It’s been little over a year since they started operations, and JoGuru says they have started making money since last month. The travel portal today attracts users from India, South East Asia, USA and Latin America – where India makes up for bulk users at 50% and US sends 20% of its visitors. Based on a research that the site undertook from December 2012 to October this year to understand how they can improve themselves, JoGuru recently unveiled an itinerary planner, that helps customers to figure out the best way to spend the day at a location, which attractions to visit, which hotels to choose and which route to follow. The planner also gives information on logistical details of attractions like ticket prices, opening and closing time of the attraction, nearest eatery and transport options.
Launched earlier this year, the JoGuru itinerary planner has been developed based on inputs from 12,000 travelers across India, UK and Paris. “Most tourists we talked to tourists actually had maps in their hands and had their mobile phones or Tablets to guide them. Our research also revealed that almost 90% of the tourists struggle to make a usable plan for their own trip. There are a handful of products in the market, but were complicated to use,” says Praveen Kumar, co-founder, JoGuru.
Praveen claims this new feature is doing extremely well, clocking almost 2000 itineraries created by users every month, with around 70,000 unique visitors per month. While we cannot say much about the numbers, the interface of the planner is definitely clean and beautiful. The design has been a result of constant monitoring of user interaction on their website and studying the patterns users follow while looking through the site.
JoGuru has also integrated a Smart Hotel booking feature into the planner, to help the traveler find the cheapest and best hotels near the place they are visiting. “With the integration of this feature, a lot of travelers’ time will be saved. One doesn’t have to search hotels separately and book them. They are available within – the frame of itinerary planning; where one can choose hotels as per budget and its distance between attractions,” explains Praveen. They are also building a hotel meta-search within the itinerary planning process and joining hands with established tour operators and travel agents to showcase their itineraries.
Talking about the customer types who use the site, Praveen says gender-wise, it is females over males – both budget and luxury chasers, while age-wise their spectrum is vast from 20 – 65 year olds who find the site useful.