Categories Interviews, Other Industries

NextTrip stands out as one of the most descriptive names in travel sector: CEO

In an interview with AlphaStreet, Bill Kerby, CEO of NextTrip, discussed the recent business transition and emerging trends in the travel industry

NextTrip, Inc. (NASDAQ: NTRP) is a technology-driven travel agency that offers travel booking and interactive travel media solutions. The online platform allows travelers to book accommodation and transportation services including hotels, airlines, and car rentals.

AlphaStreet had a conversation with NextTrip’s CEO Bil Kerby, delving into the strategies driving the company’s growth and exploring the roadmap for its future. Kerby has around two decades of experience in the travel and media industries, and a decade of experience in the financial industry. Here’s the full interview:

From the growth perspective, how significant is the recent business transition and corporate name change?

The NextTrip rebranding and business transaction, with Sigma Additive, carried immense significance. We believe the NextTrip brand stands out as one of the most descriptive names in the travel sector, and the opportunity to promote this brand within a public company is invaluable.

Our growth potential is compelling, as our model not only relies on the reactivation and scaling of a proven core booking engine (acquired from a previous operator) but also expands into crucial yet underserved areas of the travel industry, such as group travel booking and offering access to meaningful customer service.

How do you perceive NextTrip’s mission aligning with the current trends in the travel industry?

NextTrip understands the evolving needs of travelers, recognizing that they seek more than just the best prices. Today’s discerning traveler views vacations as a chance to rejuvenate and find balance, making careful selection of destinations and activities essential for their well-being. In response, NextTrip is in the process of launching discovery platform and tools featuring Travel Magazine, MyBucketList, and our FAST Travel Channel, “Compass. TV,” which is designed to ultimately integrate Advertising/Gamification and AI capabilities. This platform serves as our avenue to engage both current and future generations, offering them the opportunity to explore and discover exceptional travel experiences within our ecosystem before making bookings, thereby ensuring a perfect vacation. Our mission is to disrupt the industry by providing an immersive experience rather than simply selling prepackaged programs based on assumptions of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Can you discuss any upcoming initiatives that you are planning to enable the company to stay ahead of competitors?

We understand that many industry leaders prioritize low prices through a one-size-fits-all approach. While competitive pricing is crucial, we also recognize that numerous travelers desire a superior experience. By offering an intuitive platform, robust product partnerships, and a concierge service desk aided by AI, we aim to provide a “better vacation experience” that aligns with these expectations. Additionally, NextTrip is expanding upon these foundational principles to develop new products catering to specialized travel needs. Some noteworthy examples include Wellness travel options; engaging travel agents as partners through the use of our shares; Introducing a Groups Platform tailored to conferences, conventions, family reunions, destination weddings, and similar events involving more than ten travelers; and business travel solutions designed for the underserved small to midsize businesses that a typical enterprise system offered by competitors may not be cost-effective.

While these initiatives demand more personalized attention, they ultimately should result in superior products that foster greater customer loyalty to NextTrip.

Also Read: An interview with the CEO of Wealth Minerals

Please provide insights into technology-focused innovations at NextTrip, like ‘interactive media solutions’

We’ve dedicated ourselves to evolving into the innovative travel company of the future by harnessing the power of AI and video as essential tools for boosting travel sales. Our strategy revolves around building an ecosystem centered on travel, with Compass.TV and Travel Magazine as our core components. These platforms empower users to navigate and curate their dream vacations, essentially crafting their bucket list travel experiences. Through our media solutions, we leverage video and AI to craft personalized travel experiences for each individual traveler. Video content plays a pivotal role in our offerings, particularly in NextTrip’s Travel Magazine and Compass. TV. Here are some key points to consider:

  • The proliferation of travel videos post-COVID-19 reflects a global trend where people share their adventures and seek inspiration for their next journeys.
  • Research shows that two out of three U.S. consumers turn to online travel videos when contemplating a trip.
  • Video content has extensive reach, allowing NextTrip to tap into FAST platforms’ existing audiences across a variety of devices, from smart TVs to mobile devices.
  • Video content commands high CPMs (Cost Per Thousand Impressions), thanks to advanced analytics enabling precise ad targeting, thereby opening up new revenue streams.
  • Video content is dynamic, facilitating quick content swaps to keep channels current and focused on relevant events, themes, or promotions.
  • Utilizing video to drive commerce sets NTRP FAST apart from other channels and booking engines, establishing a new standard for innovation through the distribution of owned and operated content.

What are the biggest challenges facing the travel industry today, and how prepared is NextTrip to tackle them?

While the travel industry has traditionally prioritized offering the lowest prices to entice consumers to make purchases, NextTrip is shifting its focus toward delivering the right product. Our aim is to enhance the leisure and business travel experiences of our customers, making them more fulfilling and rewarding.

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