The Travel Startup Blog

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Upgraded Comparison Engine Adds Hotels and Car Rentals

Some of you may have noticed that our front page has changed dramatically. We have pushed our core trip planning comparison search engine to the front of the stage on the main page, and dramatically improved the engine that runs it all. We have also removed some of the neat things you are used to (travel guides, community and restaurant and hotel reviews) but don't worry, they will be back in full force very soon. You'll also notice a completely unique new community driven travel deal voting system, but I'll leave describing that for tomorrow's post.

So first, lets talk about our shopping comparison engine. We spent a lot of time watching what travelers like you were doing on Travature, and we found one of the very first things new Travature users do is search for flights. So we listened to your feedback, and spent a lot of time working on making our flight search engine top notch. By searching hundreds of websites that offer airfares, we can give you unbiased (yep trust the algorithm) feedback on who the cheapest website is to book your specific flight (remember we don't book your ticket we just help you find the best place to book the ticket). We also though now can tell you a lot more, about the details of that flight including sophisticated filters based on stops, flight times, airlines, and even nearby airports. We also can take in advanced options now such as economy versus 1st class and whether you are traveling with children. All this ads up to a smoother experience, so you can find the website that is offering you the travel plans perfect for you.

Along with the upgraded flight search engine, we have also added the two major pieces that were missing for comparison travel shopping: hotel search and car rental search. Now on Travature you can use our same great search engine that compares hundreds of websites for the best airfare, and now apply that to finding the best rates for hotels and car rentals as well. What also is great is that we integrate it all so by default we search flights, hotels, and car rentals together , so you can get an idea of what the total trip will cost if you book it all online.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Find over a half million restaurant reviews and more hotels

Today we greatly increased the number of restaurant reviews we aggregate from all over the world. We added a GIANT amount of new reviews from travelers all over the web, and the total amount has now surpased 500,000 reviews, on nearly 250,000 restaurants. Thats a lot of opinions!

For good measure we also increased our hotel count to over 35,000 and will be making major additions on that front in the near future as well.

With all these new reviews we decided to make a major change in our sorting algorithm, and now show you the most popular restuarants/hotels as the default sort order. We figure, if your traveling somewhere and can only go to a few restaurants while you are in town, you probably first want to check out the places that most people talk about.

So enjoy all that amazing traveler generated content, and don't hesitate to be the one that adds the 500,001st review.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Aloha and ATA Go Bankrupt

As many of you have heard both Aloha and ATA airlines have gone out of business this week filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Both Aloha and ATA were close working partners with us and we offer our condolences to all the employees and customers adversely effected by the bankruptcy.

If you had purchased a ticket on one of these airlines we recommend contacting United and Hawaiian airlines Aloha assistance pages (linked above) as they have setup a standby program to try and help accommodate those who have lost their reservations. We hope all is well and your Hawaiian travels will continue as planned.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Mashable reviews Travature

Those oh so cuddly folks over at Mashable, did a review on us. With 5million pageviews and 750,000 readers a month, having them give us a shout out was really great. As an added bonus our site didn't die, which one always has to worry about when huge number of people come check you out all at once. Overall we were really happy that Kristen seemed to "get" Travature.

Check out the review at: http://mashable.com/2008/04/02/travature/

oh and if you are ever so kind, you could digg the article too!

Monday, March 31, 2008

LA Networking, Tech Scene Growing in Southern California

So it was a real busy week meeting Angels, VCs, and lots of other tech startups. The week was packed with DigitalLA on Wednesday, Dealmaker LA on Thursday, Community Next Twiistup party on Friday, Community Next Conference on Saturday, and closing out with MashMeet LA 2.0 Saturday night. How the heck are startups supposed to be doing any work, with so much schmoozing going on? I guess it just means more burning the midnight oil to make up for it. Anyways the events were actually really good, and its nice to see the tech startup scene (even if we are on the outskirts down here in San Diego) starting to become more cohesive. Building relationships with investors and other startups right now is a big focus, and last week was very productive in that regard. Anyways, looks like the networking events, in LA/SD, are dying down in the next couple of weeks, so its time for us to plug head strong back into the coding dungeon.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

MySpace Travel Application Released!

We have been hard at work over here trying to get our Myspace Applications ready by the time the Myspace was ready for them. Well today that time has come and while we have 3 applications ready to roll only one of them made it through. That being said it is probably good fortune what we had one application make it as many developers have not gotten a single application approved.

Basically our application is a map where you can type in the countries you have been to and you get to show everyone who visits your myspace page where you have been (its more detailed, but that is a simplified version of our application). I hope you add the application to your Myspace page, you will find it available here.

Here is a sample of what it looks like (and yes this is my travel map)!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Travatures New Socially Focused Main Travel Landing Page

So what the heck have we been up to in Travature development land? Well a lot actually, widgets, gadgets, Myspace, and Opensocial are all getting some attention, and we'll have more to talk about on that front very shortly. But the big announcement today (if you haven't already noticed), is the new main page.

One of the things we've been striving to do is better show all the cool stuff that you can do in the Travature community. Meta search for flights across hundreds of airlines and travel providers, find and review millions of restaurants and hotels, access and edit thousands of wiki formatted travel guides, upload pictures from your travel adventures, and engage other travelers directly through social profiles and our travelers forums. All of this stuff has been available for a couple of months now, but how it integrated together into one tightly packaged travel platform has been a bit vague. You had to go to other pages, and as a result what we thought would be a simple and clean Google style main page turned out to be confusing for a lot of people.

Todays new main page, should help show people how easy it is to use all of our travel resources. By being able to access our flight search engine, the travel guides, and all the user generated reviews together in one place, it eliminates the need for separate sections for people to get lost in. We also have added the entire right column that shows user feeds of the most recent activity, plus the best user uploaded travel photo for the week, as well as the top most engaged social users. All of which should help make our the social portion of our travel community more transparent.

Anyways, we hope you like the changes and as always feel free to contact us with any suggestions!
 
Company: About Us Help Blog Site Map
Copywrite Travature 2008. Use of this site is subject to Terms of Use.