Have you ever wondered why all holiday websites use the same or similar search boxes, or fields? Why do they force you to already know things like -
- Where you want to go?
- When you want to go?
- Which airport you must fly from?
- How long you want to go for?
- What date you want to leave?
What if you don’t know some or all of these things right now?
We’re not all travel experts!
My guess is that most of us aren’t great at geography and know little about some of the holiday destinations in the lists on a website, so how do I choose? Answer: I spend hours online, searching loads of (old technology) websites, looking for inspiration!
I am also guessing that most of us could probably fly from more than one ‘local’ departure airport, but choosing more than one is not an option!
And what if I might actually like to see what I type of holiday, to fit my personal needs, I can buy for my money, before I decide how long I will go away?
Finally, how can I compare prices between different places, if I’m forced to choose one, drill down, go back, choose another etc., etc.
You get the picture!
The fact is that we are not all travel experts and the technology doesn’t allow us to compare destinations, or types of holiday, or find holidays that have the facilities or features that suit my lifestyle … before making all those decisions above.
So what’s the problem? Why are we stuck with this old technology?
The cause stems from the legacy reservation systems used by the majority of the larger Tour Operators. Yesterday’s technology, with restricted processing and communications capabilities, along with the need to enable Travel Agents to connect and book into these systems, forced the industry down a completely inflexible road with regard to data structures.
Over time, this restrictive structure became the de facto ‘standard’. Many companies, travel agencies, websites and systems are now dependent on this recognised structure of data and the methods of search and it is difficult to see a way to change it. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it! Basically the search relies on the pricing and availability data within these systems, rather than the rich descriptive content about the holiday.
Appi Holidays to the rescue!
We figured that it was about time for a change. How could we get away from the old approach to finding you a holiday? Could we find a way of bringing the simplicity of user interfaces like that of the iPhone, to the data and content of holidays in the industry? What if we turned the search “on-its head”?
Well we think we’ve succeeded! Appi Holidays uses the rich content first, then slices-and-dices the pricing and availability data to filter the results down to a manageable number, based on your choices at each step.
The result is a revolutionary, simple-to-use method of searching and comparing holidays that match your needs, rather than forcing strict decisions from you at the beginning of the process. Think of it more as a “lifestyle” or “features” search.
In addition to this, for the first time, we are able to introduce the Customer to a whole range of different “Types” of holiday in a single App, giving him choices he probably hadn’t considered previously. This offers a huge opportunity to smaller, specialist Tour Operators to promote their product to this marketplace.
And, with our intelligent Search technology, the choice of “features” for the Customer change relevant to the holiday type. So, for example, with a “Sun & Beach” holiday, a room with a “Sea view” may be important, but with a “Ski” holiday, a “Ski in, Ski out” chalet may be important. The whole experience is based on filtering the important criteria to each individual holidaymaker, to deliver a set of relevant results that meet their needs.
Oh, and as a by-product, guess what, IT DOESN’T SELL ON PRICE FIRST! It also allows the customer to compare holidays in different Destinations and Resorts side-by-side.
We hope you like it and are looking at more ways of improving the experience for the future!
See here for a more detailed view of the Search process and App.