This week an online app intended to take the pain out of booking travel went live.
Courtesy of an Auckland entrepreneur, ‘Rogue Travel' has been designed to do the hard work currently done by frustrated small business owners, personal assistants, and admin staff when booking multiple flights and hotels for themselves and colleagues.
“The big travel amalgamators like Skyscanner make finding flights easy, but that's about it,” says Rogue Travel founder Hiten Parbhu.
“They give you lots of options, but then leave you on your own when it comes to the really tedious thing: entering passenger details. Plus, they send you all over the web to various providers instead of keeping all your bookings in one central place.
This is the opportunity that Rogue Travel is looking to grasp, after a few months of beta testing to ensure a smooth launch this week.
Parbhu says the web app streamlines flight and hotel bookings by keeping an organisation's passenger details — names, date of birth, passport numbers, frequent flyer memberships and so on — on the one platform.
Users can simply search just as they would on any other travel websites to find the cheapest and most convenient flights and hotels. Then they select who's travelling and all passenger details are automatically added, saving hours of chasing individual people up for updated passport numbers and so on.
Payment is made directly through roguetravel.co.nz and all trip details are kept through the one platform. Rogue Travel charges users a small booking fee for the service.
Parbhu says they've built a tool which effectively removes the need for a corporate travel agent, but more importantly, a tool that is going to disrupt a market dominated by only a handful of huge players.
“There's false competition in the travel booking industry because it looks to the consumer like there are many different options to search and book through, but in fact there are only really a handful of companies which own the vast majority of the websites,” says Parbhu.
“We're going in to disrupt this industry by breaking down the archaic structure it's currently in, giving consumers the most user-friendly option for commercial travel, and bringing in a mix of modern technology and real local touch.