18 Travel Companies License the TourWrist Virtual Tour Technology; SDK Includes World’s First Spherical, Continuous 360-Degree Panorama Capture Tech

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Travel organizations licensing TourWrist technology include: Air New Zealand, All Star Vacation Homes, AlwaysOnVacation, BeMyGuest.travel, Denihan Hospitality Group, Grand Pacific Resort Management, Jeffrey Lehmann’s Weekend Explorer, MakeMyTrip, PlaceGuides, PlaceKnow, Tourism and Events Queensland, Travel Media Group, Tripping, TCS & Starquest Expeditions, Quark Expeditions, Utrip, Viator and WeHostels.

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Our virtual tour technology empowers travelers to make faster, more informed and confident travel planning and booking decisions,” said TourWrist Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong.

TourWrist, the best-in-class virtual tour platform, announced today 18 travel companies that have signed licensing agreements within the past 30 days to integrate the TourWrist technology within their apps and websites.

“Our virtual tour technology empowers travelers to make faster, more informed and confident travel planning and booking decisions,” said TourWrist Founder and CEO Charles Armstrong. “By integrating our panoramic shoot, view and share experience into their apps and websites, TourWrist will help these innovative travel companies increase bookings and traveler satisfaction.”

At The Travel Innovation Summit @ The PhoCusWright Conference in November, TourWrist debuted its Android app (in addition to its existing iOS app) and the world’s first spherical, continuous pano capture; and announced that its device-agnostic viewing and capture software development kit (SDK) would be available in mid-February to enable easy travel app and website integration.

"Immersive virtual tours of our unique brands – The Benjamin, The Surrey, The James and Affinia Hotels – will allow new and returning guests to make more confident booking decisions," said Denihan Hospitality Group Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer Thomas Botts. "Integrating the TourWrist technology in our apps and websites is a great fit with 'The Art of Hospitality' of the Denihan brands."

“If a photo is worth a 1,000 words, then a 360-degree spherical panorama ("pano") is worth 10,000 words to help research, plan and book travel,” said TourWrist SVP and Chief Marketing Officer Dan Smigrod. “Travel, hospitality and tourism companies can now supercharge their mobile and web experiences with our TourWrist pano tech.”

TourWrist’s latest travel industry licensees include:

Air New Zealand – Australasian airline with a Pacific Rim focus, operating, on average, 500 flights a day within a network of 52 cities in 16 countries including 27 destinations within New Zealand. North American services include non-stop flights to New Zealand from San Francisco, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Vancouver B.C., and Los Angeles non-stop to the Cook Islands and London. Consistently rated among the world’s best international airlines, Air New Zealand was named ‘Airline of the Year’ by Air Transport World in 2010 and 2012. Air New Zealand’s success is grounded by a focus on true product innovation and a commitment to delivering a world-class flight experience to every customer. (http://www.airnewzealand.com)

All Star Vacation Homes – brings its passion for high standards and hospitality to elevate the vacation home industry to new levels. Since it was established in 1998, All Star has set a solid foundation in the competitive Orlando landscape and has emerged as a market leader. As the company expands this success into other high demand travel destinations, All Star implements its unique  formula of Personalized Service, Quality Home Care, Proven Marketing, Strategic Location and Guest-Influenced Experience to fulfill its vision of creating a vacation home experience like no other. Currently, All Star represents more than 250 homes, condos and town homes in Kissimmee/Orlando, Fla. near Walt Disney World® Resort. By popular demand of its guests, All Star has recently expanded into Captiva Island, FL. For more information, call 1-800-396-1173. (http://www.AllStarVacationHomes.com).

AlwaysOnVacation – one of the world’s largest vacation rental marketplaces and distribution networks with over 60,000 vacation rental properties in 120 countries globally. AlwaysOnVacation® vacation rental property listings are published in 16 languages and are viewed by over 6 million travelers each month who are interested in booking a vacation rental. Whether you are looking for a mountain cabin, a beach house, villa rental, vacation cottage or private home vacation rental, AlwaysOnVacation has a huge selection of vacation rental properties to choose from. Search for vacation rental properties with deep discounts for last minute bookings, long stays, and early bird bookings. (http://www.alwaysonvacation.com)

BeMyGuest.travel – world’s only marketplace that brings local accommodations, local activities and local events together to enable easy and seamless researching, planning and booking of vacation travel. (http://www.bemyguest.travel)

