It's great to see a debate focused on what travelers really want versus what they get on existing apps.
On the two thoughts of "stays with you during the planning steps", and the personalization and experiential aspects of a trip - those domains are so unstructured and vast from a data and behavioural science angle, that the supply-demand matching problem and ability to recommend is way more complex than what it appears from the outside. On the experiential and immersive vacations, there is no one size fits all approach, and even the type of activity you want to do may depend on factors ranging from who you are traveling with, what time of the year, your taste and even your BMI.
Scale and funding has been difficult to achieve for niche problems with no immediate revenue upside since the categories with scale and monetization remain transportation and accommodation related, which is why you see a lot of travel planning startups in the deadpool, despite their obvious utility. On the other hand, large incumbents have largely been transactional businesses on the agency model, where the time and money spent on operations and sales takes away a lot of focus and bandwidth away from product and tech innovation.
My view is that the holy grail of a one-stop travel planning, search, recommendation & booking platform will probably emerge only from the absorption and integration of innovative startup ideas / tech / content with larger players who are already at scale since nice problems need wider exposure to become meaningful businesses. Each vertical within travel has its own nuances pre-trip, during-trip and post-trip that a single player can't solve well on its own so there is immense scope for ongoing disruption for travel startups.
At ixigo, these discussions are what keeps us up all night. Watch this space !