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Companies that changed the way we travel

Airbnb

 The company that put us sleeping at strangers homes and even pay for it. It changed the way we experience a new destination by staying at locals houses and meet their hosts. It also fuelled the sharing economy as never other company did and triggered a few other types of business from companies providing services for Airbnb hosts.

Founded in 2008, Airbnb, previously called airbedandbreakfast.com raised $7.2 million in venture funding in 2010 and by June 2015, the total money raised by the company to-date is $2.3 billion, of which $1.5 billion was in the most recent round. (In techcrunch)

Uber

Still under a lot of controversy for their company culture and how they classify drivers as contractors or employees; how it disrupts transport laws and how local taxis stand in the market or how they use their dynamic pricing.

Love it or hate it, Uber service is available in 83 countries and over 674 cities worldwide and its valuation in 2017 was $69 billion which then dropped to $49 billion (in Skift)

Lonely Planet

 I see it every time I travel somewhere. A tourist on some sort of public transport with a lonely planet guide. This applies to all type of tourists, the 20 year old on a sabbatical year, the digital nomad that carries the laptop close to the little book or the 60 year old couple on a romantic trip with white socks and sandals

Their website if beautiful and their forum is still used by millions as a research tool for their trips.

 The guides are on every single airport shop or on your average book store. And you can also buy them online, even by chapter if you’re not planning to go on sabbatical soon.

The company was bought by NC2 Media in 2013 from BBC Worldwide for US$77 million. (in Lonely Planet)


TripAdvisor 

Before the controversy problem that TripAdvisor´s had to face on a constant basis due to companies complaining about false reviews or even fake companies (recently TripAdvisor´s top first restaurant in London revealed to actually don’t exist), the platform provided, for the first time, transparency about all sorts of services accessible to anyone.

Some users take their task of reviewing places seriously and you find very useful evaluations, especially when visiting a new city or trying to find inspiration for a new experience.

Founded in 2000, one of the co-founders says the company was “started as a site where we were focused more on those official words from guidebooks or newspapers or magazines. We also had a button in the very beginning that said, "Visitors add your own review”. And it was with that button that TripAdvisor became a platform famous for their user generated content.

 In 2004, the company was purchased by IAC/InterActiveCorp and In August 2005, IAC spun off its travel group of businesses under the Expedia, Inc. name. In December 2011, TripAdvisor was spun off from Expedia in a public offering. (in Expedia)

  

Skyscanner

 You may disagree and find Kayak the flight meta search engine the most influential in the way we book our flights.

I find them pretty similar in results and navigation. However, the reason why I selected Skyscanner is because it was the first to give us more flexibility for looking for inspiration. Before Kayak had their Explore option, Skyscanner was already letting us search for flights from our closest airport to Everywhere.

 

It opened space for emergent destinations to come up on search results for travellers that were lacking on inspiration on where to go for a City Break.  

Founded in 2001 by three co-founders, Skyscanner was then acquired In November 2016 by Ctrip, the largest travel firm in China, on a deal worth $1.75 billion (in The Guardian)

 

Hostelworld

To be able to book cheap accommodation and meet other travellers changed made a huge impact on budget travelling. Many claim that being a backpacker is a way of living and most definitely being hostelworld´s user is part of the code.

 

“HSW launched Hostelworld in 1999, providing an affordable online global distribution channel for hostels and budget accommodation providers.

 In 2003, HSW acquired the next brand in its portfolio; Hostels.com. This was followed in 2005, by the acquisition of WorldRes, a hotel-focused OTA, which HSW subsequently sold in 2008 as part of its strategy to refocus on its core hostels business.” In (Hostelworld)

 

By Filipa