Short meeting, long joint activities?

“Maybe in future we will organize shorter meetings and dedicate more time to engage in fun activities together.” Olivier Gibouin, CEO and co-founder of MakeYourTripBetter

Many people talk about the fact that travel, its modes and motivations, could change fundamentally, even more so after Corona and even more so in the business travel sector. Olivier Gibouin has created opportunities with the launch of the MakeYourTripBetter 2020 platform by allowing travellers and locals to connect before, during and after their trip: Travellers get personalised Bleisure tips from locals, while locals spread the word about their region and local people, and model conscious, low-impact tourism models. We spoke with the Frenchman about a community of all “tribes” and the new way of business travel.

Olivier, to what extent does your platform also work for business travellers so far, what can you already say after launch in Covid-19 year 2020? Which business travellers are using the service so far?

The MakeYourTripBetter platform is perfect for a business traveller who wants to find people to get information from or to practice their favorite activities with, such as tennis, golf, gastronomy or wine tasting, for example. He can thus find the right people get advice from and even to join him.
Although the platform is very new, we have an incredible amount of positive feedback. This crisis does not allow us to travel as you would have liked, but it has reinforced in many people the idea of traveling differently, of traveling in a more responsible and caring way.
We thought at first that it would appeal more to young people but eventually we realize that this idea appeals to people of all generations and all types of tribes.

How can the concept work, especially for remote work trips or project workers who live and work in a remote location for months at a time? Are there already examples here?

All the business travellers need to do is to create an account and then create a “place of travel” where they plan to go or the place where they already are. And from there they will be able to see all the profiles of the “MYTB members” who live in and around this place. They can filter profiles based on many criteria such as age, gender, languages spoken, activities practised.
We have not yet received testimonials from business travellers. It must be said that the platform MakeYourTripBetter has only been around for a few months and that there hasn’t been a lot of business travel during this period. On the other hand, we have numerous testimonials from people who tell us that they will use the platform as soon as they can travel again.

How big ist the current community, in how many places?

At this moment we already have more than 1,000 “MYTB members” in more than 25 different countries without having yet launched our communication campaign. And every day we have new members. As MakeYourTripBetter is a French platform two thirds of the members are in France and most of the others are in the European Union, but we already have some members on every continent.

How do you think the exchange and topics on your platform might change after Covid-19, in terms of a big pent-up demand for travel, more conscious travel, but perhaps less and longer travel?

We observe that the urge to travel with more meaning is much stronger now than before the health crisis. Above all, all those who already wanted to travel in a way more respectful of the planet, the territories and the local populations are even more determined to change their habits.
As for business trips, with the development of the use of online meetings we also realized that creating links in our professional relations with our partners, our customers, our suppliers is essential and that we also need to meet physically for that.
Perhaps this will lead to changes in the way we think about business travel. Maybe we will organize shorter meetings and dedicate more time to engage in fun activities together. It’s still quite early to see how this all plays out. We will follow this carefully.

Sylvie Konzack …

believes that such platforms can change business travel tourism in particular with new impulses and opportunities. Not because it is solely about the greater leisure aspect, but because you get to know and understand business partners and target groups better on the spot.

Photos: Olivier Gibouin

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