The future of ...

Erwin van Lun predict the long term future and blogs about developments today gradually shaping that future. Also in Dutch

Category: Travel

The travel coaching brand helps us plan our holidays. It knows all the places to go all over the world, their prices and the hotspots. It knows where we have been before. What languages we speak. If we are thrill-seekers or not. It knows who we want to spend our holidays with, and what the other person’s wishes are. This way it regularly provides us with a great travel plan. Of course for sharp prices. For this kind of service we are willing to pay.

Rocket Taxi: iPhone app for Taxi’s around the globe

Rocket Taxi: This App checks your location with GPS and lists nearby taxi companies with distances. Just select one, press on it and a call will be initiated to the cab company.

Looki indexes 50 vacation sites

Looki, a new Dutch travelling site, lets you look through all vacations of travelling agents you can actually book. The offer of the biggest travelling agencies in the Netherlands have been recorded in Looki. You'll find at least: Oad, TUI, Thomas Cook, Sundio, Jiba, Sudtours, GOGO and Pharosreizen. In total there are over 50 travelling agents recorded on Looki.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

During the creation of (travel) coaching brands, in 2007, 2008, 2009 and years afterwards, it’ll be about: completeness in the category. Put everything together first. Currently maybe the Dutch offer, but later it’ll be about all the offers around the world, and then worded in the language you speak. This is another step in that direction.

OffBeatGuides: printed, personalised travelling guide

On Offbeatguides.com you can make a personalised, printed travelling guide, specifically for your upcoming vacation. You can, for example:

  • adapt the currency to your own (based on the course at the moment of departure)

  • the travelling date so that it only shows events happening while you're there

  • the destination, which adapts information on the climate to the location and the current weather predictions.

  • the hotel, which shows walking routes from the hotel, etc.

  • you can add and remove chapters

The travelling guide has your name printed on it. Nice to have, but especially nice to give.
You can order a hardcopy for $dollar or a PDF for $10.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Everything tailored, so information too. Currently on the most obvious means, but later we’ll have a thin piece of e-paper in our backpack that shows us information of the area we’re walkig in, appreciation for tourist attractions and ratings of friends by restaurants we pass. Written or audial through our ear piece as answer to the question we ask. Even easier.

Travelta mobile

Travelsite Travelta now has a location-based hotel seeker for mobile phones with which users can find and reserve hotels in their area using GPS or Cell-ID location. Beside that the site also shows up-to-date information on which type of rooms are available, check-in and check-out times, hotel photos and how many stars the hotel has. The user can then reserve a room through an (inter)national phone number.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’re mapping out the whole world and show it on Internet. Through desk and laptop, but also through our mobile phones. Everything we find on the internet we’ll also find on the mobile phone. Later, in whichever city you walk in, you can always ask Travelta whether there’s a hotel room which you can reserve for the night available.

Zoover in 13 language areas

Dutch vacation review site Zoover has spread over 13 language areas. Zoover is partnering with tour operators that can place the reviews on their own site and in return Zoover is allowed to approach the vacation goers to write a review afterwards. The strength of the internationalisation is in the judgement, the hard numbers people give. Those are useable internationally. The reviews themselves won't be translated.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

Coaching brands work worldwide with the greatest ease. They bring together ideas, thoughts, opinions, and can use them to advise the individual, help them along. That’s international per definition, not transcending border, international. Very slowly we’re letting go of thinking in countries to go over to a situation in which we view the 6,6 billion people living and working together on this earth as equals. Without borders, which we once created but slowly need less. But slowly, very slowly.

Wikitude tells you what you see

Wikitude gives you real time information about the display of your cell phone when you're pointing it at something. This is possible because the GPS knows where you are. Anyone who spots an interesting castle, for example, will be shown when it was built.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The media-evolution is becoming more and more clear. We can ask questions with everything we see. Just to whom? The traveling guide may be able to tell you everything about the history of your environment, but a brand that knows everything about nature might know exactly what you can eat and what you can’t, or which animals live there and are threatened with extinction. And yet other types of brands can tell you what you’d like to do around there. No one brand knows everything about you, know your interests in every area like the back of your hand. This is how multiple brands are created, multiple coaching brands, brands we can ask questions. This is a very clear step in that direction.

Bungalow trips also for 1 day

On bungalowtrips.nl vacation goers can now, just like with hotels, rent a bungalow on any desired day. Until now bungalow parks have only offered vacations in predetermined periods, the so-called mid-weeks and mid-weekends. They hope to address primarily pensioners through this as pensioners aren't restricted to free weekends or vacations.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

We’re slowly switching to a network economy in which supply and demand are connected flexibly and in real-time. The offers per week or mid-week were typical thoughts of the old times: product and price had to be recorded in a leaflet after all. We’re slowly but surely saying goodbye to this kind of concept and this is a nice example.

ABB trades beds

With Air, Bed & Breakfast you can spend the night in people's homes. You only pay a small fee.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

This is how the added value pillar of every existing concept will be knocked down. A hotel has, for example, a bed to offer, but also takes care of the cleaning, the security and breakfast. That’s what makes a hotel a hotel, and that made the offers comparable in the old days. In those days you could make a guide book, organizing by destination, class or price. In the demand-driven era you can see ‘I want a bed, take care of my own cleaning, my own security and my own breakfast’. That’s in actual fact the model that’s being offered here. Personal travel brands will sort everything and just ask what it is that you’d like.

