Aside from Dopplr’s quiet disappearance after its acquisition by Nokia and Tripit’s exit to Concer, web-based travel planning is still, arguably, one of the holy grails of the web. flextrip, a new startup operating out of Europe and the US and founded by long time entrepreneurs Leith Stevens, Alex Kremer and Andrew Glover, aims to facilitate travel planning by offering real-time offers for tours and activities – a branch of the travel industry that is still somewhat neglected despite its estimated global market size of $89 billion.
Flextrip is a stand alone service that lets you plan your travels by pulling in your Dopplr or Tripit travel details, analyzing that data and serving real-time offers from local operators. Tour operators working with flextrip on the other hand receive SMS notifications whenever a potential travel customer plans a tour in some city or region. They in turn can then make targeted offers to the traveller .
Since travel management and expense company Concur acquired Tripit for $120 million in early 2011, things seems to have gone quiet. Tripit’s technology makes it simple for users to e-mail their travel details, bookings and flights to Tripit, which in turn creates a chronological web-based travel itinerary. As simple as that may be, it’s a service that should be popular amongst frequent travelers.
In comparison, Dopplr, a service similar to Tripit’s but with more of a social focus, has tried hard to become a one stop shop for travel planning, yet within the last few years, although backed by a prestigious round of angel investors and being acquired by Nokia, has largely failed.
While flextrip’s integration with Tripit makes absolute sense, building on top of Dopplr’s API remains questionable on a long term basis.