Social travel portal Minube unpacks in China

[Spain] Minube, a social travel portal out of Spain, launches in China today. It’s the beginning of a roll-out across Asia and the company expects to add Japan within weeks, as well as opening an office in Guangzhou.

Launched in November 2007, Minube already has Spanish, Portuguese, German, Italian and French versions. In Spain, traffic is over 1 million monthly visits and at 1.6 million globally.

“We were convinced we would launch Minube in China from the the very beginning of the project, but we decided to wait until now, having reached several logical milestones”, says founder Raul Jimenez. “Having a successful experience in the European market, finding the perfect team to lead this project and a business model that adapts extraordinarily to the Asian market.”

Minube is a truly social travel portal where instead of reservations, the user and the destination is at its core. Minube’s features all diverge into building a travel community, branded as a destination discovery site, through the help of fellow globetrotters and tourists, exploring and literally sharing new “corners” of the world (currently at 145,000 “corners” from Spanish users).

“Where travels begin and end”, reads their slogan, and Minube postions itself at the very beginning of a trip’s planning to help you figure out where you actually want to go, as opposed to where to stay or what to do in a location you’ve already decided on.

Users are prompted and rewarded for detailing and recommending, rather than criticizing, new locations on the Minube map and evangalizing the community. As these user created locations receive page views, the user behind uploading content and curating it actually gets paid.

Minube also provides travel destination recommendations to users by studying their previous likes and interests, as well as incorporating those of their social network.

Aside from a more social reservations model, Minube lets travel boards and travel destinations sponsor their own Facebook-like pages, get users to interact with them and then of course track results.

Travel discovery is yet another saturated area, but Minube is definitely one of the most popular and distinctive travel sites in Spain.