EasyToBook to 2,400 destinations

EasyToBook.com, specialist in online reservations of quality hotels for the lowest possible prices, has started a massive and ambitious expansion. The company is expanding from three European destinations to 2400 destinations worldwide. These new cities will be added to the website. EasyToBook.com's completely revamped website will offer overnight stays in about 20,000 hotels. Dublin, London, New York, Paris and Prague have already been added to the site as the first new destinations.


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

All big brands of the coming centuries are operating on a global scale. They have all the knowledge of a specific domain, but know the individual on top of that. Said individual won’t have to look further. EasyToBook may grow to become such a brand in the holiday domain.

TravellersTV submerges holiday makers in video

At TravellersTV.com everything revolves arround video content based on holiday destinations. You see the continents on a click-able Google map. Once you have clicked a video over the continent begins. Then you can zoom in on a destionation and you will find related video chanels (in total there are 1200 destinations and 20 lifestyle tv channels). The videos often include supplementary text. In addition you find a buttons by every destination for more information over accommodation, food and drink, attractions, events, activities, transport and shoppig. You can rate, tag and comment on everything and you can also send the information on to others. But... it's still a beta version, sometimes things work and sometimes they don't, the content is far from complete but it is still well worth a look. A good concept with a lot of possibilities for good business models in the future...


Future vision by Erwin Van Lun

The future for this sort of travel coaching brands is in the completeness of the offer, the understanding of the consumer and earnings via affiliated programs. A good understanding of the consumer is central (where did you go other years? How was it? What do your friends do?), providing inspiration and when the customer says : ‘Yes, that’s what I want!’, also immediately arranging the booking with as few follow up steps as possible. Then the customer will only need to say yes before enjoying the anticipation. TravellersTV is the beginning.

WeekendjeWeg adds addresses to TomTom

Dutch website for holiday homes and hotels WeekendjeWeg.nl (‘A weekend away’) provides directions for guests through a button ‘Add to my TomTom’ with every hotel. Soon it will be possible to add all hotels in one go (am, Dutch). Now we still have to actively transfer information, soon even our TomTom will be a (mobile) window to the virtual world. We then won’t just have dialogues with the TomTom brand through this screen, but also with other brands. Like a Philips TV or a Dell monitor also provides access to the virtual world. Then the dialogue we started with WeekendjeWeg on a bigger screen will just continue on a smaller, mobile screen. Then we will be able to retrieve reviews and have them read to us on our mobile screen. And if we want to know how to get somewhere, TomTom’s brand agent is there for us.

Martinair starts travel guide for mobile phone

Martinair as the first airline provides its passengers with a travel guide for mobile phones (mc, Dutch). Thus travel coaching brands come to life. In this example the travel guide function is connected to an airline, soon new brands will watch all holiday moments during your life, including all moments of orientation, of booking, joy of preparation, return, and joy of looking back. They are the ultimate providers of this service and will be able to offer tailored information. The introduction of this travel guide adds to a new dynamic in the travel branch.

Holidot lines up all hotels

At Holidot.com all hotels, bed and breakfasts and holiday homes in Europe are lined up in 7 European languages. With this, it is the biggest, and also the first independent site making all hotel and holiday addresses visible. Travelers can publish their travel reports, which are shown uncensored, and users have the possibility to bookmark favorites, and share them. Accommodation owners (hotels, bed and breakfasts, holiday homes, camp sites, etc) can open their own mini website at Holidot.com for free (mb, Dutch). Thus another travel coaching brand comes to life. In first instance the most important phenomenon will be completeness in the domain, but in a next step it will be most important for us to really have the holidays of our lifetime, every year anew. The relationships with the consumer soon will be the most distinctive factor, but in order to get a relationship, brands will have to know what is out there in the market. We are building that knowledge right now.

Vakantieoordeel offers independent advice

New Dutch holiday website Vakantieoordeel.nl searches all big national and international holiday review websites, and publishes all information in one spot. Vakantieoordeel claims to be independent because it is not owned by a tour operator. Besides, bad reviews are not removed. To have a review removed, suppliers will just have to do better (dc, Dutch). Coaching brands, a type of brands in development, have a couple of shared characteristics, among which completeness in the field they are serving, openness, and independence. Only this type of brands in the future will have access to the consumer. Transaction brands, tied to locations, a certain type of service or packages, will have to make sure they offer top service. The development of travel coaching brands has taken off, and this is an example of it.

Kango puts all travel reviews together

Kango is the first so-called ‘travel review aggregator’, a site that gathers reviews from all kinds of review sites, and puts them together. That means 20 million opinions of more than 1000 review websites have been analyzed. Holiday makers can search by terms like ‘romantic’, or ‘sweet’, apart from objective criteria like price and location. The beta version for now only works in Hawaii and California (mb, Dutch). In 2007 (and 2008 and 2009) completeness is important: bring everything together for me. This is an example of that.

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