Sri Lankan company attempts new take on the Online Travel experience
September 15, 2009 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsColombo, Sri Lanka. - Travel sites are a dime a dozen these days, and it's not often that you find one that is built differently from the rest. Yet Vesess, a web application development company from Sri Lanka is doing just that. Their newest venture, Hotelotravel.com (HOT), is an online travel planner that focuses on speed and usability. Rather than have dozens of pages between the user and the booking, HOT's goal is to let the user go from browsing to booking in a few easy steps.
"When we designed HOT, our goal was to simplify the booking process," says Founder CEO Lankitha Wimalarathna. "When you come to a site to book a hotel room, you generally want to do that as quickly as possible. Funnily enough, a lot of the major players make this very difficult."
Beginning as a small design firm in Colombo in 2004, Vesess grew with the web, and today maintains CurdBee.com, a popular online billing application for Small and Medium Enterprises. Hot on the heels of the release of this application, they decided to have a go at the travel market, and see if they could bring something new to it. "After some careful research we realised that what the online travel industry lacked was a quick and simple way to book hotels, and that's exactly what we set out to build when we partnered with Hotelotravel. All our solutions are modelled on sites we ourselves would use, and HOT is no different," says Mr. Wimalarathna.
Hotelotravel.com itself is very minimalistic, sporting a white background, easy to read text, and prominent search tools. From searching by country, state or city, to selecting the dates they'd like to book for, the interface is designed to get users off the front page quickly, and into a list of hotels that match their search criteria.
"While our primarily goal is to get users to booking screens quickly and easily, we also provide some great value additions that we hope will help them know more about where they are going," says Asantha Rupasinghe, a Director of the company. "Using syndication technologies, we incorporate blogs, weather, pictures and other rich media content into the booking pages themselves, and thereby give visitors an at a glance view of their destination of choice."
When a user searches for a city on Hotelotravel.com, he or she will be forwarded to a page that lists hotels in the area. While the booking process is still the central focus of this step, users will notice that the secondary content sections of the page are filled with a number of pictures and links that show and tell them more about the city they are currently browsing. All this external content is sourced from reputed providers such as Hotels.com, Tripadvisor, upcoming.org and Flickr, and is therefore very reliable.
"We have a number of new features in the works at the moment, and HOT, like our many other ventures, is in constant development," says Buddhika Laknath, Lead Developer. "Our aim is to inform and educate the user as much as possible while maintaining the simple interface we have put together, and this will continue to be the focus of our development as we head into the next iteration of HOT."