Virtuoso has opened applications for its 2020 Incubator program. Marking its fifth anniversary, the program helps travel tech startups connect with Virtuoso travel advisors in order to refine their product, and it provides Virtuoso agencies with new tools and solutions.
Virtuoso said that, for 2020, the Incubator program is looking for companies focusing on advisor productivity tools, travel industry-specific client communication and marketing products and invoicing tools. The deadline for applications is January 15, 2020.
Through Virtuoso Incubator, travel technology developers receive real-world insights from its travel advisors, offering a unique perspective from the target audience for their products. With this input, Incubator companies refine their tools to better meet market needs. Virtuoso said that its survey of participants found that they would recommend the program to other travel tech startups. They also reported that the program helped them finesse their product. In addition, the survey found that the companies gained valuable knowledge about the travel industry as a result of the program.
Almost 90 advisors from more than 70 member agencies took part in the 2019 Incubator program, assessing solutions and offering input for improvements. All of this year’s testers report that they would like to participate again in 2020, Virtuoso said. As well, they would recommend that a fellow advisor also test products as part of the program. In a Virtuoso survey, network agencies reported that Incubator tools help them be more productive, serve clients better, satisfy business needs and keep them competitive.
An Incubator company is eligible for full Virtuoso partnership once its trial period ends. This year Virtuoso has elevated two former participants to preferred partner status:
- ApproachGuides, whose Trip Reads destination content service — with inspirational videos, articles, books and podcasts — has been integrated into Virtuoso Wanderlist.
- ZoomandGo, a map-based hotel reservation and analytics tool to facilitate booking via the GDS, increasing advisor productivity and sales.
Startups can express their interest here.