040 – Robert Albert of Routehappy – How Was Your Flight?


Merchandising content platform for flight shopping…

RoutehappyRobert Albert, CEO of Routehappy (the industry standard for airline rich content, acquired by ATPCO) joins John Matson and Nick Vivion in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The most commonly desired amenity in travel: seat, then WiFi
  • Selling a singular vision when pitching/building Routehappy
  • How it is not actually all about price
  • An entire ecommerce category that’s comeditized, we all about the experience from that moment on
  • Explaining products and services customers are happier, and the industry does better
  • How it was obvious to him that every customer needed this
  • Why Albert feels it has felt like spreading a religion, every meeting is positive, but not necessarily a priority all the timeRoutehappy
  • It is an organic experience, brick by brick building the path forward for the company and the recognition of the need
  • How the pace of building the company has helped them build it right, solving a complex problem, and why the company is ready for prime time now and can solve global differentiation problem in flight shopping
  • Why GDS’s didn’t solve this prior
  • Sales cycles in travel vs. funds for startups
  • Massive network effect, explaining the story and getting airlines and distributers to align on the story and potential impact
  • How hard Albert and team worked building the company, holding twenty five meetings a week while traveling, making good product decisions that got companies interested
  • Originally Routehappy was about consumer flight reviews, then built APIs of data, and operating lean
  • Happy and cheap as a product compass
  • How Routehappy’s solution was now described as being able to enable the industry with better data, and that resulted in the first serious ways people were paying attentionRoutehappy
  • Moving from B to C to B to B as a pivot
  • Pineapple chunks, and why this Australian treat was the snack, and the meaning
  • How Routehappy was recently acquired by ATPCO, software that manages the world’s airfares
  • UTA rich context (universal ticket attribute)
  • Becoming the “Switzerland of rich content”, how Routehappy can now deliver on the thing they said they were doing for seven years
  • Overall vision as the next gen storefront, how it is time to modernize flight shopping, how indirect channels can and should transform, and coming together with the “how”
  • The happy empire and the tip of the iceberg
  • Albert’s parental inspiration for travel














039 – Viktorina Lintsova of SkyGuru – Experience Flying Again


Real-time explanation what and why happens and what to expect during your flight, and a tool for anxious flyers…

SkyGuruOne in three people experience anxiety when flying. Now there is an app that can help. Viktorina Lintsova, Managing Director of SkyGuru joins John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • The most anxious moments for flyers
  • Pre-boarding, why the anxiety, anticipation and fear of the unknown
  • The inspiration for SkyGuru, with the idea from a pilot and psychologist, who wanted something to be there and support people when he couldn’t be there with them
  • Like having a pilot and psychologist in the seat next to you
  • One in three people experiencing psychological discomfort, many altering plans due to psychological stressesSkyGuru
  • Money left on table for airlines, why airlines haven’t addressed this
  • Is a loss of cognitive function due to anxiety a safety issue?
  • Freemium vs. pro versions, anxious passengers gravitate to the pro version, which supports through the whole flight
  • Looking at how people interact with SkyGuru, whether an anxious flyer or not, and how SkyGuru has been evolving into a travel companion and people curious about aviation
  • SkyGuru soon releasing updated version with some augmented realitySkyGuru
  • Why the app needs to be flat on armrest at time of takeoff
  • Accelerator experience, getting the most out of a 3 ½ month program,
  • A home-baked snack with a secret recipe
  • Who is the anxious flyer – not who you think, and how it can come out of nowhere.
  • Anxiety can cause airlines to lose business travelers, 5% of the highest value flyers are anxious
  • SkyGuru has gotten interest in airline industry in industry events, and can be integrated in seatback screens to enhance passenger experience
  • How the app can help passengers plan their flight experience better, flight crews can know when to serve the food/drinks, and one can see use with OTAs and travel portals to help passengers plan flight better,
  • Bringing the experience back to flying

038 – Tom Cintorino of Northstar – Meeting At The Center of the Travel Industry


Events, publications, education, and technology for the travel industry with Northstar…

