Top 15 Travel Startups Transforming the Tourism Industry

Top 15 Travel Startups Transforming the Tourism Industry

Top travel startups

The travel industry has experienced a significant transformation in the past decade, and a lot of that progress can be attributed to the emergence of innovative travel startups. Some of these startups have introduced groundbreaking technologies and services that have revolutionized the way travelers explore the world.

Keeping an eye on these up and coming companies will help your finger remain on the pulse of the industry as it evolves. Here are some of the most interesting and transformative travel startups around today, with substantial funding and unique ideas that could change the industry as we know it.

Top tourism startups to watch in 2024

Acai Travel

Acai Travel offers an arrangement of language model-based travel operation optimization solutions suited to travel management companies, online travel agencies, airlines, hotels, and call centers — promising a 60% reduction in average handle time for the latter.

Business model

The company offers three solutions named Blueberry, Raspberry, and Strawberry. These are all set to be released at the beginning of 2024.

Blueberry is an artificial intelligence-based travel agent assistant that can be integrated with a CRM to help answer questions on behalf of agents, increasing their productivity. The company states that their data intelligence tool can digest all of the necessary information from a client company's Google Drive folders and SharePoint sites to produce relevant answers.

Raspberry is an artificial intelligence tool for automating incoming chat and email replies. Acai Travel promises more than 40% increase in agents' productivity on new reservations. The system works more as a co-pilot, rather than a completely automated response tool, meaning that agents are always in control.

Strawberry is an AI tool that reads and understands GDS systems and can translate them to the travel agent's preferred language. The tool is supposed to help local agents book, change, and cancel bookings no matter where their customer is from or what GDS they are using.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Acai Travel received $500,000 in funding from investors, and managed to become one of PhocusWire's 25 Hot Startups for 2024. It also got support from Cornerstone.


Atlys is a mobile visa application app that aims to make the process of applying for visas easier and quicker. Currently it covers 233 countries and promises to reduce your application time to around four minutes, which is an enticing offer for both leisure and business travel purposes.

Business model

As the company founders state, the process is as follows: users login, choose their destination, upload their documents, and Atlys does everything else for a fee. And since most countries require the same set of documents for visas, the app saves users' uploads to make it easier for them to apply for other visas in the future, making travel management way simpler.

The app offers step-by-step guidance throughout the entire process, and allows customers to apply from anywhere in the world. Atlys also uses encryption to protect user data.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Atlys received around $5 million in seed funding and $12 million in Series A funding from investors. It plans to use it to enhance its offerings for travelers, expand its customer base, and add top talent to its team.


Boddy is a startup platform that aims to provide travelers with physical and digital wellness experiences on the go.

Boddy partners with various fitness and wellness operators and distributes their services directly, or through their strategic partners, whether it's an OTA or an insurtech company.

Business model

Boddy helps business travelers manage their workout routine no matter where they are.

Users can pay for subscriptions to gyms, fitness centers, and other wellness spaces in the city of their choosing (or any featured city in Europe if they are a Premium user). Once the user books a chosen spot and visits the gym of their choosing, all they need is to check in using the Boddy mobile app.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Boddy received €2.5 million in funding from investors and plans to expand its reach by diversifying options of fitness and wellness experiences, and forming new partnerships in the insurance, corporate travel, and digital health fields.

Top tourism startups to watch


BookingData is a travel technology startup that aims to empower third-party ancillary partners of airlines to present private, highly targeted offers directly to selected traveler profiles, increasing conversion and improving airline revenue.

Business model

The startup founders state that while airlines have always actively retailed first-party ancillaries (delivered by the airline itself, like extra luggage), third-party ancillaries like hotels and car rentals don’t get the same attention — they are usually featured as a couple of links at the bottom of a webpage with a less than 0.3% conversion.

At the same time, airlines hold invaluable insights about their passengers, and that travel data may be extremely useful to their ancillary partners (hotels networks or car rental services, for example). The idea behind BookingData is to provide tailored, private offers directly from ancillary business partners to passengers.

It works as follows: airlines let their ancillary providers select various traveler profiles to whom they want to make a private offer through the BookingData platform. After that, the offer is presented to the passenger via the airline communication channel with a direct link to the ancillary partner. These personalized offers then boost their conversion rates.

BookingData itself earns by taking a share of a commission that the ancillary partner pays to the airline after conversion.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The startup received €600,000 in funding from investors and plans on using said funding to expand their collaborations with various third-party providers in the travel industry.

