooz.com/article/startup-pitch-polarsteps-automagically-tracks-plots-worldwide-jaunts/

Showaround: Disrupting the Industry of City Tours

City tours are a great way to discover new places. However, often the tours only visit the touristic places and can feel somewhat generic. To be able to experience the more authentic feeling of a city, local guides are a perfect solution. Though, finding these locals may be a hurdle and therefore Showaround is here to help you out!

“There’s is no reason to be just a mere tourist anymore, not when locals can show you an edgier, more beautiful and more authentic version of their city.” – Showaround

What is Showaround?

Showaround is a platform which connects local guides with tourists in 198 countries and 7202 cities. Showaround was launched in June 2015 by Linas Sablosvskis and currently 75744 guides are signed up.

Locals have a profile with their interests, spoken languages, hourly rate, reviews and feedback from tourists. As a tourist, you are able to find guides based on the city you are visiting. Another option for tourists is to ‘create a trip’, on which locals are able to respond with an offer.


When the guide has accepted the offer, the tourist pays Showaround and you can message your guide via the platform’s messaging system, to tailor the tour. The money will only be transferred to the guides, when there are no complaints. Also, they provide a money-back guarantee to the tourists.

How does the business model work?

Showaround is able to make revenue from these tours, by imposing an 18% commission on each tour, paid by the guides. This 18% covers the costs they incur, which include support, platform management services and promotion.

The cross-side network effects are important in this business model, since the value to a tourist depends on the number of guides and vice versa (Granados et al., 2008). This is beneficial for Showaround, since they also have two competitors who offer similar services with less guides, Tours by Locals and Shiroube. Furthermore, this network effect raises barriers to entry, because of the users that have no incentive to leave (Granados et al., 2008).


Efficiency criteria

One of the problems, which can be found in any ‘gig’ model, is that the guides are not employed directly by Showaround. This excludes them from employment rights, such as right to a minimum wage, breaks and restricted working time and a pension scheme (McIlroy, 2016). Until the law is able to catch up, Showaround should consider who is working for them and how they are treated.

However, it is clear that there is joint profitability for both consumers and Showaround. Tourists are able to experience the city in a tailored and authentic manner, for little costs and are able to choose from many guides. Locals are able to flexibly make some extra money, share their passion and make new international friends. On the other hand, the firm does not require any assets, except for the platform, and therefore incurs little costs.

Showaround might be your solution to experience a new city in an authentic way!


Granados, N. F., Kauffman, R. J., & King, B. (2008). How has electronic travel distribution been transformed? A test of the theory of newly vulnerable markets. Journal of Management Information Systems25(2), 73-96.

McIlroy, E. (2016, March 18) Comment: ‘Gig economy’ – stretching blurred lines of employment to the limit. Retrieved from <http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/business/business-opinion/comment-gig-economy-stretching-blurred-7578540#0XA5wrgGAYSgODIr.97&gt;.