This is an age of discovery! So many web based businesses are banking on this discovery aspect to start and scale their businesses. Travel is one of the major contributors to this phenomena. As more users around the world get online, it will be possible for anyone to search and seek out unique experiences across their country and the world because they are now easier to find.
Today, I will be looking at a new website which has plans to become a discovery platform for travelers and lifestyle enthusiasts from India. It is called 36hrs (36 hours) and is a place for both users and content creators to exchange their knowledge about their travel experiences so far.
According to co-founder Ravijot Chugh, 36hrs is uniquely positioned to deliver a way for people to exchange recommendations to one another. Since it will be users who will be doing the recommending by giving out local information, it will have authenticity as opposed to other travel sites. In essence, 36hrs is a way for users to create their own city guides using easy graphical input.
The website is beautifully designed and is rather pleasing to the eyes. The visual nature of the website makes you want to spend more time on it. You can sign up via Facebook or Email. Once you sign up, you will get the choice to fill up your profile and document the places/cities that you have visited. The user experience while getting this done is pretty smooth.
After you have completed the sign up process, the website allows you to either create or discover. You can explore any city that you want and check out the content related to the city. There are 2 types of content – boards and itineraries. I will be getting into them soon. You can spend time reading travel and city related content which is particularly relevant to you.
When it comes to creation, you have two ways to add content to the site.
1. Boards: Boards are content holders which are designed to house information about a particular city or spot. They can be expansive or very specific, depending on what the board is for.
For example, one of the boards I came across was for the ‘Best bars in Mumbai’. Clicking on this board took to me to a page where all these bars are listed and marked on a map. This is done pretty well. Clicking further on one of the bars took me to a page where I could get more information such as address, contact information and place for adding my comments.
2. Itineraries: Itineraries are another way to add your content to the website. As the meaning of the word goes, this helps you share your actual trip details. You can let others know which places you visited in the morning, where you were dining at night and so on. If your experience was great, your itinerary would be of great help to other people who would want to take the same trip as you. Currently, they have itineraries for 8 South American and 9 Asian cities.
The best part about them is that you can add items from other boards and itineraries you come across, to your own profile. You can also provide feedback by Recommending, Favoriting, Commenting and Rating them. Sharing to Twitter and Facebook are also enabled.
36hrs supports both content creators and users and is an exchange platform between the two. The site could be a good platform for travel content and services providers to put out information to users who are looking for it. Similarly, users can easily add their travel experiences to the website to benefit other users around the globe.
I am impressed by the website even though there are not many users on it currently. But the startup has competition from players like Pune based social travel network JoGuru and Bangalore based Traverik both of which are focusing on making itinerary planning easy and exciting for a traveller.
Nevertheless, the team at 36hrs should focus on acquiring more and diverse content in addition to getting as many active users as possible.