NorthstarTom Cintorino, EVP of Digital for Northstar Travel Media (the leading B2B information, business intelligence, commerce and events platform serving the travel industry) joins host John Matson in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Northstar’s team of outstanding editors, ground-breaking journalists, engaging educators and savvy directors is unrivaled in the Travel Industry
  • In-depth articles explore the industry’s most critical issues
  • Education platforms for travel agents and meetings planners about global travel destinations
  • How events play a role in travel industry relationships, because we’re human and we need to meet, and how that concept is right in the center of travel
  • The many publications of Northstar including Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly Asia, Travel Weekly China, TravelAge West
  • Travel technology such as Phocuswright, Inntopia, Web in Travel
  • Meetings & Conventions in the US, China and AsiaNorthstar
  • SportsTravel , Corporate Travel, Business Travel News, The Beat, Travel Procurement
  • Notable events such as The Phocuswright Conference, Phocuswright Europe, WIT Singapore, Mountain Travel Symposium, CruiseWorld, Global Travel Marketplace, Global Travel Marketplace West, The Beat Live, Innovate, etc.
  • How Cintorino became involved with Northstar after the grind of the startup world
  • Why the travel industry supply chain is like a bowl of spaghetti, and everyone is doing business with everyone, even if only impacting one part of a traveler’s experience and you might work with most everything and everyone
  • Impacting the culture of a company, spending a lot of time on destination experience of a work trip, and raising the bar for personal experiences
  • Setting up in China, and early accomplishmentsHow technology plays into vision for Northstar, with acquisitions and how the focus is not just events or media companies but also tech companies
  • Geo-cloning

037 – Rama Poola of SkyHi – For Thirty Five Bucks


Last minute travel subscription service, cheap tickets in exchange for a monthly fee…

SkyHiRama Poola, CEO of SkyHi (the first on-demand service for commercial airline tickets.), joins John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • About SkyHi’s most interesting recent use case, with people using it to go to Sundance Film festival, one click and they were ready to fly to Salt Lake CitySkyHi
  • How last minute travel is a bit of a business case
  • Looking at how removing all pricing allows free flowing travel action
  • How SkyHi wasn’t originally targeting corporate travelers, and was marketed toward digital nomads, but realized business people were joining
  • How an experience in Lisbon created an idea for the business
  • Why technology has been traditionally stifled in the travel industry
  • The way SkyHi found a strategic partner out of Hungary who had done this beforeSkyHi
  • The business model of SkyHi
  • OTAs seem to want to haggle for the business, they want the customer to buy, but keep it a distance from them
  • How SkyHi is making it easier for customer, but price arbitraging in a seamless, invisible way
  • Booking within a minute is game changing in itself
  • Loving the experience of flying


Hosted by industry leaders and relevant business experts, Travel Is Your Business (TIYB) podcast features discussions inspired by recent news, useful in-depth interviews with thought leaders, innovators and top brands setting the pace and changing the face of travel, announcements by business leaders on initiatives and milestones, and commentary about virtually anything in between — making insights into business and technology within the travel industry entertaining, meaningful and accessible.

036 – Eduardo Cartaya of G Adventures – Changing Lives Though Travel

Eduardo Cartaya

Responsible travel & tourism with a group adventure travel operator…

Eduardo CartayaEduardo Cartaya, Regional Sales Manager of G Adventures (G Adventures is a Toronto-based adventure travel company with a wide selection of small-group tours, safaris and expeditions) joins John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • Cartaya shares how the way constructing travel was going to a purpose, then G Adventures realized that was why people were traveling with them – because it was both affordable and immersive
  • The impact made from altering the local supply chain, insisting on using locally owned business, immersive attractions, spending money more responsibly than other operators in the field
  • How the company can make more money, make a difference simply by showing people a fantastic vacation
  • Marketing/customer acquisition, going after the immersive travelers who want to do something exceptional and to give back as much as they takeEduardo Cartaya
  • Trying to impact everyone that tourism touches, doing the right thing part of five core values
  • Approaching sales, selling values, selling sustainability, a lot of storytelling of interactions, things they care about can be political, more than 20 offices in 18 countries
  • How for 40 poorest nations in world tourism is primary economic driver, and how incentivized trips work to up tourism
  • Partnerships, and a partnership with National Geographic
  • How G Adventures travelers can maintain their travel independence while traveling with a group
  • When traveling brings surprises

