Taking an overseas city break is a great experience, but somehow it always seems like the locals are having all the fun. If you’ve visited Berlin, Germany, and wished you knew where to find the best entertainment or the “in” places to eat, you can relax. Plus One Berlin has launched the city break with a difference – you not only stay in a modern studio apartment in Berlin’s trendy Kreuzkölln district, you get the company of a local resident who can show you where it’s all happening.
Plus One Berlin visitors have a choice of accommodation and a selection of local hand-picked guides who are chosen for their knowledge and passion of the city. When a guest makes their reservation, guests are given a login to enable them to browse and select their guide. Once they pick a local guide, they indicate if they wish to experience the local area by going to a restaurant or be taken to popular local hangouts.
Plus One Berlin is a great example of exceeding expectation by thinking outside the box. Hospitality entrepreneurs from around the world, here is a value add service idea to add to your offering!
Travellers having to drag a heavy suitcase around as they navigate through airports will soon be a thing of the past. Madrid based designer, Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has come up with an ingenious idea to resolve this problem. Meet the smart suitcase named “The Hop” which will follow its owner around. The Hop has three receivers, which communicate with the traveller’s smartphone app via Bluetooth.
The Hop will follow the user at a set distance and can also be set to have multiple Hops follow each other and trail behind the user. If lose of signal, then the user will receive an alert on their smartphone and the Hop locks itself in position to prevent tampering.
In an age of increasingly security conscious airports, there are some obvious issues to an automatic hands-off carry-on luggage roaming around an airport. This will be an issue Rodrigo will need to overcome. The Hop is currently in development with no date of launch.
The Hop suitcase is a simple extension of technology that has already found applications in other devices like lawnmowers and vacuum cleaners. Surely it won’t be long before you see these suitcases at an airport near you.
The polished aluminium travel trailers that we use to see in Hollywood in the by gone era is making a comeback. When Wally Bryan launched the first Airstream travel trailer in 1931, he made the rounded light aluminium construction to enable for easy towing. What he didn't know was that the unique trailers would become a design icon.
Airstream are hitting the niche luxury mobile traveller market with its ultra high quality trailers. Just recently, Airstream brand launched in Sydney with two modified models, the 624 and 762 which comply with the Australian standards. With a $115,000 starting price tag for the 624, 6.2m long model the classic trailer is specifically targeting the high end outdoor traveller market segment.
Perfect example of how one company is revitalising a past classic icon to a new updated design with a niche luxury twist. Can you think of any other product or service which has the potential of been redesigned and revamped for todays market?
We have all had one of those awkward flight boarding moments where we had thoughts such as "hope I don't sit next to …..". Well Dutch Airline KLM is now making flying more social and hopefully preventing these awkward moments for travellers.
The service is available to travellers who have confirmed their flight reservation and who have opted-in to the service by connecting their social profiles to their booking. After deciding on the amount of social profile information they wish to share, travellers are presented with seat maps showing where others that have shared their social profiles are seated. Travellers can then select a seat if available, next to someone they find interesting and in turn the other person receives a message with the other travellers profile details.
Currently the service is only available on flights between Amsterdam and New York and San Francisco and Sao Paolo.
With 500 million active Facebook users and possibly 8 million of those flying daily, there is a potential high take up rate for these types of social services. Great concept to explore for other types of markets where social media can provide a value add to customers.
The hospitality industry is getting very creative in coming up with new niche markets in an already saturated market. The hotel accommodation segment is really standing out in this regard. On Valentines Day 2012, we tweeted and spotted hotel packages for threesome getaways on wish.co.uk for the open-minded. This week we find another contender Day Use Hotels hitting a niche market, offering a guide to boutique hotels that sell rooms by the hour.
Targeting business people and lovers, Day Use Hotels has 200 hotels spread across Europe offering rooms by the hour. The rates vary based on time slots ranging from 3hrs to 7hrs and offer 30% to 70% off the standard full day room rate.
Discreetness is exercised with reservation confirmations made via SMS opposed to credit cards while payments are made at the hotels.
Day Use Hotels also have a iPad and iPhone app for the more mobile clientele.
Proving that even in the most saturated markets such as the hotel accommodation segment have definite niche opportunities. Ideal concept to introduce into other markets and areas of the globe.