The ongoing pandemic has been harsh on the hospitality sector, to say the least. Sporadic flight opportunities and green countries have sparked but a moment of freedom. However, with quarantines and border lockdowns now coming into affect yet again, canceled vacations and postponed flights are once again igniting the industry to search for reality-relevant solutions.
One of those potential solutions is powered by 365x accelerator program alum - Israeli startup Vacayz, a fintech platform that offers businesses travel flexibility, by locking in discounted prices in advance. Even if you decide to cancel a trip, you can always resell it back to the company or to other potential travelers, who will enjoy your same booked discount price.
Obviously the COVID crisis has forced business practices to adapt and evolve. One main change has been the decrease in business travel, a subject that startups, VCs, and generally global business players have noted as a major challenge to their day-to-day operations. According to business travel statistics, Americans on average would expect 7 business trips a year. From conferences to trade shows and meetings, the work trip is a major lifeline for global business to regain stability.
With Zoom and other remote business channels offering a temporary solution, “there is no replacement for the impact of a face to face interaction while traveling- especially when it comes to business travels and global conferences. The impact and the connections you can make with face to face interactions are never obsolete,” said Vacayz Founder and CEO Ally Wolodarsky in a conversation with Geektime.
An alum of the 365x accelerator program, Vacayz’s disruptive platform essentially allows businesses to not only adjust to the current reality but also prepare for when business travel returns to normal. Ally Wolodarsky explains that by utilizing the Vacayz platform businesses are free to budget their future business travels with flexibility, and can always resell their Travel Options within the platform.
“Businesses are dynamic- they need a travel plan that can adapt... Booking using Vacayz Travel Option will allow businesses to maintain a more cost effective budget and make flexible travel plans that would not be subject to uncertainty. Travel Options allow you to book a stay at your desired hotel chain WHENEVER and WHEREVER you would like, and enjoy a guaranteed discount, secured price and free cancellation,” said Wolodarsky.
COVID called for change
The general uncertainty looming over global economies has demanded the tech sector rise up to the challenge, and one way to get back to “business” is by reviving that face-to-face interaction, which we know is so important. Vacayz’s CEO is no stranger to challenges, as she explains that Vacayz was originally founded in 2018 as a property management SaaS platform, though adjustments were made, when COVID hit.
“The travel industry as we knew it ceased to exist, and property management was the least of our problems. At that point, we could either put our whole product on hold or think about how to create a solution that could save the travel industry now, prevent such losses in the future if another crisis should emerge and even benefit all parties in Travel when things pick up again. We created a win-win solution for both hotels and businesses - businesses enjoy flexible booking and guaranteed discounts while hotels could survive due to receiving ongoing cash flow from the Travel Option deposits,” said Wolodarsky, who has 8 years in the vacation rental industry, after starting a very successful Airbnb business.