A Handheld Tour Guide

YOU’VE found the best prices for flight tickets online and got a nice little condo for your trip via AirBnB — easy as pie.

But now the real arduous task of finding cool places to visit and exciting activities to do on your trip. You’ve been so busy, you haven’t really had time to plan your itinerary.

Guidebooks and travel sites offer a plethora of touristy options to consider in any given destination but as a traveller seeking novel experiences and intriguing stories, you have to dig a little deeper.

Despair not! TravelEase intends to let you plan your stops on the spot and on the fly.

Arvinder Singh, General Manager of a new travel app start-up, TravelEase, suggests that it might hold all the answers. Released in September 2016, TravelEase functions as an e-ticketing and itinerary building platform that allows travellers to plan, search, book, and pay for activities.

Currently available in Singapore, Bangkok, and Hong Kong, the app offers more than 120 attractions and activities.

Quest For Unique Experiences

While demand for tourist must-haves like theme parks and other attractions is consistent, Singh says that the real interest lies in finding unique and different experiences. “Travellers are looking for new things to do but there isn’t yet organisation and structure in that space — that is where our opportunities lie,” he observes.

travelease travel app
The app features five section of attractions, events, and activities. More are expected to be added in coming months as it hopes to reach out to 100, 000 users.

You may be able to find unique experiences like tours and special interest groups via tour agencies but these will come with a hefty price.

Singh says that packages and bundles offered by many agencies have been marked-up through as many as six or seven layers of intermediaries, adding cost to the end consumer and lacking any transparency for the smart and cost-conscious traveller.

“By bringing the service providers onto our platform, we are able to not only create easy access for travellers but also offer it at its original price,” he explains.

With 5,000 users already on board, TravelEase is looking to expand into Tokyo and Taipei in coming weeks. As it continues to add new regions, the tech behind the app is also getting an upgrade in the near future. With electronic payment and e-tickets already implemented, Singh and his team have identified artificial intelligence (AI) as the next step.


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“With a better understanding of our users, and aided by the AI, TravelEase aims to be a personal tour guide capable of pushing new deals to users on the fly,” Singh explains.

He suggests that much of the required data — location, basic personal information, interests, and limitations — is readily available via social media. Furthermore, he also notes that time demands of the traveller are also shifting dramatically — “people are more impulsive and shifting the decision making to ‘now’, and we are trying to facilitate that”.

 

TravelEase is available for download on Google Play and App Store, and you can find out more about it here.



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