The Trip Boutique is an extraordinary business approach for the travel industry. As a virtual travel advisor, it enables travellers to customise their trips and receive recommendations curated by the platform’s AI-driven algorithms. Besides saving time, users have the opportunity to explore areas and new activities in their destination in an individualized way, thorough travel plans based on their individual interests and preferences.
Since the launch in 2018, the early-stage startup had been thriving with a few thousand travel plans created in eight destinations including Zurich, Paris, Berlin, London, Lisbon, Copenhagen, Helsinki and Oslo, with more cities to be added shortly. However, in the wake of the pandemic, which led to the closing of borders, travelling has changed drastically for tourists and travel-focused companies whereby the latter need to redefine their role and the meaning of marketing to stay relevant.
A long term vision and optimism to overcome the crisis
For The Trip Boutique, as revealed by the CEO and founder Fernanda Barrence, the current crisis has offered an opportunity to bolster its strategy and explore new options that will help travel companies to develop new models to address visitors’ and locals’ demands.
“In times like today, we need a long term vision and optimism. Our team has remained committed, and together we are focusing on building a solution that will propel our growth after the pandemic. We believe that now more than ever, travelers will want more guidance and better-organised trips – that is why our service becomes even more relevant and we are determined and motivated to continue developing and improving our platform”, says Fernanda.
Amidst the pandemic, the company secured investment from renowned investors including Samih Sawiris (Orascom), Elisabeth Stevens (former Booking.com director), Peter H. Müller (business angel) and Susanna Lemann (Roger Federer Foundation). This investment has enabled the company to improve its algorithms, increase the supply options of destinations and establish new business models to include B2B2C and B2B clients.
New business partnerships established
For its B2B2C segment, the company inked a deal with the Pearl Hotels in Zurich, as well as with Hapimag, the provider of holiday apartments in 57 resorts across Europe, and just recently entered a partnership with VisitOSLO, the official marketing organisation for the city of Oslo. With Oslo as the eighth destination, the partnership enables the parties to prepare for a post-pandemic world, in which travellers will be looking for more guidance and better quality in their travels, as elaborated by says Anne-Signe Fagereng, Director of Marketing at VisitOSLO. Discussions with other Destination Management Organizations are ongoing.
The 10-person company is currently starting a new B2B pilot partnership with an undisclosed travel agency that will utilise The Trip Boutique’s travel advisory platform to streamline their processes and provide highly personalized experiences for their clients more efficiently.
Photo: The Trip Boutique team