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Ex-TripAdvisor execs launch ‘’humanised” travel service Down Under kimkim brings the travel agent back

May 9, 2017 Business News No Comments Email Email

kimkim, a new online marketplace started by a couple of former TripAdvisor executives, has today launched in Australia aiming to take the hassle out of planning and booking your next holiday by connecting travellers directly with local specialists.

According to an Expedia study, the average customer goes to 38 different sites spending more than 10 hours researching more involved trips. Joost Schreve, former head of mobile at TripAdvisor and Benoit Zeler, former head of Android at TripAdvisor, started kimkim out of the frustration faced as a result of the fragmented state of existing travel planning and booking products.

By combining the high-touch service of a traditional travel agent with state-of-the-art mobile messaging technology, more than 20,000 travellers worldwide have planned their trip through kimkim since the service launched in early 2016 from a small garage office in Palo Alto, California.

Those looking for a truly bespoke trip, complete a short travel quiz on to uncover the type of experience they’re after at their destination of choice. Based on that information, travellers are matched with a trusted local travel specialist who shares detailed, up-to-date knowledge and insights to curate the best possible itinerary.

kimkim’s specialists live in the destination in which they provide trip planning services and have extensive experience in the travel industry, often running their own travel operations. Specialists go through a rigorous interview and training process before they are added onto the marketplace, while a comprehensive ratings and review system ensures a trusted and unbiased environment.

Only after the customer is 100 per cent happy with the proposed itinerary, is the trip booked.

Joost Schreve, CEO and Co-founder of kimkim, said the service caters to those who are looking for an unforgettable, unique travel experience.

“Most travellers come to us not because they can’t book their own trip online – but because they’re time poor. They want to talk to a local travel expert, someone who knows the destination well and can offer curated travel advice. They want a person who loves recommending great experiences based on their personal interests, who can put the entire trip together to easily review and book in one place.

“We started kimkim because we realised travel becomes a lot more fun and fulfilling when you feel less like a tourist, and more like a traveller.

“While tourists tend to sit on big tour buses chasing checklists of top things to do, elbowing their way to take a quick photo before running off to check off the next attraction, travellers are looking to really experience a destination in all its unique glory, venturing off the beaten path, meeting locals, understanding the culture and creating truly meaningful memories.

“Those are the kind of experiences we’re creating at kimkmim. We’re bringing the local expert back into the trip planning process and to date, we’ve taken bookings ranging from $1,000 to $6,000, for an expertly curated holiday in some of the world’s most beautiful destinations like Nepal, Iceland, Peru, Jordan, Myanmar and more.”

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