Unbundling Airbnb Experiences, Netflix for Travelers & Alternative Travel

Future of Travel / Trends / Opportunities

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In a $9 trillion tourism industry, technology is changing the way we experience the world, people, and culture.

We now use travel search engines like Booking.com and Skyscanner to find the next trips, hotels and flight tickets. Hipcamp and Culture Trip are providing alternative travel options. Making money as a travel host is possible with platforms like Airbnb Experience.

To win the market, startups are (1) reinventing travel categories, (2) increasing revenues through product innovation, (3) lowering travel costs through blockchain & Web3 technologies, and (4) unlocking creator monetization

We’ll break down the top travel market trends: what product categories are on the rise, how they differentiate, monetize, and what are the next big opportunities.

Hey 👋 I’m Zoe: builder, ever curious, built 11 MVPs, on Lifehacker, Product Hunt #1, and Medium Top Writer & HackerNoon winner in VC topics. I unpack new insights on profitable markets. You may also like:

1. Key trends

(1) Unbundling Airbnb’s Online Experiences:

  • Travel companies are unbundling Airbnb’s Experience. Startups are helping tourists book private tours and expert-led trips to maximize the local experience. Travel is becoming an education and learning discovery platform.
  • Withlocals connects tourists to locals who offer personalized tours, bike tours, food tours, and other localized experiences.
  • Peek is an online marketplace of virtual and in-person experiences for travelers and locals.
  • Context Travel lets you learn from local Ph.D. and MA-level private hosts who’re specialized in cultural knowledge. The platform also offers live-taught seminars and online courses before and after you travel.
  • NotOnMap is a vacation booking site that focuses on rural and rustic local experiences in India.

(2) Consumers’ demand for sustainable travel:

  • Expedia survey revealed that 90% of travelers seek sustainable travel options. To help businesses attract eco-conscious consumers, new startups are helping organizations offset aviation carbon footprints.
  • Patch calculates carbon footprint during travel booking and offers carbon emission offset at the point of consumer purchases.
  • Pachama helps businesses offer carbon credit offset and contribute to ​​forest projects.
  • Cloverly API enables carbon removals covering wide-ranged transactions.
  • Green Tickets helps you plan a trip by comparing the most sustainable routes.

(3) Remote work has redefined the travel categories:

  • Remote companies allow their employees to be away from the office. Digital nomads can now work from anywhere. Business trips and leisure travel is overlapping.
  • This shift has driven new travel categories to emerge, e.g. staycation, workcation, nomadic travel, solo travel, etc. Startups are creating a new way to travel.
  • Hipcamp, Getaway, and Glamping Hub offer outdoor travel concepts i.e. cabins, huts, treehouses, RV, domes, etc.
  • SoloTraveler helps you find travel buddies in real-time.
  • Nomad List provides resources and data to help location-independent workers find the best place to live.

(🔒 Full version) +6 more key trends, backed by real company examples:

🔑 (4/9) Rise of pet-friendly solutions and why travelers care (4 company examples)

🔑 (5/9) Top product categories that are attracting acquirers (4 company examples)

🔑 (6/9) What do D2C travel brands offer to attract sales (3 company examples)

🔑 (7/9) How do travel companies add new revenue streams (3 company examples)

🔑 (8/9) How travel companies expand product categories (3 company examples)

🔑 (9/9) How key players innovate in travel transportation (3 company examples)

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‍2. Market Players & Databases (111 in total)

Find inspirations, discover competitors, and ways to differentiate new solutions:

  • 🏢 Total 111 company examples across the travel sector
  • 🔖 Total 9 market segments
  • 🗃 Company databases: value proposition, website, stage, total funding raised, year founded, company size, and location.
  • 👌 Filter competitors by categories. Or search by product name, country, funding stage, etc.

