MustSeeIndia : Trip Planner with community focus

One of the major challenge in planning a trip is unavailability of structured data, feedback/reviews from users and most importantly, lack of a one-stop shop that has all the information.

While there are several local sites available, I do see a need for something that’s nationwide.

Bangalore based startup, MustSeeIndia is a travel planner that also enables users to share their travel experience and in the process, build a rich set of information about any tourist spot.

MustseeIndia focuses on two aspects:

  • Information: Provide complete and reliable information on all tourist destinations in India (when to go, where to go, booking phone numbers, maps)
  • Planning and Sharing: Help travelers in trip planning and collaboratively sharing photos and experiences.

The portal lets you explore tourist places around cities like Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and also has theme based options like Hill stations, Romantic, Beaches, Adventure and Historical.

You can invite your friends, coordinate among them, track the entire discussion and share your travel experience.

What I really like about mustseeindia is the organization of data – for e.g., a tourist place page has relevant info, pictures (from Flickr), related attractions , maps (which is not very relevant) etc. and data is presented in a very easy-to-consume manner.

Having said that, here are a couple of points that they should look at:

  • Data: The current data that the site has is quite minimal – to me, a killer dataset would be to have, say location of CCDs between Bangalore-Mysore highway, petrol outlets etc. It’s tough to get this data – and that’s where the opportunity lies (once you have it, all major travel players will license your content)
  • Design – The site, though nicely designed has a strong web1.0 feel (could be my personal take).
  • User engagement – Somehow, I find the portal lacking in user engagement – unless they have a strong touch point with travelers, people won’t contribute.
  • Integration with travel operators (if not now, then in future?)

Overall, I guess the focus is more on content, and less on trip planning. Simple tweaks can do wonders – for instance, the portal should enable one to set a default city and then change the entire context (95% of time, I’d be interested in ‘<Tourist destinations>’ from Bangalore.)

What’s your opinion? Do give MustSeeIndia a spin (use invite code : pluggdin to register) and share your comments.

Written by Ashish Sinha

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Ashish Sinha is founder and CEO of NextBigWhat, the tech and startup community platform . He can be reached at: ashish (at) nextbigwhat.com.