A mobile app that leisure travel firms can offer their customers for free has been developed in response to a plea from an Aito member on an online forum.
Vamoos has been developed by Appex Mobile, which was set up by entrepreneur Tony Bean in response to the Aito member asking if anyone provided such an app for the trade.
The app allows travel documents, including e-tickets, insurance documents and Atol certificates, to be uploaded, and includes a trip planner, destination information and online and offline maps.
Following a trial period with five travel firms, a first version for Apple devices is ready to go live and Appex was due to showcase it at the Aito AGM in London today.
Bean said the cost of the app would average £1 per passenger per year, and that it was specifically designed for smaller travel firms which do not have big enough budgets to develop their own.
“What we did not want to create was an app that just sold holidays. We do not think people will buy holidays from an application.
“What we did want to do was increase the engagement and usefulness of mobile within their holiday experience.
“There are documents that travel firms print out which are useful and you need to have while travelling. Now all you need is your mobile and passport and you are done.”
The firms that have been trialling Vamoos include Experience Travel, Fleewinter, Original Travel, RB Collections and specialist tour operator In The Saddle.
“We are still very much at the very end of our stealth period. We have been working in collaboration with a few Aito members, some have sent out loads of itineraries, some have sent out a few but they have jumped on it.”
Bean said an Android version is planned and that there is a full roadmap of features to be added to the app, including in areas like social, currency and push notifications in the next year.
He added Appex Mobile was fully funded through private investors including himself to deliver the upgrades, but that getting the app rolled out would also help support further developments.
He is targeting half a million people having access to their documents via Vamoos in the first year and believes he can hit that target quite easily.
The technology behind the app was coded in Poland as part of a ‘nearshoring’ deal.
“What we wanted to do is make it engaging for the client but over the first few months give the agent or tour operator the ability to generate revenue.
“If they can generate revenue in terms of re-bookings and save money from not having to print out documents they can make it zero-rated in terms of their business.”
The app is fully bespokable to the client and offers them the ability to include background imagery relevant to the destination.