The Problem
Finding the best path to traverse a given number of destinations in any given order has been a long-standing problem. Moreover, we have seen many different forms of this problem with ever-increasing complexities.
One significant complexity is the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2019, travelers took an estimated 2.3 billion trips in the United States. A plan was created and executed to the best of the planner’s ability for each trip. Each plan consisted of making travel arrangements choosing transport, accommodations, activities/recreation, and dining options. Many would also be interested in trying out certain experiences that are unique to the destination in question.
However, all these variables together expand the size of our search space to such a point that a “greedy algorithm” will no longer work.
With the pandemic, safety became an additional issue for research. For women & BIPOC travelers, safety and security have always been a factor to understand for a given destination, usually the second issue after pricing and budget. Yet, the pandemic highlighted how much safety must be considered in planning for all travelers.
Questions like
  • “What was available?” ;
  • “What’s changed?”;
  • “What do I need to keep in mind for my safety?”;
added another dimension that made the search and planning portion of a trip never-ending in fear of missing key ever-changing information.
There are two more additional components to the problem - the availability of current products. Many products today fail to understand how a traveler chooses to structure their itinerary and what the traveler truly enjoys for their itinerary.
Most products such as GetYourGuide, Klook, Viator, Peek, and Fodor rely heavily on the greedy algorithm and do not alleviate the point points of planning for travelers. Products today fail to answer adequately what happens when circumstances may alter the initial final plan for various reasons.
The rearrangement usually falls on the shoulder of the traveler and forces the traveler to jump through many hoops to come up with solutions that can take all the dimensions of the first problem into account.
  1. 1.
    70% of travelers will spend more time finding things to do.
  2. 2.
    73% of travelers will spend more time choosing a destination.
  3. 3.
    80% of respondents say that they value vacation now more than ever and plan to take an extra week of vacation this year.
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