The companies on this year’s travel list are applying creativity to ease the pain points of travel, from Hoppers’s new flight-booking tool that lets you freeze the price of the airfare while you make up your mind to TripActions’ new corporate travel service that helps employees avoid carrying the costs of work trips on their personal cards. The top companies also deliver the joy of discovery: The TWA Hotel and Ennismore’s popular Hoxton brand both convey a strong sense of place; Modern Adventure taps tastemakers to introduce travelers to far-flung locales, and Hipcamp makes it easy to spend the night in a national park or forest. Ethical travel is a priority as well. In an industry first, tour company G Adventures is bringing supply chain transparency to travel by showing its customers exactly how much of their money stays in the local communities they visit.
For taking the decision fatigue out of travel
Known for creating a flight-booking tool that predicts airfares and alerts travelers to price drops, Hopper rolled out its similar hotel-booking tool to cover more than 620,000 properties across 2,500 cities. The company also launched a flight price-freeze option that lets users hold airfares (for a small deposit) before booking, and has committed to offsetting the carbon produced by every flight and hotel it sells.
For creating a hotel experience distinct enough to drive direct bookings
Ennismore operates several hotel brands, the most noteworthy being Hoxton Hotels, which entered the U.S. market and greatly expanded from four to nine hotels from September 2018 to September 2019. The brand has breathed new life into the tired “lifestyle hotel” category thanks to its open-house concept. Initiatives include Hox Friends (introducing guests to local tastemakers), a locally inspired retail concept, and neighborhood cultural programming. Its initiatives appear to be working: The brand has averaged 90% occupancy across all of the hotels since opening, and the hotel’s website is its biggest booking channel.
For democratizing camping
This comprehensive booking site includes everything from public campgrounds to private ranches and farms across the U.S., helping to inspire all people to get outdoors and become stewards of the land. A recent partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton and Recreation.gov allows HipCamp to list real-time availability for national parks and forests for the first time.
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