A group of former TripAdvisor executives have launched what they call a ‘humanised’ approach to travel booking, with kimkim.com kicking off in Australia this week.
Joost Schreve, former head of mobile at TripAdvisor and Benoit Zeler, former head of Android say they started kimkim out of the frustration faced as a result of the fragmented state of existing travel planning and booking products.
They pointed to a Expedia study, which said the average customer goes to 38 different sites spending more than 10 hours researching more involved trips
“Most travellers come to us not because they can’t book their own trip online — but because they’re time poor, kimkim co-founder Joost Schreve said. “They want to talk to a local travel expert, someone who knows the destination well and can offer curated travel advice. They want a person who loves recommending great experiences based on their personal interests, who can put the entire trip together to easily review and book in one place.
“We started kimkim because we realised travel becomes a lot more fun and fulfilling when you feel less like a tourist, and more like a traveller.”
Mr Schreve said users tell kimkim what kind of experiencing they’re looking for, and the site then connects them with a travel specialist who puts together a plan. Once a customer is 100 per cent happy with the proposed itinerary the trip is booked.
“While tourists tend to sit on big tour buses chasing checklists of top things to do, elbowing their way to take a quick photo before running off to check off the next attraction, travellers are looking to really experience a destination in all its unique glory, venturing off the beaten path, meeting locals, understanding the culture and creating truly meaningful memories,” Mr Schreve said.
“Those are the kind of experiences we’re creating at kimkim. We’re bringing the local expert back into the trip planning process and to date, we’ve taken bookings ranging from $1,000 to $6,000, for an expertly curated holiday in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations like Nepal, Iceland, Peru, Jordan and Myanmar.
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