035 – Dane Andrews of Roam – Maximizing Happiness, Because You Want To


An international network of co-living spaces…

RoamWhat does it mean to be location independent? Dane Andrews, Co-Founder and Head of Growth at Roam (a co-living and co-working community testing the boundaries between work, travel and life adventure) joins John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

  • How Roam provides for people interested in “Nomadicism”, solving logistical things, and how the difference is the people and the community available the instant you’re in a new city
  • How usually you just get to know people when you’re leaving and can’t get deep with people, really know them – and Roam allows you to have people in your life in that city immediately, with authentic interaction, with the spaces set up that way
  • A lot is about architecture of space, designer by trade, the social dynamics of hospitality, with a focus more than most co-working providers
  • How, while looking like an urban city, it is not about price per square foot, and more about setting up for interactions and maximizing happiness
  • Common denominators of seeking out happiness, and how curiosity binds people together
  • Various global places differ more in logistics than mindset
  • Play spaces, and how design and architecture are intended to be inspiring, and seeing yourself there
  • The origin of Roam International, wanting to see them all over the world
  • Viewing Roam spaces them as your home, housing from a different perspective instead of hospitality
  • Connecting with people via private social media groups
  • The 2,000 alumni (“Roamers”), and how they get stamps on their “passport” for going to all properties
  • Next properties in London and Tokyo
  • A cornbread story
  • The company’s financial model, and how they started with leasing properties,
  • Benefitting from the idea of AirBnB being around for years, and how they set precedent for how similar models work
  • How Roam has a hotel license, which allows people to stay
  • Marketing for the company, as somewhere between an apartment an a hotel
  • Andrews’ first trip as a child, and finding oneself, finding a Phoenix local in the “dodgiest” place (Athens)
  • Never about being exclusive, and always about inclusive

033 – Selin Sonmez of Knock Knock City – Carry Less, Move Freely

Knock Knock City

Daily bag and luggage storage as part of the sharing economy…

Knock Knock CityEvery year, millions of travelers have the same experience when they check out of their AirBnB: what do they do with their luggage when trying to take in the sights on their last day of the trip? This is the story of someone who had to leave a street-wide amount of luggage under a staircase while traveling, and how they turned that into a business venture — “an AirBnB for luggage.”

Knock Knock CitySelin Sonmez, Co-founder of Knock Knock City, a storage network connecting travelers, commuters and urbanites to nearby local shops that brings the sharing economy to short-term storage of luggage and personal Items, joins hosts John Matson (VoyagerHQ), Nick Vivion (tnooz), and Brandon McKenzie (MetroButler) in the MouthMedia Network studios in New York, powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:Knock Knock City

  • Why AirBnBs for luggage are bubbling up suddenly, including because of how established AirBnB has become, the shared economy mindset, and how it is becoming an instinct to shareHow the fact that Knock Knock City is working with local shops enlists trust, and the shops want to make use of extra space
  • How businesses are reacting to the business model,
  • Retail shops are losing business to platforms like Amazon, looking for additional revenue, users enter the store twice, expanding exposure to, and traffic in, the shop, and how $2/bag per hour can actually add up
  • How AirBnB hosts react and handle advising guests on this service
  • The goal of digital verification system, which for now collects basic info through social media sign up, then the host is notified, and zip ties are fastened on the luggage or items with custom numbers for extra securityKnock Knock City
  • The fact that Knock Knock City hasn’t interacted with AirBnB Corporate yet, but is a supportive part of the community and on the list of AirBnB supportive services
  • What is driving more demand — AirBnB? Shopping? Business travels?
  • The kinds of shops most likely to partner, considerations of foot traffic, breakable items, available space
  • Why dry cleaners might be great partners
  • Looking at and learning from the patterns of users changing their storage plan as their travel and activity plans change
  • Future-pacing third-party pickup and drop off services
  • Makes use of existing unused space, how the use doesn’t take away from a marketing budget or interfere with operations
  • Knock Knock City’s oal to grow into more cities, reach as many people as possible, why it is easy to grow into other cities, given the absence of high infrastructure costs since primarily it is signing people up digitally
  • How empty space is shown available via the app, and managing location business hour limitations and any contingencies
  • Packing styles, roll or fold?
  • That time Sonmez was in Philadelphia, with trade show materials in huge suitcases, and needed to leave them unattended under the staircase at the AirBnB brownstone, and how this inspired a business
  • The goal of helping people to do what they want to and go where they want to: moving freely

