Curated Hotel Information vs Crowd-sourced Content
Sarah Lacy, in her typically classy and insightful travel content, points out in TechCrunch that basically we all know what to expect from an airline, no matter what airline or in what country.
We all get the bad legroom, the free soda, the predictable (if you’re lucky) arrival and departure times) all of which make air travel a ho-hum, uninteresting and non-memorable part of travel
But, Lacy says, a hotel is a different story.
It’s your home away from home, your home base and the kind of hotel, the quality of the service can make or break the travel experience and important travel memories.
So when Jetsetter, an invitational-only community of travelers, launched a personal travel planning service, the Washington Post called it “essentially a travel agent 2.0”
Jetsetter’s claim to fame is its curated reviews, priding itself on its ability to provide members with hand picked, insider reviews and recommendations of hotels and new travel attractions.
The Washington Post’s business section reports that Jetsetter’s new service isn’t cheap: It costs $200 for three hours of consultation and a detailed itinerary, that their specialists will book and arrange at no additional cost.
You get $100 back if you book a hotel through Jetsetter.
Hotelmarketing.com says that with Jetsetter’s 200 rather select travel writers, the on-line travel agency has been able to provide the in-depth, professional, balanced and detailed curated reviews and insider tips that are trusted by its members.
For Lacy, Jetsetter is not only a gorgeous site with a great design and detailed reviews, it easily surpasses TripAdvisor because, she says, TA relies on “crowd wisdom” which means a hit or miss experience.
Crowd-sourced content often depends on whether the “reviewer” has had a bad day, a good day, or any reliable, significant experience with travel or properties.
The Washington Post reporter queried Jetsetter about a Berlin trip he had in mind.
The itinerary the reporter received detailed suggestions from someone who obviously knew Berlin “like a local,” allowing the reporter to have and had a more enriching, rewarding experience than he would have without the specialized guide services of Jetsetter.
TechCrunch called the company’s new iPad app a perfect fusion of glossy travel magazine and transaction site
Jetsetter’s success may well prove that the the traveling public wants more than the cheapest price or the “wisdom of the crowd” reviews.
They want authentic experiences from trustworthy recommendations that can only come from professional, curated travel writers and companies where you pay for quality advice and service.
Not really a novel idea.
One wonders if the service signals the revival of the travel agent in their former roles as trusted travel advisers.