👉 Link to the database ::

3. Problems & Market Needs

(1) Trip disruptions and unexpected costs:

  • Travel insurance companies exist to protect against trip disruptions, e.g. flight or room cancelation, medical emergencies, lost items, and unexpected incidents.
  • Faye uses a whole-trip insurance approach. Coverage includes health, trip cancelation, luggage, emergency medical expenses, pet care, and 24/7 access to the care team.
  • Insured Nomads offers coverage for short-term trips, including protection for lost belongings, natural disaster evacuation, and emergency clinic visits.
  • Setoo helps travel businesses easily integrate travel insurance products and offer protection for customers.

(🔒 Full version) +4 more well-defined market needs with real examples

🔑 (2/5) How to help passengers get through the airport faster? (3 company examples)

🔑 (3/5) How to lower the costs of travel through fintech products? (2 company examples)

🔑 (4/5) How to help travel operators increase revenue? (2 company examples)

🔑 (5/5) How to lower business travel expenses using new product features? (2 company examples)

4. Monetization & Revenue Streams

(1) Subscription model:

  • While the subscription model has been around for many years, travel subscription has only started to gain momentum.
  • Companies are now launching the “Netflix for travelers”. They curate and plan exciting trips, done-for-you itineraries, and vacation experiences that travelers can access with a single membership.
  • Inspirato charges $24,000/year + $2,000 enrolment fees for its luxury travel subscription package. Members can access vacation rentals, trips, special rates, and shared passes.
  • Travel + Leisure Co. launched a $14.95/month membership that offers handpicked leisure experiences, travel concierges, and discounted rental rates up to 60%.
  • Manifest membership is free to join and fees only apply when members book a trip. Members can access every worldwide experience, additional golf courses, resort perks, discounted car rentals, etc.

(🔒 Full version)

  • Unlock 4 more revenue streams in the travel industry

5. Next Big Things + untapped opportunities

(1) Travel for the creator economy will explode:

  • Creator economy will continue to be verticalized across every market category. We’ve seen this in video creation (TikTok/YouTube), writing (Substack), gaming (Twitch/Unreal/Unity), and fitness (Playbook).
  • Brands are already spending $8 billion on influencer marketing. 49% of the consumers follow tips and suggestions from content creators. Therefore, solutions that help travel providers attract more customers through creators will continue to boom.
  • TrovaTrip allows content creators to plan trips with their audience, create personal brands, and share local knowledge through workshops.

(2) A hybrid work model will drive corporate travel:

  • Instead of choosing between an IRL office or working remotely, 83% of the workers prefer a hybrid work model. Off-site meetings are huge opportunities for the travel industry. Consumer-facing platforms could expand into corporate offerings. Solutions that manage employee travel will benefit from this workforce shift.
  • Hyatt launched “Work From Hyatt” targeting company offsite groups of all sizes. Hyatt offers meeting spaces, curated experiences, and office-friendly rooms. There could be a travel subscription service like Inspirato catering to employee travel.
  • Startups could create an OTA (online travel agency) like Booking.com for remote company travel. Easily book flights, housing, car rental, and accommodation in one place. TravelPerk, a corporate travel management platform has built-in transport and accommodation booking feature.

(🔒 Full version) 6 more untapped market opportunities:

🔑 (3/8) How will diversity boost travel business revenue (3 company examples)

🔑 (4/8) Next generation of travel gadgets/wearables? (3 use cases)

🔑 (5/8) Metaverse travel experiences will emerge (3 company examples)

🔑 (6/8) Future of travel is blockchain-based (3 company examples)

🔑 (7/8) How to create niche travel platforms (4 company examples)

🔑 (8/8) New ways to “productize” and monetize travel advise (3 examples)

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More Consumer Trends & Ideas:

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Built 11+ MVPs. Founder: Venturescale.to Analyzing Consumer Tech & Platforms. On Deck ODF10. Product advisor US/APAC 👉About me: whizzoe.com

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Zoe Chew

Built 11+ MVPs. Founder: Venturescale.to Analyzing Consumer Tech & Platforms. On Deck ODF10. Product advisor US/APAC 👉About me: whizzoe.com