BTP Automation

BTP Automation is a SaaS enterprise solution for automating the corporate hotel sourcing process. The travel startup promises overall reduction of up to 10% in hotel spend, a significant reduction in hotel program management labor through BTP’s automation capabilities, and full visibility into hotel programs and compliance.

Business model

The idea behind BTP Automation came from understanding the process behind hotel programs in the travel industry.

Each year, corporations negotiate rates, room-night commitments, and other terms with hotel networks to implement a company-wide hotel program. What that means is that typically, hotel programs remain static, regardless of market conditions, up until the next year.

However, the startup founders recognized that compliance to these terms, on average, is less than 50% — often, reservations aren't booked through the proper channel, the wrong rooms and properties are booked, and so on. All of that leads to costly out-of-compliance hotel bookings, which is a huge issue within the business travel sphere.

The solution BTP Automation came up with is an all-in-one data-driven hotel sourcing platform that can automatically and dynamically initiate or renegotiate hotel RFPs (requests for proposal), as well as identify corrective compliance actions to aid companies' expense management.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

With $2.5 million gained in funding from various investors, BTP Automation has won awards from PhocusWire, Skift, and Business Travel News. The startup already works with over 200 companies on its platform, and plans to expand further.


Dharma is a travel company that plans and sells trips hosted by influencers and famous people. The startup’s offerings include Manchester football derby travel experiences with legendary ex-player Eric Cantona, and an "Emily in Paris" vacation in partnership with Netflix.

Business model

All tours on Dharma have pre-determined dates and itineraries, meaning that guests only have to choose the vacation that suits them best and book it. The options vary from hotel retreats in Puerto Rico to animal tracking in Chad and cost from around $1,500 to $4,000.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Dharma has received $10 million in funding from investors. The company's team are now working to launch a new travel platform that will allow the medium- and large-scale creators to plan and promote trips to their communities, meaning they'll probably expect to raise some extra funding for that too.


Grazzy provides hourly employees in the travel industry (and other industries as well) with an easy tipping system that allows them to access their money the same day. The founders of the startup aim to improve financial wellness for front line workers and reduce the costs of recruiting and retaining for hotels, bars, restaurants, and salons.

Business model

Grazzy doesn't require any app installation or account creation — guests just scan a QR code, offer quick feedback, choose the tip amount, and select a payment method. Tips can be distributed directly to employee-connected debit cards via ACH bank transfer or through payroll.

The system also automatically reports the tip to the taxing services, ensuring security, and provides an in-built analytics tool.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The startup received $6.8 million in funding from investors, and is looking to grow further. It also has landed some big partnerships. Hotel Equities, for example, decided to implement Grazzy across its 300+ hotels’ network.

Connects female travelers


Greether is a platform that connects female travelers with paid local women (or "greeters") who can act as tour guides, personalize their travel experiences, and, most importantly, ensure their safety during the trip.

The startup travel company reports that their greeters are now available in more than 90 countries and more than 450 cities.

Business model

Travelers are connected to their greeters before the trip even begins. Greeters, who are trained by the company to act as local experts, provide recommendations and establish a rapport, and then meet travelers on arrival. Then they become their "local besties", accompanying travelers during their trip and providing guidance on local customs and safety measures, as well as other useful travel info.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The core purpose of Greether is to empower female travelers and to provide job opportunities for women around the world. Both are huge social issues, and the startup choses to answer them by creating a new community of female travelers and locals, enriching the experience of both groups.

If we were to speak in terms of success, while the funding is unknown, this year Greether became one of 12 top travel startups chosen for Expedia's Open World Accelerator program.

That means the startup founders are receiving business and technology development support, a non-equity grant, and access to Expedia Group and travel industry experts for mentorship and coaching. Greether also was among the finalists of UNWTO Awake Tourism Challenge.


Jerne is a SaaS web platform designed to become a direct channel that connects creators/influencers and travel experience providers.

The goal of this sort of online marketplace is to assist in managing relationships and commercial agreements, controlling and monetizing user generated content, and tracking affiliate sales and ROI. Currently the online platform supports 5,000 creators and travel experience providers.

