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Itinari wants to become the reference platform for travel inspiration in Europe. Our goal is to inspire travelers wherever they go, whatever they look for, turning their traditional travel guide into a personal and customised digital travel companion. The very pulsing heart of itinari is our community of editors. Spread across more than 35 countries all over the continent, our editors are inspiring writers, passionate travelers or locals proud of their country and traditions. They share their best articles daily with you. From Azerbaijan to Greenland, from Sweden to Portugal, itinari editors reveal the best-kept spots, their tips and favorite hidden gems in the places they love and know the best.
Travel industry was among the first to be hit by disruption from the web. In the early 2000's, booking websites started to pop-up everywhere: they made easy for you to find the right flight to book, the best accomodation for you. Then came comparison platforms, meta-search engines (Skyscanner, Kayak), and market places (AirBnb and the like). We believe that one major element was ignored by competition: INSPIRATION.
Nowadays, travelers are geo-localised, use their mobile, look at multiple qualitative trusted sources, share or comment what they like, and want to customise their journeys. Behaviors have changed, and we want to be in line with them.
Also, major booking portals and websites are increasingly acknowledging the relevance of location insights when it comes to make a booking decision. In this context, they look for integrating travel content and technologies within their portal's hotel pages, so as to turn more visitors into customers.
On the B2C side.
Right now, our website already displays more than 1,500 stories from our community of editors, as well as 90,000 places on the European map. Anywhere you want to go, you can find inspiration across 35 countries.
Coming next are the following major steps : tagging of stories per type, enhanced map interactivity features, turning our website multilingual to match with the needs of an European audience. (50% of our audience today).
On the B2B side.
We are finetuning the itinari widget that will allow any accomodation business or booking portal to include, in their website, itinari content and display it to their users. This widget would include all relevant travel-related information: best itinari Stories about things to visit in the area, written by professional itinari bloggers, events to attend, things to see. In a word, they would have in their website what they have today (for free) on their itinari page.
We are active in the Web field, where patents are not relevant. Our intellectual property is linked to our assets:
- Proprietary tool for extracting publicly available data from the Web and turning them into structured elements in our DataBase: typically the 90,000 + referenced places on our platform.
- In-house built technology, based on a self-learning approach, for structuring our catalogue of stories (1,500 today) based on automatically generated labels/tags, using a semantic approach.
- Architecture and meshing of the website itself, that guarantees sound SEO (natural visibility for Google and other search engines).
Some contracts were signed in 2017, when we sold our editor tool to Destination Marketing Organisations willing to promote their region online using itinari platform.
We believe, though, that targeting accommodation business will result in much higher return.
We work on two streams in parallel:
1/ Enhance the users traction (B2C) and generate ever increasing traffic on our website
2/ Sell "itinari widgets" to accomodation business who share our diagnosis: the need for inspiring, on their website, their visitors on what to do around.
Regarding B2C traction, we base our strategy on SEO (natural Google referencing). Already today, 70% majority of users come from Google search engine, 15% from the Socials (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and Medium). We will continue strengthening our SEO.
Regarding B2B, in the short term we are doing a pilot phase with hotels to finetune the widget offering, prior to addressing directly bigger portals.
We are attending major hospitality and tourism events, in Belgium and beyond, to position the itinari brand on the market and be aware of latest travel tech trends.
We get in touch either directly with the hotels (mails and calls), booking portals, or through HORECA industry federations.
Becoming international has been at the core of what we have done since the start. Our community of editors is made today of ~30 people, all over Europe. They are not just great writers, but contribute as real itinari ambassadors in their home country, by closing partnerships with local initiatives.
By publishing authentic content, they make their region and country beautiful online; they are also crucial in reaching out to hotels and accommodation business to sell our product.
Beyond this, our structured catalogue of inspiration stories will be turning multilingual very soon.
We have closed some partnerships with institutions and Destination Marketing Organisations, among which Necstour (association of more than 30 highly touristic European regions, based in Brussels) and Fedra (Federation of European Growth Actors).