Downtown had the pleasure of talking with Trip.com co-founder and CEO Travis Katz and NYC editor Veronica “Nika” Gorodetskaya. The two explained the motivation behind their company’s re-brand what else is coming up for Trip.com.
What prompted the new company name?
Travis Katz: Trip.com helps us redefine what a “trip” really means. We are firm believers that it’s not how far you travel, it’s about your spirit of adventure. You can have a great experience checking out the new cafe or gallery in your town – or finding a beautiful boutique hotel down a quiet alley in Rome. Our mission is to make it easier for you to get out, have fun, and make some great memories. And that’s what we’re doing as Trip.com.
How will the site and app change?
TK: Trip.com still offers the same things our community loves: the ability to get personal, tailored recommendations based on your preferences and those of people like you. Likewise, we’re still a one-stop-shop for researching and booking hotels, flights, restaurant reservations and tours.
With the launch of Trip.com, we’re making it even simpler to have meaningful experiences every day by rolling out two new features that make it hassle-free to plan. Now, for example, you’ll get quick messages from us when you arrive in a new city or place — letting you know what’s close by and all tailored for your preferences, time of day, weather, location and more. No need to even open the app. We do all the heavy lifting; restaurants that you’ll like, right by your hotel, delivered right to your phone’s lock screen, for example.
Veronica Gorodetskaya: One of my favorite features is the new map-based interface that lets you search and book hotels in context. You can see possible hotel options on a map, and tap to overlay Trip.com’s recommendations for places to eat and things to do, so you can select a hotel not just based on price, but its proximity to activities and attractions they care about. So, for example, if you were looking for hotels in Paris, most people care about more than just price, they want to know if the hotel is in a good location, near cafes, bars and the things they plan to see. But I like it for staycations — it’s great for finally exploring a new part of Brooklyn, for example, or even (radical as the idea is) heading uptown!
Any exciting events coming up?
VG: This week, we’re not missing The Great Gatsby Party on Dec. 2 in the Bowery — champagne towers, live performances, music, dancers and plenty of sinful surprises. Then we’ll be nursing hangovers via art at the Rothko exhibit at the Pace Gallery in Chelsea.
When not busy with work, how do you like to spend your free time?
TK: With my family — I have two kids and a wonderful wife. We love hiking and traveling. We are also are foodies, and love exploring great restaurants and cocktail bars, which is why we love New York. I also swim regularly on a Masters Swim Club team.
VG: I love reading thrillers, checking out the latest and greatest art and food in the city, and hanging out with my two-year old daughter. I can also be found up late reading manuscripts for my literary journal, The Capra Review.
What’s your favorite restaurant in New York?
TK: I have a lot of favorites, but my current favorite is Gato, Bobby Flay’s restaurant in NoHo.
VG: I love Freud New York, the new modern Austrian place in the Village.
Finally, any last words for the kids?
TK: Less work, more fun. Take every opportunity, big and small, to explore the world around you and have the experiences that really matter. By the way, I know an app that can help with that…