Gekko: Travel Innovation Summit

Company Name: Gekko

Official Website: http://www.gekko.com/

What do they do? Gekko is a “hotel recommendation engine,” through which you can then book the hotels the site recommends to you. Searches are based on a hotel users like – anywhere in the world – and the results display hotels similar to that one in the city a user is traveling to. At present, there are 130,000 hotels in 184 countries available through Gekko. If users join the Gekko community they can save favorite hotels and recommendations, and share them with friends and others in the Gekko community.

Are they a business-to-business (B2B) company, or business-to-consumer (B2C)? B2C

Founder(s): Dutch internet entrepreneur Dino van Es founded Gekko and remains on the board, and the company is based in Amsterdam.

Date Founded: 2009

Presentation Notes: Gekko inserts text links for hotels into content, so when a user reads about a particular trip and sees the hotel name is a link they can hover over it and get a pop-up window. Within that pop-up window they can find out more about the hotel, including rate, photos, maps, reviews, availability, and they can even book the hotel right from within that pop-up window. It’s good for the content provider because it means users will never have to leave their site in order to complete a transaction (for which they will get a portion of the revenue). The idea is to “close the gap between inspiration and transaction,” so users don’t have to copy/paste information they find on one site into a search engine on another site. Users can also save the hotel via Facebook Connect so they can compare hotels side-by-side and book later if they want to.

Why should/shouldn’t travelers care? Fewer steps between finding information in an article/story that makes someone want to book a trip and actually booking the trip is a good thing. Personally, I wonder how many users will understand how to get to the pop-up window information? Will the non-tech-savvy web user even notice those links?



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