Denihan Hospitality Group – 50-year old, full-service hotel management and development company that owns and/or operates 14 boutique hotels in major urban markets in the U.S. including those operating under The James and Affinia Hotels brands; luxury Manhattan independents, The Surrey and The Benjamin; as well as other affiliates. (http://www.denihan.com)

Grand Pacific Resort Management – one of the oldest and largest resort management, hotel management and vacation ownership companies based in Southern California. Grand Pacific Resort Management Company (GPRM) was formed in 1993 to develop niche-market hotels and timeshare vacation ownership resorts. GPRM excels in resort management services which include but are not limited to California resort management and Hawaii resort management.  Grand Pacific and its affiliates have developed and manage 17 vacation ownership resorts.  GPRM has earned a reputation as a stable, successful and innovative organization with a strong commitment to excellence in the hospitality industry. (http://www.gprmgt.com)

Jeffrey Lehmann’s Weekend Explorer (a Division of Barnstormer Productions) – Emmy awarded host Jeffrey Lehmann takes viewers to scenic destinations around the world in the multi EMMY and multi TELLY award winning “Weekend Explorer” series. Each episode shows what a visitor can experience in a long weekend from traditional landmarks to “best-kept secrets” including culture, history, and wildlife while enjoying activities like kayaking, mountain biking, horseback riding.  "Weekend Explorer" is provided free to more than 200 PBS stations and in syndication to commercial broadcasters in the U.S. and in over a dozen foreign countries. Barnstormer Productions has always been on the cutting-edge of technology from being on the web in the early-mid 90’s to introducing audiences to HD starting in 2002 to streaming videos on cell phones in 2007. (http://www.weekendexplorer.com)

MakeMyTrip – India’s leading travel company and the largest e-commerce business in the country. Launched in India in 2005, MakeMyTrip was the country’s first travel portal and is regarded as the pioneer of online travel in the market.  It is the only Online Travel Agency (OTA) in India to provide comprehensive land-transport solutions (Bus, Rail & Cab-rentals) besides a full suite of comprehensive travel needs such as flights, hotels and holiday packages. MakeMyTrip also has an offline presence through 58 stores across India.  For three years in a row (2010-2012), MakeMyTrip has been ranked among the top five ‘Best Companies to Work for in India’ by Great Places to Work Institute. (http://www.makemytrip.co.in)

PlaceGuides – San Francisco–based internet start-up PlaceGuides is the innovator of the PlaceGuides Event Publishing Platform - the smart programming, publishing, and social marketing tool for community-based events. PlaceGuides enables community event organizers to create dynamic event guides used for event programming, sponsor management, and social media marketing. The resulting PlaceGuide runs right within their client’s website and is subject to SEO optimization. PlaceGuides’ business intelligence tools better enable users to meet marketing objectives, measure behavior, and convert sponsors and customers. (events.placeguides.com)

PlaceKnow – an international platform for people who need travel inspiration and entertainment. PlaceKnow.com is the one place to find all necessary information about cities from the whole world. People can enjoy creating a pictorial map of the world of their own travel history and they can get the best recommendations for their next travel destination. PlaceKnow.com also provides an iOS mobile application which allows users to add photos from iPhone and iPad. PlaceKnow.com was announced the second most promising company in the world in 2012 by Kauffman Foundation form USA. In Poland, PlaceKnow.com is the winner of competition, "Good Side of tourism” organized by the Polish Chamber of Tourism and Travel Camp. (http://www.PlaceKnow.com)

TCS & Starquest Expeditions – for more than twenty years, TCS & Starquest Expeditions has operated over 200 innovative journeys to legendary places by private jet, with an emphasis on in-depth educational experiences and highly personalized services. TCS & Starquest Expeditions is also committed to enhancing the environmental, social, economic, and educational conditions of the places and people visited.  TCS & Starquest Expeditions is member of TUI Travel, a leading tour operator in more than 180 countries, with 30 million customers and 54,000 employees. (http://www.tcsandstarquest.com)

Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) – a new entity with a key focus on driving growth in Queensland’s tourism and event industries that is in close partnership with Government and industry. Combining the resources and expertise of Tourism Queensland and Events Queensland into Tourism and Events Queensland will ensure the most coordinated and strategic approach to reaching the Government’s goal of $30 billion in overnight visitor expenditure by 2020. Tourism and Events Queensland’s core functions include promoting and marketing Queensland and its world-class destinations, building unique and appealing tourism experiences, and identifying, attracting and developing major events for the State. Tourism has been identified by the Queensland Government as one of the State’s four key economic pillars – and TEQ is committed to working collaboratively with industry and across Government to achieve its growth objectives. Tourism and Events Queensland is operating in a highly competitive national and international environment and is looking at new and innovative ways to make the most out of emerging opportunities that benefit industry and the Queensland economy as a whole. Tourism and Events Queensland maintains a network of international and destination offices and works closely with Queensland’s regional tourism organizations, other government agencies, industry and the community, to ensure the ongoing development of a strong and sustainable tourism industry in Queensland. (http://www.tq.com.au)

