Smart Destinations, Creators and Hotel-verse

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Here is our weekly curation of the top news on travel innovation, trends and startups:

  • No funding, no problem. UK-based Pluto has had a pretty out-of-this-world story. After two big crowdfunding campaigns, raising over £1.3 million and a strong community following along the way, the team found new investment drying up. So, they looked for another way to keep their travel app that helps users organise and coordinate travel plans and insurance alive – acquisition. Travel app Orbzii has just picked up the B-Corp startup. It might not have been the plan all along but it shows how sometimes we have to be agile and adapt.
  • How destinations are getting smarter. Truth is: data drives everything these days and is the underlying factor informing business decisions and processes – and now it’s making destinations ‘smarter’. Utah-based Zartico captures data regarding a visitor’s geolocation spending habits and engagement with the experience, then analyses it in combination with data from social media and CRM systems. It then gives destination operators and experience providers actionable insights on their guests to inform smarter choices. The startup has just landed $20 million to bring the tool to new markets like airports and sports venues.
  • All-in-one travel platforms are all the rage. Short-term rental platform Guesty, who raised $170 million not so long ago, has just taken over4 hotel-focused revenue and distribution platform YieldPlanet and unveiled a new Guesty Distribution Hub. A new phenomenon for the industry, it’ll act as a fully holistic hospitality distribution solution giving customers access to hundreds of hotel and short-term rental distribution channels along with integrated financial tools from one dashboard.
  • TakeMe is taking travellers to better restaurant experiences. As Japan’s tourist industry opens up once again to the world, restaurants can count on TakeMe to attract travellers. The Tokyo-based startup provides a restaurant-reservation service for international travellers – helping them find the places to enjoy good food and easily pay for it. It’s now linked millions of tourists with more than 400 restaurants across Japan and is enabling over 10k merchants to accept global payment methods. They’ve just scored $1.8 million to keep growing the dream.
  • Hotelverse is taking on hotel-verse. Spanish startup Hotelverse has just taken off with a fresh €1 million. Founded in 2021, the startup is using digital twin tech to shake up the hotel booking process. So, you can book a room and curate your stay just as you like it. The early-stage innovators are one of the finalists of this year’s Pitch Competition at our upcoming FutureTravel Summit! Got your ticket yet? It’s on November 4th in Barcelona – don’t miss out!
  • Travel in the age of the creator economy. Influencers and creators are shaping most industries – and travel is no different. Banking on the creator boom, startup Trovatrip enables influencers to plan, sell and host group travel experiences within their communities – whether it be a hike in Patagonia, yoga in Bali or yachting in southern Europe. The company has just snapped up $15 million and plans to expand to bring on even more creators. It’s only the beginning for this approach to travel!
  • It’s not deja vu, Flyr Labs has made another move. Hitting the headlines (again), Flyr Labs has just acquired Pace Revenue to extend the capabilities of its Revenue Operating System. Flyr Labs has been providing its ROS to airlines and is now taking on the hotel and accommodation market with this deal – expanding its reach in the travel industry.