How nice it is to have concierge service available at all times. Just say what you need and someone will put things in place for you. This appears to be the hottest upcoming trend in travel space after a wave of online booking services.
With the number of booking options going up, the traveller is lost in a sea of options with every search query. That is why Manuraj and Gagandeep came up with TripTapToe. It allows you to communicate with an expert travel agent over chat. The app only service offers hotels, flights and experiences in one place without you having to dig through TripAdvisor reviews of places. Just share your travel queries via chat and an agent will assist you with instant responses.
Using chat works much better than connecting with the agent over a call. Primarily because it is much easier to read the options from your screen than someone reading a list to you over the phone. How are you even supposed to remember details of the second hotel by the time he reaches the fifth one! Add the fact that you will have to put away everything else and focus on just the call, because certainly you don’t want your agent to book the wrong flight because of some misunderstanding.
The services of TripTapToe aren’t limited to booking. Not only can you book your flights and hotels but also ask them for recommendations when you are at your destination. So instead of scrolling through your Facebook friend list to ask for suggestions, you can simply open the app and start shooting weird questions about your destination.
TripTapToe isn’t the only one taking the chat based approach. Marriott recently introduced chat based requests and allowed the guests to place requests through their mobile app. The feature was much appreciated by their guests which indicates that there is room for such services. Another indicator is the strong growth the chat platforms are observing, especially in Asian market. Whatsapp announced having a user base of 900 million in September 2015, of which almost a third were added over the 13 months before that.
While TripTapToe is the first travel booking service of its kind in India, there are other chat based providers outside of travel. Lookup can be one example. While it isn’t a travel service provider, it recently announced an association with OYO Rooms to offer hotel bookings. Although they can easily add hotels among local businesses, adding experiences and activities will be a tough job, especially when it would be ‘yet another’ feature of the app and might not see many users for that specific service.
TripTapToe offers the services for free and from our assessment, the deals appear to be excellent. Since you are dealing with a real agent, you don’t necessarily have to settle with the first offer and can choose to negotiate if you are getting a better deal elsewhere. As in my case, I was offered a great deal within minutes matching all my preferences. The responses are quick and payments can be made using the link sent over e-mail. The startup will also be adding the option to pay from the app itself to enhance the booking experience.
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