Today, the world is moving at a pace unthinkable of five years ago. The number of technological advancements and opportunities have grown multi-fold & so is the competition. Indirectly leaving no window for escape from the daily-loop of life. One such escape which offers you a breather from your everyday busy life is travel.
The willingness to travel is steadily increasing over the past decade and it is no different in India. From 40k Indian passport holders in 1970 to 75 million passport holders in 2017, the number of people interested in travelling to international destinations has drastically increased. Interestingly, out of the 75 million passport holders, only 20 million of them travel. One of the prime reasons being the dearth of good travelling options. The same cliched package trips with zero customization is a huge block. This is where travel startup Pickyourtrail comes into the picture.
The Pickyourtrail journey:
Based out of Chennai, Pickyourtrail is the brainchild of co-founders Hari and Srinath. Ardent travellers themselves, they were irked by the fact that there were fewer options that allowed them to customize their trip.
“Everyone should be able to explore the places they want, at their own pace and shouldn’t be stuck with packaged trips.” – Hari
This ignited a spark and they started off with just a landing page in 2014. The response was tremendous. Over 1000 people signed up in two days and this encouraged the duo to start their own travel platform – VEHO, India’s first travel personalization platform. Manually fed with 1000’s of itineraries in the backend, VEHO matches the interests of the travellers and presents with top three itineraries that best suits their liking. These itineraries are completely customizable.
Around the same time, Pickyourtrail also launched their Android app, Travel Genie. Vouchers, guides, and real-time travel concierge are all a part of Travel Genie.
“There is a huge gap between what people want and what they get. Our motto at Pickyourtrail is to ensure that the travellers get what they ask for at the most competitive price.” – Srinath
18 months after VEHO’s success, the duo then launched PLATO (Planning Tool). Unlike VEHO, PLATO helps generate itineraries in real time. The current Pickyourtrail platform is powered by the intelligence of PLATO.
Significance of technology in travel:
Type in the name of the country or the city you want to visit, choose the number of days and pick your interests. With the help of predictive analysis and matching algorithm, Pickyourtrail presents you with a complete itinerary.
The beauty of this itinerary is that machine learning studies the pattern of the travellers, their reviews on the activities, & hotels and presents a Pickyourtrail recommended itinerary. Optimum routing ensures travelling between cities is a breeze. Price comparison engine makes sure the travellers get what they want at the lowest possible price. Pickyourtrail’s robust system along with the booking engine helps in multiple hotel and flight bookings, in a matter of few minutes.
Intricately designed, this itinerary is ready to use. But the room to customize is always there. Change the activities, accommodation, and add/delete cities. The itinerary is fully customizable and you can tailor-make your vacation the way you want.
You can plan, customize, and book your vacation through Pickyourtrail in under 10 minutes. And the most interesting part is, all of this is done without any human intervention. Travellers can find all the information related to their trip under ‘Your vacations’ – visa, vouchers, travel essentials, packing checklist, and travel apps.
Post booking Pickyourtrail extends support to the travellers with their 24*7 concierge service. Offering the travellers with shadow-travel experience, Customer Happiness team of Pickyourtrail ensures that the travellers are constantly updated and their vacation goes hassle-free. In addition to this, Pickyourtrail also has a dedicated guides page loaded with country and city-wise information.
What the future holds:
The company has partnered with several travel service providers and tour operators like Expedia, Amadeus, Viator, & Tripadvisor, to provide the best possible activities available in each city to their customers.
Aimed at new age travellers, Pickyourtrail is changing the way Indian’s are travelling. A recent study by Google and Boston Consulting Group on Travel Trends 2017 mentioned Pickyourtrail as the benchmark in the online travel industry. In a time, when individuals have to refer over 38 sites to plan their vacation, Pickyourtrail stands out. The proprietary algorithm works seamlessly in the platform and it bridges the gap between travellers and their interests.
A dedicated mobile app is their next focus.
“Daily reminders, weather updates, currency exchange rates, and other travel info will be automatically integrated into the app so the travellers need not download any other third-party applications.” – Hari
Till date, Pickyourtrail has served over 6000 travellers with 60% of the travellers from either repeat or referral. They have 750+ genuine 5-star reviews on Facebook, making them the top-rated travel company in India. Pickyourtrail has been growing at 120% year-on-year and by 2020, they are expected to hit Rs.200 crores.