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Summary:

TripHub, a Seattle-based online travel service is incorporating community and social networking features to cash in on the ongoing online travel boom. The year-old startup has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from its current backer, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group. MVG is well known for […]

TripHub, a Seattle-based online travel service is incorporating community and social networking features to cash in on the ongoing online travel boom. The year-old startup has also raised an undisclosed amount of funding from its current backer, Seattle-based Madrona Venture Group. MVG is well known for its early stage investments in Amazon.com, and Classmates.com.

Unlike pure online travel e-tail services, TripHub.com is trying to diversify its business through event-planning and blogging of trips that require a lot of organizing — those kind that your mom or grandma spent a year planning. The community-based travel market is becoming a bit of an investment theme. Yesterday we wrote about Wikia and 43Places. TripHub service has been online for a few months, but the company recently added “event planning” and “trip-blogging” sections to its pages.

The day after I spoke with CEO Josh Herst on the phone about the company’s update, I attended a 120-person family reunion in the Rocky Mountains that could have sorely needed TripHub’s help. TripHub’s target audience, Mom’s and post-college planners, seemed to match the demographic of my trip’s group and I was definitely sick of receiving mass emails about the weekend’s plans. (If anyone has used TripHub to plan big trips, add your thoughts below and give us a good idea of why this service stands out!)

Still, I am inclined to stick with larger online travel sites like Yahoo Travel that are adding the vital social and community features. TripHub’s site is easy to use it will fight for attention in an increasingly crowded market that includes startups like Gusto, RealTravel, and TravelPost, as well as the giants Expedia, Yahoo Travel.

  1. Seems like an interesting idea, but really, how many people plan group trips? I can’t think of anyone I know that has done that in the last few years. Family reunions are basically one of the few examples.

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  2. My only concern is that they will target “old” people. They are more vulnerable to be victims of scam or fraud if the conpany is not honest. Nowadays, the travel industry is becoming too bad. Even companies that most people believe they are “reputable” are cheating people in some way or another. For instance, EXPEDIA and Cheaptickets.com are listed in the top ripoff link at the bad business bureau (http://www.ripoffreport.com ).
    EXPEDIA has two “dedicated” websites due to poor customer support and lies: http://www.victimsofexpedia.com/templates.htm (read some lies here) and http://www.shameonexpedia.com

    Orbitz has: http://www.shameonorbitz.com

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  3. This seems like a fabulous idea. I set up a fake account to test out the features as I just got back from Australia and don’t have another trip planned. I’m always the organizer amongst friends and family. This just takes all the confusion out of the trip and requires others to actually pick up some of the work. This would be great for a BBQ roadtrip across the South meeting friends along the way.

    I would only add a PayPal feature so the organizer can accept payments for deposits or certain activities that need to be paid upfront.

    I will certainly use this tool when I have to plan the next family vacation. Thank you so VERY much.

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  4. I’m using it to plan a group trip I’m taking to celebrate my 30th birthday. It’s made it a lot easier to keep track of who’s staying where and who’s on what flight into which airport. I also like the blog feature, it cuts down on the amount of e-mails I have to send everyone (and that everyone has to read). The only thing I’d change about it is to add cruises to the site; as of now, it just has flights and hotels.

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  5. I am a member of two senior organizations and we are always looking for new places to see. Some of our members have slight disabilities and these must be considered. We travel by bus most of the time and stay 4 nights generally. We have done a variety of trips already. I’m not sure but we may get a response to a trip to Germany, Chicago but we are not limited to these. Thank you.

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