In Transit Blog: A Planning Site That Cuts to the Chase

Written By wartini cantika on Rabu, 17 September 2014 | 17.36

Photo The Villy website.Credit Villy

Finding the right hotel in a destination can be time-consuming, comparing destination information to maps, restaurant reviews and more. Expedia found travelers visit an average of 38 websites before booking a vacation package.

Aiming to reduce that search by focusing on location, the new website Villy considers a traveler's interests – options include restaurants, bars, nightclubs, museums, sightseeing and shopping — and how a person is traveling: alone, as a couple, with family or friends.

It then matches a traveler to a neighborhood, providing a score from one to 10 indicating its fit based on local attractions a user might like, the number of restaurants nearby and other criteria listed as important.

Users can interact with Villy's city-wide map to see where sites of interest are located, and change hotel recommendations by noting a price range. A hotel booking window links to Expedia, Villy's partner.

"We think there's an overload of data on the Internet, and for a user now it's very frustrating and takes a long time to do research, which a lot of people don't like to do," said Rami Lachter, who with Itai Turbahn, both enrolled in the M.B.A. program at Harvard University, created Villy, which became available Tuesday.

"The value proposition is having a better vacation starting now by saving time and frustration at no extra cost," he said.

Currently 10 cities are covered by the site, including Miami, New York and San Francisco domestically, and Bangkok, London and Paris among those abroad, with plans to add Tokyo and Amsterdam.

The project was born of Mr. Lachter's passion for travel, and frustration with choosing a hotel in the right location.

Before Villy, he said, he had trouble in Bangkok, ultimately making an inconvenient choice. "It took me an hour and a half to meet my friends," he said.


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