Business model

Influencers can sign up on the platform either for free (or for approximately $5-$10 monthly for extra features) and promote their services to experience providers. Providers, on the other hand, can search and filter influencers based on their goals, monitor their content, and analyze ROI.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

While the exact funding for the startup is unknown, the platform has already had some successes, like partnering with Forbes Travel Guide to give properties streamlined access to vetted influencers, and becoming one of Phocuswire's 25 Hot Travel Startups for 2024.


Hotelverse is a startup that offers "Digital Twin" technology — realistic and interactive 3D models of hotels. These models are designed to be immersive, so travelers can get a better idea of what room they're booking, which elevates the overall customer experience.

As the founders state, Hotelverse's technology aims to change the hospitality industry by disintermediating hotel sales, using a proposition that can't be replicated by intermediary channels. At the same time, it also improves product knowledge to attract consumers.

Business model

There is no need for the Hotelverse team to visit a hotel to render the "Digital Twin" — their technology requires minimal content, like emergency plans and certain room specifications.

When the set-up process is complete, the startup enables integration of its Digital Hub into the hotel's website through an HTML-snippet, and from that moment the "Digital Twin" can be utilized. The startup also promises that their solution won't slow down hotels' websites.

Hotelverse is transforming the customer experience, letting travelers book rooms by viewing them first as 3D models. Hotelverse states that their solution increases the average time spent on a room’s page by 10%, and the conversion rate by 30%, meaning more hotel bookings and a more stable revenue flow.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Hotelverse received €2 million in funding from investors, and its founders were included in Forbes Top 100 creatives list. For now the startup is focusing on short-term conversions to reach €150,000 in contracted monthly recurring revenue by the first quarter of 2024, with emphasis on the Spanish and Caribbean travel markets.

In the long term, Hotelverse plans to reinforce its commercial presence in the U.S. by further enhancing their business offerings.


Kindred is a booking platform offering affordable vacation rental options to its members by empowering them to swap homes with other users. Currently, the booking platform supports more than 5,000 homes in more than 50 cities spread across North America and Europe.

Business model

Kindred allows members to earn one night of travel for each night they rent their apartment. That enables users to either swap houses for the same period of time, or host their homes while they are away to earn nights for later. Users also get one night’s stay for each five days their home is available on Kindred.

Members of the booking platform receive complimentary guest kits with towels and sheets, plus $100,000 host protection to ensure security. The company also organizes a video call before a stay is confirmed, so users can approve or disapprove each member. All of the homes that serve as vacation rentals get cleaned before and after the stay by a professional cleaning service.

The Kindred service costs $35 per night at maximum, and members have to pay for the cleaning. Even with that in mind, the opportunity to pay zero rent seems enticing. The company provides case studies of their members' stays, which are often six or seven times cheaper than stays in similar apartments for renting.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The booking platform has already landed $7.75 million in seed funding, followed by another $15 million of Series A funding from various investors. The founders state that by April 2023, the platform had achieved 5,000 nights swapped and received 20,000 membership applications.


Pebble is a California-based startup in the transportation field, offering an all-electric travel trailer that is supposed to be "the world's smartest" recreational vehicle — Pebble Flow.

Business model

Pebble Flow is a lightweight electric travel trailer that fits up to four people. It comes with a 45 kWh lithium-ion phosphate battery, 1 kW of rooftop solar batteries, Starlink support, AC and DC charging capability, and also regenerative charging capability that sends electrons back into the battery while towed.

The trailer itself has a kitchen with microwave and refrigerator, bedroom, bathroom, and a workspace, so owners can travel long distances comfortably and spend up to 7 days off-grid. It also comes with a smart app, and can hitch itself to a car. The Flow starts from $109,000.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Earlier in 2023, the transportation startup received around $13 million in funding from investors. The current travel trailer is an Alpha version, with Beta in development, yet the startup expects to start shipping the finished product by the end of 2024.

Flight search engine


Point.me is a flight search engine that helps with travelers' expense management by enabling them to book flights with their airline and credit card rewards for significantly lower point costs. In its promotional video, the startup promises to reduce point costs by up to 12 times, maximizing the value of travel loyalty programs for users.

The company founders also mention that it has employed 55 travel industry professionals who know everything about points and the best ways to benefit from them.

Business model

Point.me's real-time metasearch engine pulls data from over 40 travel web sources, compiles the results, and enables users to compare airline tickets and other transportation options in a simple and convenient way.

