ixigo has launched a major revamp to its trip planner product with travel content and social features. ixigo which started as a travel meta search engine pivoted to travel planning a year back and the company claims to have over 2.5 million active users every month and almost 2.5 million app downloads across the 5 apps.
Freshly added features include
– Street view of monuments – ixigo has integrated with Google street view feature to offer 360-degree views of historical monuments (Google India recently partnered with Archaeological Survey of India to bring 360 degree view of 30 Indian monuments) . ixigo users will now be able to get panoramic views of key monuments and historical sites in India, providing a real virtual tourist experience of what the place actually looks like.
– Expanded content coverage – ixigo now covers tourist information over 5000 cities, towns and hill-stations in India. It provides detailed information including names, addresses, locations, photos, opening timings, prices, detailed tourist guides etc. for over 63000 places to visit, 17000 activities and things to do, 16000 hotels, 5000 nature and wildlife spots and over 5,000 tips from travellers.
– Finding restaurants across the country – ixigo now features over 65,000 restaurants across India on its website and apps. ixigo also offers ‘Near Me’ location-based mobile feature in its app that helps people explore great local places to eat at, stay or explore in whichever city they are.
– UGC/Ability to add new places and pictures – Travellers can now add places to visit, hotels, restaurants and even photos and also rate and review a place they visited on the website or on the ixigo apps for android and iOS.
Given the rise of adventure travel in India, it’d be interesting to see how ixigo’s mobile strategy pans out. Travel planning has been a pain area for most and we have seen some really cool startups like Trip38, TripThirsty (pivoted).
The challenge however remains of not looking at a holistic view [read : An Open Note to Indian Travel (App) Startups : “Better to Travel Well Than to Arrive”]. Most solve what they can, not what users/travellers want.