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Smart Trip Platform search trends in Google
Travel business has been showing
amazing growth in the past years, far
outstripping the growth of the global GDP as
a whole, and will continue to do so in the
next decade. The use of the most innovative
digital technologies has been one of the
prime movers of this growth, creating such
online travel giants as AirBnb and
TripAdvisor. However, even these
seemingly innovative projects may soon
become outdated with the arrival of the
blockchain technology. Use of tokens,
decentralized structures, smart contracts
will soon define the new face of the travel
The Smart Trip platform is created as a
revolutionary ecosystem that will bring
together travellers and tourist service
providers from all across the globe. It is both
an ultimate resource for organizing trips and
a dynamic self-organizing community. The
Smart Trip platform will provide its users
with all the advantages of the blockchain
technology: instant and secu...
Global travel industry has grown by 3.1% in 2016 - faster than the global economy
as a whole; moreover, it has been the sixth year in a row that the travel industry has
overperformed the global GDP. Experts agree that travel will remain one of the movers
of the world economy in the next decade (more details in Chapter 3 - Commercialization).
The fast growth experienced by the travel industry across the globe is not without
its pains, however. A limited number of countries get a lion’s share of internatio
and major cities and the most famous sights attract a vast majority of tourists at the
expense of less promoted or accessible regions. In such less visited countries and cities,
small-scale travel service providers - cozy guesthouses, great local restaurants, talented
tour guides - suffer
financially, having no
money or tools to attract
tourists compete with major
chains. As a result, most
tourists tend to congregate
in the same places, which
Who among us does not look forward to every upcoming trip, hoping that it will prove
to be unforgettable, authentic, and overall amazing? And yet, quite often the tourists’
hopes are dashed: they are disappointed with their accommodation and food; they get
ripped off by tour guides and taxi drivers, and eventually miss many of the key sites. In
the end, they return home and lament that the trip did not meet their expectations.
A lot of things can go wrong and spoil a vacation. Below is a breakdown of the main
issues that an independent tourist faces both before leaving home and on the road:
The way things are now, a traveller has to spend dozens of hours to plan
a truly successful trip, using lots of resources - guidebooks, Wikitravel, Tripadvisor,
Booking.com, Hostelworld, AirBnB, etc. Most people simply don’t have enough time
or experience to sift through such amounts of information.
Real-life example - African wildlife safaris.
While great local service providers exist in most places (guides,
guesthouses, drivers, etc.), they can be difficult to find online (many don’t have
websites) or contact by email or phone.
Many valuable resources, reviews, and explanations found online are
not written in English, but rather in French, Chinese, etc. Besides, many service
providers cannot write in English, further complicating communication.
Even when the tourist finds a great guesthouse or a tour guide, making a
booking can turn out to be too difficult, especially when it involves a bank transfer or
a Western Union payment with high commissions.
For many, travelling independently can present a challenge overall
- some tourists end up feeling unsafe even when there is no real danger. The world
is full of beautiful destinations where a first-time independent traveller will not feel
comfortable alone (ex...
to those few (usually expensive) providers that can communicate in English. The
situation is exacerbated when tourists have to deal with local authorities or police.
No compensation for bad service.
The combined technical and communication
difficulties when choosing services often lead to disappointment: guesthouses turn
out to be dirty and cold, tour guides barely speak English, booked vehicles arrive
late, and meals result in food poisoning. However, there is usually no way to demand
a refund or compensation and nowhere to file a complaint.
Money and commissions.
Money changing fees and commissions charged by
ATMs can be very high (for example, most ATMs in Peru charge a $5 fee on every
withdrawal), and very often tourists find that local ATMs do not even take their
international cards (in China, for instance, the majority of ATMs accept only Chinese
cards). In a lot of countries, the economy is based on cash, and having to pay for
tours, treks, and hotels in...
Shipton’s Arch, Xinjiang,
China. While most U.S. tourists are convinced that
the highest natural rock arches are located in the
States, none of them can rival the magnificent,
high Shipton’s Arch in western China,
less than two hours from Kashgar. This unique
monument is very easy and cheap to get to by car,
and yet nobody goes there, in spite of its
tremendous tourism potential. The reason? It is
not on the Lonely Planet or Wikitravel.
One and the same problem lies at the root of all these issues and many others: there
is no single tool that would allow tourists to build a perfect trip. As a result of insufficient
preparation, lack of information, and difficulties finding and contacting the best service
providers, tourists end up getting low value for their money.
Faced with competition from large hotel networks and major travel agencies, many
smaller providers of quality travel services - owners of guesthouses, jeeps, and boat...
Real-life example: jungle treks to El Mirador, Guatemala.
For those tourists who want
to discover the mysterious roots of the ancient Maya, the gigantic pyramids of El Mirador and
Nakbe, deep in the jungle of Guatemala, are a real magnet. However, tourism in the area is
almost monopolized by a cooperative of guides and porters, knows as Cooperativa, which
charges high fees and often provides guides who are mediocre, unprofessional, and even rude.
An alternative family enterprise exists, with much better prices and guides, but almost unknown
to tourists due to the aggressive marketing conducted by the Cooperativa and the fact that the
smaller company does not have a website in English.
High fees and commissions
charged by platforms like Booking and other
intermediaries (hotels selling excursions etc.). Hotels pay a 15-20% commission on every
booking on Booking.com (and sometimes over 30%, if they want to be at the top of the
recommended properties list) and 12% with Hostelworld. ...
in English, hire a SEO specialist, buy advertising space online, etc. Their services may be
quality, but travellers don’t know about them.
Absence of a unified resource.
Travel service providers have to make
themselves visible on a large number of individual resources (Booking.com, Lonely
Planet forum ThornTree, TripAdvisor, guidebooks, Wikitravel, etc.), but so far there
is no single resource, website, or platform that could serve as the main go-to hub
for travellers and service providers alike, provide all types of tourism services while
charging low fees, and thus attract truly vast numbers of clients.
Often, local hotel, restaurant and travel agency owners cannot
write in English, do not have a website in English, and for one reason or another
do not use Google Translate to reply to emails. This scares away a lot of potential
clients, who instead turn to more expensive firms whose agents speak English
(and for those tourists ...
Smart Trip Platform Roadmap
Inception of the Smart Trip platform project.
Planning of the ICO campaign.
Q4 2017 - Q1 2018
Creation of the White Paper and the official website.
Development of Ethereum-based smart contracts.
Pre-sale, work on the demo version of the platform.
Q1 - Q2 2018
Main round of the ICO, work on the final version of the platform, development of iOS and Android Smart Trip Platform apps.
Q3 - Q4 2018
Testing the Smart Trip Platform, integration of the TripCash token, creation of personal cryptocurrency wallets.
Q4 2018 - Q1 2019
Launch of integrated debit cards
Q4 2018 AND BEYOND
The Smart Trip platform becomes fully operational; extensive marketing campaign.