EXCLUSIVE: TravelBuddy picks up another tour operator

Turkey specialist holidays4u has signed a to deal with location-based mobile business TravelBuddy.

Holidays4u is currently licensed to carry just under 100K passengers a year. It has taken a white-label version of the TravelBuddy tool.

Adam Winterflood, founder and MD of TravelBuddy, told Travolution that travel companies can deliver location-based content – weather, events, airport information – and communicate with customers.

‘The travel industry is sitting on a huge database which is a goldmine,’ he explained. ‘The industry should be better at keeping in touch with its customers.’

Clients’ anonymised details are fed from H4u into TravelBuddy. Customers can request information based on a set of keywords, and are then texted back a personalized response, based on their booking reference.

Destination content and information is sourced by TravleBuddy editors with other feeds, such as weather, bought in. The H4U deal sees generic Turkey content sitting alongside specific offers and information from its own contracted ground handlers.

TravelBuddy has a five-year deal with Thomson which also covers Turkey. Thomson customer will similarly get access to generic and Thomson-specific content. First Choice and Co-operative Travel also use the system to talk to customers, while ABTA uses the system to for out of hour crisis communications with members.

Winterflood added that the security/crisis management potential of the product has led to interest from travel management companies, two of whom are currently in talks with TravelBuddy. He added however that business travellers, and their TMC, would need different destination information than leisure travellers.

TravelBuddy was set up in 2006 and picked up £2m of funding from a private venture capitalist in November 2007.

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