The ‘honk’ is set to become the social currency in travel, if travel start-up Freeppie has its way.
The firm, which will be officially launched later this month at the annual Phocusright conference in Florida, is setting out to reward travellers for being social by offering them free trips and tours in exchange for their engagement.
Its equivalent of a Facebook ‘like’ is the ‘honk’ which will indicate that a traveller has visited a particular destination or been on a certain excursion or tour.
“A honk will give the opportunity for users to show where they are and where they have been,” Freeppie’s Urbano Brini told the Small Fish Big Ocean WTM Pitch Night on Monday.
“Users will share their experiences on the Freeppie platform and that will be automatically shared on their Facebook page and they will get credits to discounted or free rooms or activities. We reward people for their social actions.”
Tour operator partners will be given a Freeppie social profile in exchange for either a 10% discount or a free Freeppie offer.
Brini said: “Operators should be willing to give away free activities. Many people have spots on tours, maybe in the low season. It’s a great marketing tool.”
Freeppie aims to enable tour operators to interact with their customers. “Facebook is a place where you talk about everything. We want to create the largest community of travellers where they actually share and we reward them with credits.”
Brini said the difference between Freeppie and competitors in social travel like Gogobot was that it also works as a booking engine for tours restaurants and hotels.
He described it as a web 3.0 loyalty programme. “Customers will jump on the platform and gain credits for any kind of action – inviting friends, posting reviews. They will see their credits growing and growing. These will create a social currency they can exchange for rooms and spots on tours.”