TIILTS: Socially Aware Reservations

There’s got to be a way to cut through all the clutter when it comes to travel-related offers.  One solution may be to create socially aware offers tied to what’s known about the traveler.

Start with  a booked (or just planned) date and destination.  Combine that with the traveler’s socially-accessible profile. Assume the traveler selects a persona or trip type, such as “Business + client entertainment”, or “Family vacation”, “Romantic getaway”.   Presume the traveler has tied some preferences to each persona.

Together, these elements form the Social Reservation.  Put that in the cloud, and let suppliers have a look!

No doubt, given the ever-improving analytics of travel marketers, we’d see more on-target offers presented. Think Groupon and Google Offers brought to your social reservation’s doorstep.

Since the reservation is now social, the traveler could use his social networks to vet those offers.  This could be done passively, by filtering for those offers with a minimum user rating, or it could be an active effort, where the traveler posts an offer to his network and seeks feedback.

So how is this much different from getting all those offers during an Expedia or Orbitz booking session?  In three key ways: Customization, control and timing.

The social reservation declares your persona (or type/intention of the trip), and it lists your preferences for that persona.  This means  suppliers should have a much easier time customizing their offer to you.

The social reservation can be available to any supplier that wants to look at it, subject to the traveler’s privacy controls.  Suppliers who aren’t promoted by an Expedia or an Orbitz could still present the traveler with an offer.

Which brings us to timing.  The social reservation lives in the cloud until the trip expires.  Suppliers can make offers anytime, right up through the last day of the trip, knowing the traveler is still in town.  Heck, they may even send you a last-minute offer you can’t pass up.

Lots of different ways this could work – of that, I have no reservation.

Inspirational credit goes to TripIt, Groupon and FlyMuch.

TIILTS stands for Travel Innovations I’d Like To See.  This is the third in a series of posts.  Earlier TIILTS post covered the use of reward points in corporate self-booking tools, and the concept of making traveler profiles social.

LinkedIn users are welcome to join the TIILTS group. You’ll find a faster flow there of innovation-related posts.

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10 thoughts on “TIILTS: Socially Aware Reservations

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention TIILTS: Socially Aware Reservations | Gillespie's Guide to Travel+Procurement -- Topsy.com

  2. Hello Scott,
    Another very interesting post of you. Indeed, several initiatives are gong into the above direction. On my blog, I added values as main criteria and thus to create a value based co-created itinerary. Feel free to read more at http://www.ideasfortravel.wordpress.com.
    It is currently linked to a contest but we plan to add ideas later on.
    Best, Johan

  3. Johan, thank you for linking here to your concept. You’ve written an excellent example of how this concept would play out during a trip’s life – from planning to consumption.

    For those who’d like to see this example:

    If you are a LinkedIn member, please join our group “Travel Innovations I’d Like To See” at http://www.linkedin.com/groupRegistration?gid=3747590
    You’ll see a conversation about this post there, to which you should definitely contribute.

    • Hello Scott,
      Thank you for your comments. I will join the group at LinkedIn.
      I hope that over the next months, this idea gets sufficient votes at the Amadeus contest. I hope to create an overall awareness that this concept is a good translation of 2 key trends : social media and sustainability and the way they are linked.

      • Actually, what you’re suggesting may have already been developed by Amadeus, and is currently in final testing with the launch airline. It combines dynamic content management system with their internet booking engine. I’m not certain if using attributes from a Facebook or other social network profile are part of the launch customer’s rollout, however it is certainly something that has been discussed in my conversations with potential customers.

  4. I think the itinerary tools like TripIt and WorldMate have the greatest chance of being the conduits for this type of socially aware reservation. When combined with mobile and location awareness there is a very good opportunity for local businesses to drive incremental revenue by putting the right offer in front of the right person at the right time. For example, being able to offer a coupon for $5 off lunch at a near by restaurant at 11:30am on the day has more impact then sending them an email coupon the day before. The technical challenge is less of an issue then the ability to pull in enough merchants to make the model viable. There are lots of open XML APIs out there that could be mashed up to produced something like this.

  5. A great free, fun and fast way to centralize any and all booked travel segments in the palm of your hand is with TripCase. Air segments are automatically imported and social awareness of reservations can be quickly linked along with others specifically identified. TripCase would be a great platform for it.

  6. Hello Eric,
    Thank you. I understand you refer to Extreme Search. Correct? It is indeed a great tool, however I believe my concept is different on several levels.

    The profile is value based. This is the result of a questionnaire and/or social network activities and/or browsing history. Up to the traveller. He “owns” his profile.

    If we take the itinerary, it can be a cocreated value based one, meaning providers and travellers with the same values share and interact on a marketplace and work together on the itinerary, even during consumption.
    In my example, the traveller is part of Good Travels, he went for a cocreated itinerary. Providers, locals built together with him his itinerary.
    Alternatively, the traveller can decide not to join the marketplace but use his  “o w n value-based profile ” during the booking process.
    Therefore, I believe it is different.

  7. Dear Scott,

    Am I right to say you believe so much in the concept you patented it? Or put the proces in place? Please let me know – Johan

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