Last updated: 06:07 PM ET, Wed July 01 2015

Utrip Trip Planning Debuts Custom Items For All Travelers

Travel Technology | James Shillinglaw | July 01, 2015

Utrip Trip Planning Debuts Custom Items For All Travelers

Utrip, the free personalized trip planning technology, has launched Custom Items, a new product designed to enable travelers to further personalize their trip experiences.

The new Utrip feature allows travelers to add custom lodging and custom activities to their itineraries, which are personalized based on their interests and budget. Custom items might include things such as an Airbnb lodging, a business meeting, a special guided tour experience, or a visit with a friend.

Travel agents, who have been using Utrip to create itineraries for their clients, can use Custom Items to showcase special offerings they only can bring to the client. If an agent has a special relationship with a tour guide, for example, they can now put that feature into client’s trip.

Utrip developed Custom Items to take into account the latest travel industry trends. Travelers are increasingly seeking unique and personalized experiences. That desire, coupled with the rise of the sharing economy, means more travelers are opting for Airbnb-style lodging.

A traveler can now benefit from Utrip’s optimization of itineraries around destinations, whether they are staying in a shared room, at an apartment or in a vacation rental. Custom Items were also developed to accommodate the growing number of business-leisure trips in which travelers go to a city for business and extend for leisure time.

Adding a custom item to a Utrip itinerary varies for custom lodging and custom activities. To add custom lodging, the traveler clicks on the recommended lodging, and selects the “Add My Own Lodging” option. A dialogue box appears, asking for lodging name, street address, type and description. After clicking the “Save My Lodging” button, the itinerary is updated to include the designated accommodations.

A custom activity is added by clicking the “Add Activity” tab. Once there, a traveler clicks the “Add Custom Item” button and fills in the name, address, date and duration of his or her selected activity. When the item is saved, the itinerary will be adjusted for the new item. The custom item may then be moved using Utrip’s Drag and Drop feature in the week view.

“Clearly personalized experiences are what travelers are clamoring for,” said Gilad Berenstein, founder and chief executive officer of Utrip. “In 2014, Utrip revolutionized travel planning by using artificial intelligence to create personalized itineraries in minutes. Today we are taking a next step forward, delivering access to personalized itineraries for all travelers—regardless of means or reason for travel.”

Founded in Seattle in 2012, Utrip’s predictive technology works on a vast travel database that has been curated by local area experts. Once a traveler indicates their interests and budget, Utrip’s algorithm sorts through millions of combinations of must-see sites, activities and restaurants to deliver personalized itineraries in minutes. Travelers can then book lodging and share their itineraries with friends.

Utrip PRO, the white-label version, allows CVBs, tourism bureaus, destination management organizations, hospitality groups and attractions to offer personalized travel planning on their web sites. Utrip’s companion mobile app provides access to itineraries, directions and personalized recommendations on the go.


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