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New travel website launched in Mumbai

A city company has launched a website allowing you to book trips and garner information on where you are going and what to do there, all in one place.

tech reviews Updated: May 25, 2010 14:37 IST
Naomi Canton

A city company has launched a website allowing you to book trips and garner information on where you are going and what to do there, all in one place.

Cleartrip.com, the online booking site for flights, hotels and trains, which employs 270 staff in Lower Parel, today launched a new section called Small World. www.cleartrip/smallworld offers travel guides and tips on 3.2 million destinations across the word.

Easy navigation
For each, the site tells you cheapest flight there from India, average hotel rates, the temperature, local time, sights to visit, restaurants to go to, entertainment, visa requirements and other tips, together with pictures. You can also book hotels, flights and pan-India trains through the site.

“Lonely Planet offers this information, but on their site you can’t book, whereas on our site you can,” informs Hrush Bhatt, founder and director at Cleartrip. The site links in with the existing booking mechanisms of Cleartrip. The travel guides and content on each place are provided by their partners, which include Lonely Planet, Yahoo and flickr.

Travelling tips
Explaining why the 26/11 attacks are not mentioned on the Mumbai recent history section, which does mention the 2006 train bombings, and why Seijo and Soul Dish is included in the restaurants section, even though it closed in 2008, Bhatt says: “We have to rely on our partners. We don’t want to get into content creation.”

Three staff spent four months getting the Small World site ready. “We have been wanting to do this for four years, but we had to wait till all the technology was in place,” he adds.

“Traditionally when you go to any travel site, they are largely limited to 2,000 to 3,000 destinations, we did not think that was enough, so we have put in more than 3.2 million destinations. So on our site you can search for London Eye, the Eiffel Tower and Disneyworld, you don’t have to search under Florida for example. You will soon be able to just type in a restaurant.”

Greater choices
For each destination, 10 recommended eating, shopping and entertainment spots are mentioned, and he says they hope to increase that.

He adds that typically most travel guide sites are very cumbersome. “You always have to write where you are going, how many people, and so on first, and they don’t address pricing, and you end up having to use multiple websites. We don’t believe people want to book their travel like that.”