Travelgrove Launches Social Network for Travelers

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Travelgrove, a travel search engine, today announced its new travel community beta version where travelers will be able to share travel info, upload travel pictures, review hotels and destinations and ask questions to other travelers within their network.

Travelgrove announced today that it has launched a new social network for travelers that allows users to upload images, write travel journals, make friends, ask real people for real advice and much more. The goal is to create a communication platform where travelers inform their friends of their travels and connect with others to receive advice, tips and hot deals.

The beta version of the site allows for basic features and will be built out in the coming months. Membership will be free and Travelgrove will allow 5,000 initial beta users that will have no usage limitations.

Travelgrove will not be competing directly with any of the existing communities, but will be using the community to learn about travelers and listen to its users so new features can be implemented into the search. Travelgrove's travel search engine can only be different from others it develops an active and loyal community that helps define new features and functionality. A travel search engine from the people for the people is the goal.

"We want to make this community a place to share, to give back and to learn from others. This is as true for our users as it is for our own company trying to improve features on Travelgrove for our travel community," explains Peter Suhayda, CEO of Travelgrove.

The company believes that empowering the voice of the traveler will make the difference between the other travel search engines. Travelgrove will actively listen to what users have to say, what their interests are, and what features they are looking for to make better decisions.

Several sites have shown that the travel community model can also work from a business standpoint, but Travelgrove rather views it as something that helps enhancing the site and get the users involved. In the long term, Travelgrove believes in the positive impact resulting from better features and more user loyalty.

"People want to express themselves, and they are happy to help others, as a result people will be coming back for more. A strong travel community cannot replace a travel professional's advice but it can add confidence when making travel decisions," Mr. Suhayda states.

Travelgrove has had some good experience in the social space from its partnerships with existing travel community sites that use the company's search solutions. By learning from its own community, Travelgrove is planning to help its publisher network make the most of their sites.

Travelgrove initially keeps all pages in English and will soon be adding German, Spanish and Italian versions to the site. Users will be able to fully customize their pages, similar to how Myspace.com allows for extensive customization. A video sharing and distribution network is not planned at this point. Beta users are welcome to visit the community at http://www.travelgrove.com/community/ or sign up directly at http://www.travelgrove.com/community/login_travelpage.php .

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Gina Ciocoiu
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