New Travel Search Engine goes into Private Beta

December 19, 2007


A little while ago, my friend Yen Lee, Kango’s President and former General Manager of Yahoo Travel, gave me the opportunity to be one of the first bloggers to get a sneak preview and play around with a few months ago. I was very impressed, and decided to interview Yen to get an insight view and share it on the Tourism Internet Marketing Blog. Now, Yen informed me that he is pleased to finally open up Kango for the private beta release. Feel free to have a look at the interview, and apply to be one of the few to be a previate-beta tester. Yen noted that it helps to mention that you are a reader of the Tourism Internet Marketing Blog…

So what is, and why should you care – with all the new online travel sites out there…well, in short: Kango aims to save travelers time, so they have more time to travel. And isn’t it all about creating value to travellers? But let’s go a little bit more indepth…

Kango has received some serious funding from a well-established investor and is creating a new travel solution that is doing a couple things that are very new and interesting.

The first thing is something that will save you a lot of time. The problem I have run across in booking hotels is that one travel site will say a hotel is 3 stars, another 4 stars and if I check a third source the hotel is rated 1 star. I now, discouraged more on to looking at another hotel, not wanting to pay a 3 star price for a hotel that could end up having a 1 star experience.

Kango is doing all that work of hunting down the truth on a hotel and presenting the information on a single page

For example if I were going for a vacation in San Francisco I might decide to stay at the Omni Hotel San Francisco because

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there seems to be a broad consensus from 6 different travel sites with 250+ reviews and ratings of four-out-of-five-or-better; I may be less inclined to choose the Hotel Bijou which appears to be in a similar price range because the ratings were less consistent.

The other thing that Kango is doing is aggregating what to do when you are there, beyond just booking the hotel, which most of the major travel sites don’t really talk about, presumably because it’s to hard to make money from listings of beaches 😉 just looking at the first page of Kango ideas about things to do in San Francisco and I see a few I probably would never thought to do that look fun; sure the popular Alcatraz is listed, but what if I wanted to take the kids somewhere? The Exploratorium looks like a good bet, or perhaps the Junipero Serra Playground.

Finally, Kango should help you find better choices that lead to better trips.

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With Kango, if you are looking for a romantic getaway in San Francisco, you will get different hotel and activity recommendations than if you are looking for a family vacation in San Francisco.

After playing around with the site, which Kango is adamant, is a pre-beta at this point, I already see a lot of usefulness, which gets me a bit excited, for what else they might be working on that could save me time, make it easier to travel, and lead to

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In my opinion…a site worth watching. Good luck Yen, and keep it us posted. You can also get some more inside inforamtion right from the Kango

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Interview with the Founder of TripAdvisor Stephen Kaufer

December 16, 2007

TripadvisorAt the recent PhocusWright

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Conference in Orlando, Florida, I had the opportunity to spend some time with Stephen Kaufer, Founder, President & CEO of Travel User Generated Content leader and pioneer Read more