Tech firm eyes market for large group travel
A London tech company launched this week is tapping into the market for school trips and other group travel.
Tripsi — mytripsi.com — aims to be a one-stop stress-free planning tool for teachers and other folks booking travel for a big group.
It’s the latest venture for London-based tech entrepreneur John Galbraith.
Galbraith said most of the popular travel booking sites are not designed to accommodate groups larger than 10 people.
Galbraith got the idea when he worked for a travel tour company that worked with schools.
He said teachers attempting to book class trips can be besieged with calls from a variety of tour operators.
Tripsi acts as a broker, connecting customers to a network of operators who will offer price quotes.
“We can stop the cold-calling for the teachers and allow them to make informed decisions,” said Galbraith. “There’s transparency and accountability for the school community.”
Galbraith said Tripsi makes it easier for the organizer to get the best price. The service is free for the booking customer; Tripsi gets a commission from tour operators.
He said schools in a large board such as Thames Valley District school board can spend millions of dollars each year on trips but aren’t always getting the best deal.
“If the teachers don’t want to shop around, they become price takers. They just go to the company they’ve always used,” he said.
The system also avoids the conflict-of-interest situation of offering kickbacks such as free personal vacations trip to the person who does the booking.
Once the trip is booked, Tripsi creates a website specific to the trip that provides parents and students with information and allows them to register and pay for the trip with funds going directly to the tour operator.
That removes the risk from collecting money at the school level.
“In my old job, I once left a Thames Valley school with $22,000 in the front seat of my car,” Galbraith recalled. “We taken the risk out of money handling for the schools and school boards.”
Galbraith, a native of Ridgetown, has been a tech entrepreneur for about 10 years and previously helped developed the skateboarding app ZonedIn.
Tripsi has about seven staff working out of an office on Richmond Street. The company is launching a marketing campaign running over the next two months targeted at teachers.
Tripsi is the latest of several London-based digital companies targeting schools and sports groups.
Innosoft Fusion helps institutions manage sports facilities, Race Roster is a registration platform for road races and marathons, PrivIt provides online health record to diagnose sports injuries and True Champion Sports provides statistics and analytics on major team sports.