Tech and tourism: 11 people changing the way we travel
There's never been a better time to be a tourist.And it's all thanks to the people behind today's great industry innovations -- including these 11 individuals who make us more excited than ever to hit the road
(CNN)There's never been a better time to be a tourist.
Whether it's a cool new app helping find the best flight deal or a website to help book an authentic meal in a stranger's home in a foreign city, travel tech has made it easier than ever to make the most of your time away from home.
And it's all thanks to the people behind today's great industry innovations -- including these 11 individuals who make us more excited than ever to hit the road.
Chris Lopinto, ExpertFlyer.com
Claim to fame: Getting you out of the middle seat
We've surfed the Internet to find the best airline deal, only to get stuck in the middle seat on a plane with limited reclining space and no legroom whatsoever.
If we'd checked out ExpertFlyer.com beforehand, that scenario wouldn't have happened.
Co-founded by Long Island, New York, native Chris Lopinto, it's a free app and subscription-based website that offers a bit of empowerment for frequent bargain travelers.
Lopinto says ExpertFlyer was born out of he and his co-founders' own bad experiences as frequent fliers.
They designed the site to give users a way to check ticket prices or "fare buckets" (along with respective restrictions), availability of award tickets and upgrades (in real time) and create automated searches for a better seat based on traveler guidelines (seat alerts) before purchase.
Even travel agencies and airlines themselves are now using ExpertFlyer's Seat Alerts app.
Layton Han, ADARA
Claim to fame: Dissecting complex travel data
Next time anyone gets a tweet from an airline about a seat upgrade opportunity, it's more than likely Layton Han was behind it.
As the man in charge of the ADARA Magellan platform, Han works with 80 of the world's most established travel brands, including Delta, United and Hertz.
The way it works is ADARA collects information from 300 million travelers to customize marketing and advertising messages, personalize websites and tailor customer communications based on individual preferences.
Before joining ADARA, Han co-founded the online loyalty marketing company MyPoints.com (now owned by United Airlines).
"Today, there are many different ways to communicate with existing and potential customers, such as through social media and mobile applications," says Han.
"Travel brands need to develop and synchronize customer-marketing messages across various channels."