A new forecast from Forrester Research credits greater online spending by Canadians, lower shipping costs and more selection for the spending increase.
Launched this week, Wanderfly recommends destinations based on a user’s personal interests.
Wanderfly.com, which calls itself a “travel inspiration site,” launched this week as a site devoted to recommending itineraries based on a traveler’s preferences for how much they want to spend, when they’d like to travel and what they’d like to see and do.
"On average, travelers spend seven weeks visiting 25 sites before they know exactly what they want, yet there's no easy way for them to get inspired online," says Evan Schneyer, CEO and co-founder, citing search data from Google Inc.
Once a user has entered her personal preferences, Wanderfly.com searches travel information from more than 20 travel sites, including Expedia, Foursquare, Yelp and Lonely Planet, then recommends a trip with destination, flight, hotel and activities. Users can either book the suggested trip, click into each of the recommendation to further customize it before booking, or click to the next recommended trip. They can also connect to Wanderfly through Facebook to check if any friends are also traveling to the same destination.
"We are advocates for travelers, first and foremost, because Wanderfly is a solution to frustrations from our own experiences,” Schneyer says. “Travel itself is such an inspiration, and we believe the fun should start from the very moment you decide to go. It's our mission to spark people's journeys with meaningful recommendations and an amazing user experience."
Wanderfly is working on an iPad app and expanding its connections with travel sites for additional travel destinations and activities, the company says.
Wanderfly earns its revenue through commissions it receives from Expedia on booked flights and hotels, a Wanderfly spokeswoman says. Expedia is Wanderfly’s exclusive provider of flight and hotel information, she adds.
Wanderfly also expects to set up additional commission and lead-generation fee relationships with other e-commerce sites, such as retail sites that sell travel gear and travel services sites that offer vacation packages. “The idea is to make Wonderfly a one-stop destination to book a whole vacation,” she says.
Wanderfly was founded last year by Schneyer, director of marketing Christy Liu and director of business development Cezary Pietrzak. The company has received “under $1 million” from angel investors and is seeking additional funding, the spokeswoman says.
Schneyer is a former business analyst in technology strategy at American Express Co. who founded Living Breathing as a consulting firm covering online strategies for clients including NBC Universal. Liu, who worked with Schneyer and Pietrzak at Living Breathing, is a former brand advertising specialist at ad agencies Young & Rubicam and Pearlfisher, where she worked on campaigns for clients including Frito Lay and Vitamin Shoppe. Pietrzak is also a former brand specialist at Young & Rubicam, where he worked on campaigns for clients including the National Hockey League and Bacardi.