The Scan: Vayama reboots its international flight metasearch, Hipmunk reboots its hotel search, and more news
Hipmunk, Vayama, TVTrip, Leading Hotels of the World, Hostelworld, RyanAir, Easyjet, Kulula Airlines, OpenJaw, and AvailPro all get mentioned in our roundup of the short news items driving opinion on 14 November.
Metasearch site Vayama has done a reboot of its website, putting fresh, visual spins on how it presents its listings for international flight bookings. The beta site now has four ways to search for international flights – quick search, map view, grid view and list view. It produces results in a tenth-of-a-second, unlike the previous waiting times of up to half-a-minute, says the company.
During the beta, the tool will work for 100 origin and destination combinations from five U.S. cities: New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, and Miami. As Tnooz previously reported, Amadeus is testing flight search tech on Vayama.
Yesterday California startup Hipmunk, which specialises in presenting booking options in a visual way, replaced its slow and confusing hotel booking tool with a redesigned tool. One of the biggest changes is that Hipmunk is now letting users book and check-out while remaining on the site, thanks to partner APIs, where available.
The old Hipmunk hotels tool had a long list of properties, color-coded by affordability and plotted in various neighbourhoods. Users could activate a “heat map” to see which parts of town were best for various interests, such as “nightlife.”
The new site encourages users to pick the type of traveller they are, such as “family,” business,” or “gay,” and then see neighbourhoods where those types of travellers may feel most at home, with pop-up descriptions of the districts written by freelance writers.
Booking site Hostelworld.com has signed a connectivity agreement with Availpro, a French hotel booking technology provider. AvailPro says that Hostelworld is the 110th distributor it has signed up, and that so far in 2012 Availpro has serviced €438 million in bookings.
Dublin’s OpenJaw Technologies, which provides Internet booking systems for travel brands by routing around global distribution systems, has signed up South African airline, kulula.com, to sell ancillaries, such as vacation packages. The airline is the largest online travel retailer in South Africa.
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Sean O’Neill is Editor-in-Chief of Tnooz.
Before joining us, Sean was the future of travel columnist at BBC Travel, senior editor of BudgetTravel.com, and an associate editor at Kiplinger’s. He now lives in New Jersey, after a four-year stint in London. Follow him on Twitter.