Start-up lures online travel reviewers with commissions

A peer-to-peer travel booking platform just launched in Singapore is touting commissions for users making travel recommendations that result in bookings.

Trvl received US$3.5 million in funding with which it aims to become a global player with millions of users. It is founded by Jochem Wijnands, who had sold his previous company Prss to Apple for an undisclosed amount to become Apple News.

Peer-to-peer travel booking platform goes global

The start-up states that the website displays user reviews during the booking process, and pays those offering “peer-to-peer travel advice” a commission of up to 15 per cent on every booking.

“We’re living in the DIY age of travel bookings, and Trvl is rewarding (travellers) for acting like your own travel agent,” said Wijnands.

Trvl cites its own research showing that 91.7 per cent of respondents value personal recommendations highly or very highly. It is not stated if the same can be expected from online reviews tied to commissions.

Arthur Hoffman, COO of Trvl, said: “When deciding where in Asia to launch first, the choice was easy. Singapore is an affluent nation of passionate travellers.” Citing Euromonitor, Trvl shared that 89 per cent of Singaporeans are making travel bookings online (as of September 2017), whereas 10 years prior it was just 36 per cent.

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