Red Rose

Rosebuds Blog

Travel gets personal with this new internet site

June 05, 2012

Oh, the webs travelers weave.

It isn’t just that 82 percent of us planned our trips via the internet last year, and that 58 percent of us booked them online (so says the research firm IBISWorld).

No, there’s more going on here. It’s that the internet is starting to do for travelers what the internet does best – it’s personalizing the information it provides. There is probably no better example of this than the internet site Wanderfly.

Why would we flack for an internet travel site? Well … honestly … we have an ulterior motive. Bear with us just a moment and we’ll explain.

First, imagine a travel site where you could:

>> Get advice from travelers you trust
>> Recommend your favorite destinations
>> Find perfect places and experiences for you

That’s how Wanderfly characterizes itself. It’s a cool site. Check it out. And while you’re there (here comes the ulterior motive), we would very much appreciate your giving a nod to The Rose Hotel. We know from years of feedback that many of our guests regard The Rose as a largely undiscovered gem on the San Francisco Bay Area travel circuit.

Wanderfly Logo

And there’s something in it for you, too. (More on that in a moment.)

Here’s how Wanderfly works. You recommend a hotel, destination, restaurant, location, experience, etc. You supply “tags” explaining what makes your recommendation worthwhile (such as customer service, location, luxury, etc.), you can make comments and even upload photos.

(Need a photo of The Rose? Simply right-click on the photos on our website and copy to your desktop for uploading to the Wanderfly site.)

With so many globetrotters using the internet for all things travel, we are redoubling our PR efforts. Even getting suggestions for where to stay is being outsourced to the online crowd.

As Nima Samadi, senior analyst at IBISWorld, told Entrepreneur magazine: “Before, people would go to the travel agent and … get that personalized recommendation. With people increasingly booking online, they don’t really have that option, so that’s where recommendation services fill the void. You can use other people’s aggregated opinions to figure out what the inside track is.”

That’s the niche Wanderfly is trying to fill. The New York-based travel site, founded in the fall of 2010, is trying to answer that age-old travel question, Where should I go?, by supplying its registered users with a visual recommendation based on their personal travel priorities, such as interests, budget, trip length and other travel details.

A reviewer on the social media site Mashable wrote that she chose “adventure,” “off the beaten path,” “authentic” and “food” and received a list of 24 suggestions that included Halifax, Canada; Turku, Finland, and Sonoma, California — replete with photos to satisfy her armchair-travel appetite.

Wanderfly co-founder and CEO Evan Schneyer is quoted as saying, “If you think about the other options like Orbitz and Expedia and Kayak, and even some of the more planning-oriented ones like TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet, you have to know a lot about what you’re looking for. We wanted to flip that on its head and have an open-ended search so you can say, ‘I want this kind of experience, here’s my budget, start giving me ideas.’ ”

Those of you familiar with the red-hot social media site Pinterest will take Wanderfly very quickly. Wanderfly works a lot like Pinterest but it’s built strictly for travel.

(If you’re not familiar, Pinterest lets users organize and share all the interesting things they find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes, share their travels or travel recommendations, and so on. You can browse pinboards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.)

On Wanderfly, users make boards for cities they’ve been to or are interested in exploring. Within each of their city boards, they add recommendations for specific venues. New content from the people who they are following is delivered in a Facebook-like feed and can easily be saved to their own boards.

Thus far, Wanderfly, which is free of charge, has provided more than 4 million trip recommendations covering over 1,400 cities to users in 217 countries.

No doubt you’re beginning to understand our not-so-ulterior motive.

Do you have good things to say about your experiences at The Rose Hotel? If so, check out Wanderfly and share. Naturally, we encourage our guests to also say good things about us on the many popular travel sites mentioned and hotlinked above.

So what’s in it for you? Show us your Rose Hotel recommendation on Wanderfly and we’ll give you a $75 bottle of Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars 2009 Artemis Cabernet Sauvignon when you check in.

The offer expires July 30 so don’t delay, post and enjoy one of Napa Valley’s best!

Visit Wanderfly now by clicking here.