Travel Media Group (a division of Dominion Enterprises) – a leading provider of print, digital, and mobile hospitality marketing (under the HotelCoupons.com brand) and reputation management services to over 4,400 hotels throughout the United States and parts of Canada since 1982.  (travelmediagroup.com)

Tripping – world's largest metasearch platform for home rentals, Tripping delivers a million local properties in 36,000+ cities, serving travelers the widest selection of vacation and short-term rentals worldwide. Whether you want to stay in a London flat or a beach bungalow in Belize, Tripping lets you step off the tourist path and into local neighborhoods. (http://www.tripping.com)

Quark Expeditions – For over 20 years, Quark Expeditions has been the leading provider of polar adventure travel. With its diverse fleet of specially equipped vessels and seasoned expedition leaders, the company offers travelers unparalleled access to the most remote regions on earth. In 2011, Quark was named a recipient of National Geographic Traveler’s “50 Tours of a Lifetime” for the “Three Arctic Islands” voyage. Quark Expeditions is member of TUI Travel, a leading tour operator in more than 180 countries, with 30 million customers and 54,000 employees. (http://www.quarkexpeditions.com). 

Utrip – world’s most sophisticated travel-planning platform. In less than five minutes, any user can plan a highly personalized trip to their favorite destinations around the world. The Utrip tailors the thousands of items in our proprietary database for each traveler’s personal preferences. Once on Utrip, travelers simply pick their desired destinations, indicate their interests and then in the click of a button, Utrip put together the perfect experience for them. The Utrip trip planning process was designed by leading consumer behavior and travel decision-making experts, and as a result, Utrip is able to plan more than 576 billion different trips, each personal, and each flawless. Check it out, and in 5 minutes discover your next travel destination in a whole new way! (http://www.Utrip.com)

Viator – world’s leading online resource to research, plan and book travel experiences via mobile and web, providing access to 10,000+ tours, attractions and activities in 800+ destinations in 150+ countries. (http://www.viator.com)

WeHostels – a social booking app for youth travelers. With the WeHostels app, travelers can book hostels and budget hotels on the go and connect with likeminded travelers before they reach their destination.  (http://www.wehostels.com)

About TourWrist, Inc.

TourWrist is the world’s leading virtual tour platform empowering consumers to shoot, view and share 360-degree panoramic (pano) images via smartphones, tablets and computers. The company employs a model similar to YouTube (but uniquely suited to panoramic virtual tours) and licenses its virtual tour viewer and capture technology to travel companies to integrate TourWrist tech within their apps and websites. The company mission is to improve how consumers make educated, location-based travel decisions.

'TourWrists' can easily shoot and upload their own panoramic images, or browse and share any of the 60,000+ geo-tagged panos already uploaded. The global TourWrist platform (apps, mobile web and website) is preparing to reach many millions of travelers in 2013; complete with localization for many major languages.

TourWrist launched commercially in early 2011. In 2012, TourWrist swept up four awards at The Travel Innovation Summit @ The PhoCusWright Conference including The General Catalyst Award for Travel Innovation. TourWrist was also awarded Best of Show at Macworld; and DEMOgod and the DEMO People's Choice awards at DEMO Spring 2012. Apple has featured TourWrist more than 600 times in its iTunes App Store. TourWrist has reached "#1 iPad Travel App" status in more than 80 countries.

The company has a highly-regarded IP portfolio that includes 11 pending patents. The company also owns and operates the world's largest panoramic photography forum, PanoGuide.com, with 7,100 professional virtual tour photographers globally; and is a sponsor of the International VR Photography Association (IVRPA).

Funding for the private San Francisco–based emerging travel tech company includes venture capital firms Thayer Ventures and General Catalyst Partners. For more information about TourWrist, please visit:

Apple iTunes App Store: TourWrist
Web: http://www.TourWrist.com
YouTube: http://www.YouTube.com/TourWrist
Twitter: http://www.Twitter.com/TourWrist
Blog: http://blog.TourWrist.com

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