It’s an undeniable fact that when it comes to the best live music events, they are inevitably very far away from you, usually in a different country. That Erased Tapes tour with Nils Frahm and Olafur Arnalds? It took place across Europe. The Anais Mitchell Child Ballads tour? Across the US and UK. So what do you do when you want to see your favorite artist or sports team, or even theatre group live? You try to plan out a trip, browsing several travel sites, trying to find flights, hotels around the venue, and coordinating all of it around the date of the event. It’s a frustrating experience, especially since most travel planning sites don’t revolve around gigs and shows. But what if there was a one stop solution where you could find transport, hotel and other travel recommendations centered around the big day, all neatly tied together in a single package? You would probably rejoice, like many of us. The good news is that Travelatus, a Moscow startup, is this one stop solution.
From “the Amazon for travel” to live events
Founded by Valentin Dombrovsky (CEO, “Chief Exhilaration Officer”), Vitaliy Korobkin (CTO, “Chief Tune Officer”) and Denis Volkov (CIO, “Chief Inspiration Officer”), Travelatus helps you search for events, hotels, and transportation for an event, all at the same time, while offering you personalized recommendations.
Travelatus began with Dombrovsky who started his own internet marketing consulting company in 2009, but after 2 years, he realized that he couldn’t live the way most people lived, working from 10 am to 6 pm. So he sold his stake in the company to his partner and started looking for something more challenging. It was around that time that he teamed up with Korobkin and Volkov to experiment with CPA networks in a bid to earn money from affiliate programs. They felt that travel would be a great vertical to do something in and started the process of creating something they called “the Amazon for travel”. Their aim was to provide people with the ultimate travel solution including hotels, air tickets, event tickets and excursions, so that they need not consult any other site ever again. However, after they spent some time working on it, gained some knowledge about the world of travel and listened to some advice from people in the industry, they pivoted and turned to event travel, as it was an unexplored niche.
Recommendations personalized just for you
Travelatus recommends events based on users’ interests that they source from their Facebook accounts. It’s a simple and effective mechanism which the team plans to improve upon further. The second level of recommendations that they offer is the filtering of events according to their distance from the user. And finally, they provide a highly personalized solution using all the data they gather from an user’s social networks and activity on the site. As Dombrovsky says, “If we find out that Justin Bieber fans of ages 20 to 25 prefer to stay in hostels, we will present such offers for them first of all.”
Group event travel planning is something that they plan to roll out soon; they are developing it to go hand in hand with their recommendation and discovery engine. There are precious few options on the internet for people who want to travel as a group to events. Most of the time, people have to sort out itineraries individually – a huge hassle, especially with large groups. Travelatus promises to solve this soon. They have also considered additional options like post event excursions, but as Dombrovsky says, that is not their primary focus as of now.
Future plans: “Marathon travel”?
Sport, live music and theatre are the three verticals currently covered, but they’re considering expanding the range of options; the plan is to be a global travel event catalogue. They have plans galore – one of the most interesting ones is travel projects for different niches, such as “Marathon Travel” for people who, like Dombrovsky, love running. They are primarily focused on the US and the UK as of now, but do list events for North America and Europe as well. South America is their next target – the market is more or less empty when it comes to event travel solutions there. Their growth plans include picking up on long tail keyword searches to drive traffic, affiliate programs, creating their own API, working with hotels and artists through the use of widgets on their sites, and partnering with travel bloggers. They are currently partnered with Expedia and Seatwave. According to them, opportunities in event travel have mostly remained unexplored, and this is something they want to popularize. Event travel is something that gives you freedom of choice, the founders feel, and Travelatus is all about giving people this freedom.