Travel technology is basically implementation of information technologies in travelling, tourism and hospitality sector. Travel technology also can be called as e-travel. Computer reservations system is a major part of the travel technology. Computer reservation system (CRM) is a system that provides storage and retrieved information about aviation travel, accommodation places, car rentals and other activities mostly related with tourism industry. The system allow their users to book, rent car, find airline tickets also reservations of trains and busses. Briefly, travel tech can be described as application of all computerized systems for the sake of travel industry. However, travel tech not only refers to bookings or rentals but also refers to using technological tools that helpful for travelers such as light-weight Macbooks, powerbanks, earphones, Kindle and more of the same.
Under favor of travel technologies, today people do not need to hire a tour guide in their trips. Audio guides and online guidebooks substituted with tour guides. Besides people are arranging all of their travel plans and reservations by using internet. Also, these booking websites allow people to cut their cost and find cheaper prices. But, there were not any touristic forum that provides people comments on hotels, cities in 2000. In 2000 TripAdvisor saw that gap and established to fill it. TripAdvisor is a travel website company that helps people to find reviews about their travel also includes forums for them. The service of TripAdvisor is free. They defined themselves as the biggest travel site in the world. According to their statements they have more than 70 million users. When TripAdvisor first launched they aimed to collect information from touristic books, newspapers and travel magazines and add a comment button that provides people to write their own experiences. But now people can book hotels, make reservations for restaurants, even arrange free tours and find discount coupon via TripAdvisor. After that Expedia became TripAdvisor’s parent company. Expedia or with their own words ‘’the pioneer of the online travel industry’’ was launched in 1996 by small part within Microsoft. After that Expedia has become biggest travel company in the world. Just like their words they are the pioneers of this industry because there was no another company provides researches and booking travels in 1996. Today, they own world’s most well-known travel brands in their portfolio. Such as hotels.com, trivago, carrentals.com and dozens of more. Anything related with travel is a service of Expedia; airline tickets, online tours packages, hotel bookings, car rentals and so on. Another successful entrepreneurial example of travel technology is AirBnb. Airbnb is a peer to peer website that allows people to find accommodation places and allows property owners to rent their places. Currently Airbnb is active in 192 countries, 33 thousand cities and available in 26 languages. It provides over 800 thousand rental places. Airbnb has published in 2008 by Brian Chesky and Joe Gebbia. They thought about creating bed&breakfast concept and they made their living room into a B&B. Then their first clients helped them to find investor. They have been invested more than 750 million dollars.
Apart from successful startups all over the world there are some good travel technology examples in Turkey too. Such as Etstur. Etstur has founded in 1991 by Mehmet and Murat Ersoy. They are breaking grounds in local organized travel industry. Etstur is the first company that set agency-transportation-guidance-accommodation chain. They provide tour packages, holiday village and hotel reservations, airline tickets and car rentals services. Establishment has taken the first place in its industry by incorporated brands such as Voyage Hotels, AtlasGlobal, Didimtur, Jetset, Maxx Royal Resorts, Ucuzabilet. According to 2015 datas, Etstur has %56 of the local market.
To sum up, all of those innovative Travel Tech companies have changed the way of travel and created very beneficial environment for travelers, businesses in this industry and intermediary firms. They also provide them simplicity and economic advantages. Every new day technology is developing and travel industry is being influenced from it. Therefore, the number of entrepreneurs are increasing day to day.
Some of the local examples of Travel Tech
- It was founded in 2012 by Ali Yilmaz and Yiğit Gürocak in order to be able to compare companies while taking bus tickets and to easily get the most suitable bus ticket for you.
- Ucuzabilet allows people to view and search cheap airplane tickets from a single screen for both domestic and international flights.
- Biletall provides easy comparisons among bus, waterbus and airplane tickets.
- Provides easy planning of reservations and accommodations, including hotel, abroad tours, ship tours and culture tour reservations, buying bus tickets to drop you to your hotel, ability to add insurance and more.