The basic tenets of travel stay the same: pack bags, board a plane/train/automobile, see the world. Yet travel trends change all the time, and the approaches we take toward new destinations and epic adventures change along with them.
More to the point, the companies that support those adventures change constantly, bringing us ever-greater connections with the world around us. Responding to digital opportunities, newly popular locales and surprise fads, these companies give bon voyage a new meaning.
If you’re into inventive travel – or are into providing amazing experiences for tourists and thrill-seekers – then this list of innovative travel brands will appeal to you.
Here are 10 of the most exciting travel companies currently making waves.
On the cutting edge of companies catering to the corporate travel industry, TravelPerk seeks to enable the moving and shaking of global companies, networks and partnerships. Their intuitive software helps managers keep track of employees, executives, salespeople and more – whether they’re in the air, in a hotel or in a meeting.
2. STA Travel
A newer, hipper take on the old-school travel agency, STA appeals to today’s demographic most likely to use agents: millennials. Their storefront encourages cosy side-by-side planning between traveller and booking agent, with plenty of encouragement for self-study using tablet devices, books and magazines.
3. Departure Lounge
Find the perfect trip, transportation, hotel and especially cuisine at Departure Lounge. This luxe destination gives shoppers a literal taste of prospective countries through food and drink, all while they plan.
This company is built on the belief that there should be an ‘upside’ to those long flights and far-from-home weeks that give business trips a bad name. They enable companies to cherry-pick that day’s best deals on hotels, transportation and more through their Flexibility Engine, then roll them into a customised package to save up to 10% on total costs.
5. Flight Centre
Sometimes you have to see it to believe it. Flight Centre makes that happen with 360-degree virtual reality tours of amazing destinations such as Tokyo or the Great Barrier Reef. The gimmick: Like what you see? Book it now.
Virtual reality is still a fresh marketing tool for hotel and travel brands, making it exciting for travellers while they plan a trip.
6. Vivid Travel
Gone are the days of take-it-or-leave-it trip packages. Vivid Travel puts together a completely customised itinerary for each trip, depending on the customer’s desired length. Food, flights, hotels, adventure…all in one place.
This appeals to the modern day traveller’s desire for personalisation and choice.
Where you want to go is out; how you want to feel is in. This company doesn’t design experiences around people or places; it designs them around emotion. Pick your desired feeling – celebration, romance, serenity – and they’ll pull together destinations, lodging and more to match your goal.
Sometimes all we want is a day in the life of a local. LOCALIKE helps Big Apple tourists do just that, with five-day itineraries based on their unique profiles. Now travellers can live, sleep and eat like real deal New Yorkers. The service is also available in Rome.
Wish you could taste luxury the likes of royals and rappers? Travellers can with JetSmarter, a company based on the idea that private jets shouldn’t have to sit idle between trips.
Now travellers can charter upper level planes for much more reasonable prices than their millionaire owners, an idea that’s sure to prove popular.
10. Singapore’s Changi Airport
Less a company and more an institution, Singapore’s Changi Airport is about to change the nature of how we fly. Their goal? To provide a lush, tranquil space in which to spend a few quiet hours between hectic connecting flights. Architect Moshe Safdie is finishing his five-story, glass-domed garden complex, complete with shops, restaurants, walking trails and waterfall. Count us in.
Whether that list gives you ideas for your next vacation or for serving your customers (or perhaps both?), surely it has shaken loose a travel bug or two. Get in touch to let us know who we missed or if your property is the next business to shake things up.