Smart Tourism interview with i’way
Introduction: i’way is a worldwide transfer booking service. We are trusted by large companies, travel agencies and private travelers around the world to organize transfers. The company’s network includes 600 airports in 120 countries.
Question 1. What is the innovation of your technology? What makes it unique?
i’way: You can order a transfer in almost any country in the world and pay in any convenient currency using the i’way mobile application or our website. The transfer service includes free waiting of the passenger for up to an hour. In addition, in order not to look for the car in the endless parking lot of the airport, you can order a meeting with a greeting sign. Besides, on i’way mobile application, you can track the location of the driver online. If some client has arrived to an unfamiliar city and needs to have time to visit several places at once during the day, then this client can book a transfer with a personal driver who will take the client to all meetings throughout the day.
Question 2. What is the path of evolution of your technology?
i’way: The company was established in 2009 in Novosibirsk, the founders are Dmitry Salikhov and Dmitry Saraykin. In 2013, i`way reached the mark of 1000 trips per day. In 2015, we launched our own mobile application for Android and iOS. In 2016, we passed the milestone of 1,000,000 trips. In 2020, we launched a new order processing module – Machine Learning. In July 2020, at the height of the pandemic, i’way application was released with the function of ordering a transfer. Now the application has become a full-fledged sales channel, and the volume of installations of the application has exceeded 100,000.
Question 3. How does your technology help usual tourists? How does it work?
i’way: It is enough to install the application on your smartphone. Registration in the application takes no more than one minute. After that, you just need to enter the address of the destinations, select the car class and book the transfer. Any tourist can order a transfer for himself or for his loved ones, thus he is certain that he will be met in a foreign country, helped with luggage and told about the attractions. All this creates a feeling of confidence and comfort during the trip.
Question 4. Does your technology contribute towards achievement of SDG and ecological improvement? If so, could you explain how?
i’way: First, in accordance with paragraph 8 of the UN resolution on Sustainable Development, we are committed to promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all. Our drivers do not work for 20 hours shifts; they perform a maximum of 8 trips per day, which gives them time for quality rest and decent pay for their work. Secondly, for several years now we have completely switched to electronic document management, both with our clients and partners. This saves the ecosystem and reduces deforestation, which reduces the impact on the environment.
Question 5. How does your technology interact with other touristic organizations, such as DMO, hotels, guides, transport? What benefits of collaboration does it give them, or could give them in the future?
i’way: Ordering a transfer allows you to expand the list of services offered for travel organizations. They can embed our frame on their site or make API integration. Travel agents have access to a B2B account where they can book a transfer for their client. Thus, providing a full range of services for its clients. Further, our partners from the travel industry can earn an agency commission from each transfer booked. As a result, everyone wins, the client is satisfied with the range of services, and the travel organization has got a loyal client and the opportunity to earn extra money.
Service geography -670 major airports in 120 countries.
Question 6. Could you provide examples of real life applications of your technology?
i’way: Our service is integrated with the largest travel sites for finding tours, tickets and hotels. For example, Mozio, Jayride, Plum Accommodation, Go Global Travel, etc. Our service is also integrated with the loyalty programs of the largest airlines Aeroflot and S7.
Question 7. How do you convince potential user that your technology is necessary and useful?
i’way: We work a lot on informing users about the benefits of the service and the high level of the service itself.
Question 8. Do you think that your technology contributes towards development of smart tourism?
i’way: Of course, any user can independently order a transfer for himself when he goes on a trip. A smartphone in the hands is enough for a tourist to plan his trip, make it comfortable and safe.
Question 9. What do you think of the concept of smart tourism, tourism of the future and the role of your enterprise in this future?
i’way: With the growing digitalization of society, smart tourism will only grow and its relevance is difficult to overestimate. We have already blended into the smart tourism paradigm by offering high quality online service from any device, and have also organically integrated into various tourism products. The transfer allows the tourist to feel confident and safe during their vacation and travel in a foreign country. He does not need to spend time looking for a car or thinking how to get from point A to point B, since he has already covered this need. He can devote this time towards finding interesting sights to get new travel experiences. The transfer is designed to deliver him to places where he will get his vivid impressions.