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The best in digital travel honoured at the WITovation Awards 2016

Press Release   •   Oct 18, 2016 15:20 +08

Singapore, 18 October 2016 - Backstreet Academy, Rome2Rio, CarTrawler, Cleartrip, Chope and Air Black Box are category winners at this year’s WITovation Awards, while Special Mentions went to PEACH Airlines and Singapore Airlines.

The WITovation Awards, which honours visionaries for their excellence in digital marketing and customer experience in travel, recognizes companies and individuals who made a difference in a chosen field through a marketing campaign or overall strategy in the digital travel space.

The winners of this year’s WITovation Awards, powered by Sojern, were announced at the WIT Conference on October 18.

The 2016 winners are:

Best Inspiration: Backstreet Academy

Singapore-based startup Backstreet Academy, a peer to peer travel platform, bagged the Best Inspiration award for its compelling content in exciting travellers and getting them to reimagine a destination/service/product.

The winning campaign featured a moving video that showcases Backstreet’s efforts to create unique, local travel experiences through immersive encounters, one in which locals get a chance to earn a living by sharing their art with tourists.

Special Mention: Peach Airlines for their use of humour and the link with heritage and traditions in a video made for April’s Fool.

Best Compare: Rome2rio

Rome2rio, a multi-modal transport search engine that provides in-depth trip planning, was recognised for redefining the comparison experience to help travellers review and compare their travel options in a manner that goes beyond price.

Judges hailed Rome2Rio for their “great comparison data across multiple device platforms” that “clearly tries to help customers with the “How do I get there?” question”.

Last year, the Melbourne-based Rome2rio snagged the Data Specialist award for its impressive use of modern data science techniques.

Best Booking Experience: CarTrawler

CarTrawler secured the award for offering the best booking experience which encapsulates the best technology, functionality and user experience created for travellers.

The B2B travel technology platform created seamless omni-channel experiences through partnerships with online travel companies and airlines to offer an enhanced range of the most relevant ground transport options for all customers’ transportation needs.

The results: Car rental bookings and conversion increased by an average of 49% and 18% respectively, in the four months after implementing an above the fold position of its car rental cross-sell.

Best Mobile: Cleartrip

Cleartrip, India’s leading OTA, took home the award for its revolutionary travel app which includes a combination of both booking and travel guide features, making it a handy, must-have tool for all travellers.

Judges applauded the efficiency of the app saying, “The innovation of split screen based on consumer behaviour was a very interesting solution. Combining the two apps into a single one makes the app to be a lot more useful than just being a travel app; it allows people to have a reason to download the app and use it when they arrive at the destination.”

Special Mention: Singapore Airlines & MTT

With mobile being such a critical platform with changing consumer behaviour, the Singapore Airlines’ app developed by MTT was picked for special mention with judges calling it a “comprehensive innovative and integrated consumer experience”.

Best In-Destination Mobile Experience: Chope

Chope, Singapore-based restaurant-reservation booking platform, was recognised for enriching the travellers’ experience of a destination via its app which helps travellers discover and make instant online reservations at leading restaurants in South-east Asia.

The company was lauded for leveraging on the pivotal role of food in Asian cultures as the driving force for enhancing one’s travel experience.

Editor’s Choice: Air Black Box

Recognised for redefining the airline retailing sector, specifically interlining and multi-carrier connectivity, with its Air Connection Engine, Manchester-based startup Air Black Box was crowned champion by the editorial team of WIT in this open category for solving a difficult technological problem and launching the product in Asia.

The multi-carrier booking system provides airlines the tools to connect its products to a partner airline's brand, allowing airlines to cross-merchandise their products while maintaining their brand value. To date, seven airlines under the Value Alliance have partnered with Air Black Box.

The editorial team cited “the challenges it faced in bringing a complex product to market and the creativity it showed in bringing competitors together. By so doing, it’s empowering an entire sector, not just an individual company.”

“This year’s winners showed leadership and creativity in reimagining the travel journey, from inspiring travellers, helping them to compare and then book their travel, particularly on mobile, and when they are in-destination, helping them to enjoy their experience. The more travel goes digital in Asia, the more we need travel brands to innovate and differentiate,” said Yeoh Siew Hoon, founder of Web In Travel.

Mark Rabe, CEO of Sojern added, “Sojern is extremely proud to partner with WIT to recognize some of the most accomplished digital travel companies in Asia-Pacific. In terms of speed of digital and mobile growth, Asia Pacific is unparalleled in the world right now, and Singapore also happens to be a world-class travel destination and travel hub. The award winners on stage today are the embodiment of exactly the kind of drive and ingenuity that powers the travel industry. We are very excited to be at the heart of this fortunate confluence of trends and cannot wait to see what growth 2017 will bring to our sector in this geography.”

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About Web In Travel

WIT is a community for anyone passionate about travel technology, distribution and marketing. WIT incorporates a news website, a weekly newsletter, conferences and events that are held in Singapore, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, the UAE and the UK. The WIT 2016 Conference includes the WIT Bootcamp on Oct 17, the main Conference on Oct 18 & 19 and the ITB Asia Clinics, powered by WIT, on Oct 20-21. A ticket to the WIT 2016 Conference includes entry to these events as well as all social events related to WIT and ITB Asia. WIT is a wholly owned subsidiary of Northstar Travel Media. Visit to learn more.

About Sojern

Sojern is travel's leading data-driven performance marketing engine. Through its Sojern Traveler Platform and billions of traveller intent signals across online and mobile channels, Sojern puts more heads in beds and travellers in towns for its clients worldwide.

Media contact

Illka Gobius


+65 9769 8370

Pinpoint Public Relations is a boutique PR consultancy based in Singapore.
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