The travel startup offers two services: "Self-serve" and "Concierge". The first one refers to using the search engine to find suitable tickets yourself, while the latter offers an one-on-one interaction with a specialist, who will search for the best flights that can be booked with users’ points and handle every step of the booking process.

The standard Self-Serve plan will cost a traveler $129 annually, while Concierge comes at a price of $200 for one person.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The travel startup received $12 million in funding from investors. It fills a very specific niche in the market, looking to grow further by expanding the functionality of the core service.

The Host Co.

The Host Co. aims to turn short-term vacation rentals into an all-in-one hospitality service by adding instant concierge amenities like spas and chefs to in-rental shopping. The startup positions itself as the "easy button" for hospitality upsells and promises to add up to 30% to the revenue stream.

Business model

The Host Co. connects travelers with curated local experiences, automates property owners' offerings, and manages their in-home gift shops. The idea behind the online platform is to let guests choose their own travel experiences during their stay at the vacation rental, while driving extra sales for the owners.

First, the owner sets up their shop page and adds local vendors (pre-found by The Host Co.) of their choosing. Then, when someone wants to purchase something, The Host Co. notifies both the vendor and traveler, allowing the owner to relax. Whenever guests order something, the owners earn up to 10% of the sale. The premise is ideal for leisure and business travel hosts looking to open up new revenue channels.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

The travel startup received $2.1 million in funding from investors. Its founders are (in their own words) “laser-focused on being the best retailing partner”.


Weeva is a SaaS platform that aims to make sustainability simpler and more accessible for travel companies. It does that by enabling travel businesses to measure their sustainability in four major fields: conservation, commerce, community, and culture — all with the help of a catchy 360-degree UI, in-built guides, and a reporting system.

The travel startup’s idea came in April 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit the African safari industry. As the company founders express, "We saw lodges shutting down, conservation efforts drying up, and friends losing their jobs."

Because of this, the founders were keen to support the travel industry to become more sustainable and resilient. The result is a complete support system for operationalising and managing sustainability.

Business model

The software offers to measure 18 parameters spread across the aforementioned four fields of sustainability, ranging from "Nature Protection" and "Cultural Heritage" to "Ethical and Inclusive Labor".

The business model is designed to help travel companies keep track of these parameters and analyze their success in reaching sustainability goals. The system also offers advanced analytics and reporting tools to help with expense management and other sustainability challenges.

Funding, investors, and plans for future

Currently the travel startup has received around $10 million in funding from investors. The founders now plan to introduce conversational and generative AI capabilities to the company's software toolkit.


The travel industry is in a constant process of transformation, with fresh startup companies receiving promising levels of funding often at the center of that.

From promoting sustainability and ensuring security for female travelers to simplifying the process of applying for visas — new travel startups have a lot to offer, so you should certainly keep an eye on them in 2024. Who knows, maybe one day they’ll be your partners in collaboration, or maybe they will inspire you to try something new in your very own business.


What is a travel startup?

Travel startups are fresh new companies that usually have a unique offering and mostly rely on investments from major sponsors. And, luckily, there are lots of sponsors out there, like New Enterprise Associates, Bullpen Capital, Prime Ventures, Lead Edge Capital, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Target Global, and Sabadell Venture Capital.

A travel startup's proposition can be anything, as long as it is innovative and helpful — from providing unusual luxury rentals and new means of transportation (like unlimited mileage car rentals), to creating a novel way for organizing company retreats.

For example, Point.me promises travelers the best possible deals for their airline and credit card rewards: it's a fairly unique offer that is backed by $12 million in funding from multiple investors, and that is even before Series B funding.

What makes travel startups stand out from traditional travel companies?

Travel startups not only bring a certain service or product to the industry, but they also bring innovation and new ways of doing things, whether it is an approach or a travel technology. Occasionally, they even have the power to shake up the leisure and business travel landscape entirely.

While it is a known fact that the vast majority of travel startups (and startups in general) never succeed, we've compiled a list of fresh, promising companies that have gained significant recognition and funding already.

What are the most interesting startups in the travel industry right now?

Some of the top travel startups to watch in 2024 include Atlys, Greether, and Weeva. Each one is trying to accomplish something fairly new, whether it is in the field of travel sustainability or visa applications. These startup companies are bringing a fresh wave of innovation to the travel industry, and have already received substantial funding and recognition.

Alex loves travel and tech and founded Zoftify to help travel companies use technology more effectively. Before this, he worked in tech consulting, where he led international mobile development teams.

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