By SHANNON KELLY
Soon-to-be-launched travel Web site Georama aims to be a pioneer of all-in-one travel planning, combining initial trip planning tools with content, booking and sharing via social media.
Georama certainly has some cool features, our favourites being:
- a planning tool for travellers who don’t know where they want to go (filter by travel month, budget, time and interests to get a list of suggestions)
- interactive maps: every search result is plotted on a map, with a pop-up showing both your listing results (restaurants, for instance) and the mapped restaurants
- My Trip function that allows you to save hotels, restaurants, attractions and events to your basket.
- booking (hotels, cars, attractions) directly from the site
- reviews from other travellers integrated from Foursquare
It’s an interesting concept—and an ambitious one. There’s a reason travel sites specialize primarily in booking, content, planning or sharing: it’s difficult to provide all of these tools in one place.
In the site’s beta form we see a lot of problems, including awkward navigation between the map and city listings and spotty coverage (for example: only cities, not regions, are pinpointed for now; in Canada there are only eight cities and in all of Africa only four; large swaths of San Francisco have no restaurant results). We also noticed that bars and restaurant coverage tended toward the most obvious touristy places while some of the cities’ best options were overlooked.
If these issues are resolved prior to launch and the site works as promised, Georama could be an amazing tool for travellers. At the very least, it has us wondering whether this is the future of travel online: all-in-one sites that preclude the need to have twenty different bookmarks to plan one trip. We’d like to see that.
Check out the beta site using the code DEMO12.