032 – Kelly Louise of Impact Travel Alliance – Global Goals

Kelley Louise

Utilizing tourism as a force to solve United Nations global sustainability goals…

Kelley LouiseThe decisions travelers make on their trips have a lasting impact on the global community. Whether an elephant wrangler added to an Instagram story, or the hotels travelers choose to stay at, how can travelers align travel itineraries to align with the UN’s goals for sustainability. Kelley Louise, Founder of Impact Travel Alliance (a non-profit organization and community for travelers and travel professionals interested in improving the world via travel and tourism) joins hosts John Matson and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

Kelley Louise

  • Louise discusses the nature of the global goals for the UN, and how, while many doubt the travel industry can solve them, the travel industry can be a significant force of meeting those goals
  • Global goal number one, no poverty, and using tourism as a force to solve that
  • Launching an initiative last year of hosting a multi-chapter event, with several cities at the same time, themed with addressing a global goal (currently: innovation)
  • Impact Travel Alliance as a non profit, and a community for travel and travel professionals interested in improving the world via travel
  • Launching the first chapter less than 3 years ago, now some 30 chapters worldwide
  • What is cool about improving the world through travel, and how it is universally appealing
  • Sustainable tourism focused on business and leisure travel, small pivots that make a big difference, such as donations to charity resulting in discounts on hotels
  • Why sustainable tourism/travel doesn’t have to be only budget or luxury
  • How The Culture Collective started as blog, became a creative agency, with Louise landing a job in Uganda, then traveling all around and learning a lot about sustainable tourism
  • The challenge and opportunity of helping brands identify demographics
  • Vegan donuts
  • What sustainable travel really means
  • The power of immersive experiences in changing travel behaviors and priorities
  • How the Impact Travel Alliance is eager and open to collaboration, sharing best practices with one another
  • The three parts of Impact Travel Alliance: global conferences, local chapters, and a media network
  • How Louise learned to plan events, and how her personal drive to do so is wanting a place in the community that felt like a home in the travel industry
  • Seeing something in tourism that is negatively impacting the world, such as elephant tourism in places like Thailand, and a “paradise” that is surprisingly polluted
  • Thinking about what one’s long-term impact on the environment is when traveling, and how some things feel good but don’t have a positive long-term impact
  • Sustainable experiences are empowering and often the most memorable experiences

031 – Evelyn Badia of The Hosting Journey – Being The Perfect AirBnB Host

Evelyn Badia

Making a real income as an outstanding AirBnB Host…

Evelyn BadiaEvelyn Badia, Founder of The Hosting Journey, joins Pavan Bahl and Brandon McKenzie (MetroButler), in a conversation about her journey as an AirBnB Host and coach for other hosts, in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

In this episode:

Evelyn Badia


  • Badia’s work as an AirBnB Host and AirBnB Coach, teaching how to do AirBnB right
  • Her prior work as a producer for TV commercials
  • Why she started hosting when economy shifted, before AirBnB was popular.
  • Living with strangers vs. losing your house, and learning about this from a NY Times article
  • A lot of people start AirBnB out of necessity, and then decide they like it
  • How Badia had too much time on her hands, then started traveling, then moved from casual hosting to it as a full time job, then a hosting coaching career (in part due to her lawyer)
  • When AirBnB hosting became a six figure income for Badia
  • How she never stopped because the economy never picked up, and jobs were never the same
  • How she was talking about AirBnB too much, and coaching became the obvious thing
  • That time the AirBnB founders tapped her to talk in New York when things were starting to happen there with AirBnB
  • Vacation rental owner typically have different mindsets than AirBnB hosts, how it is about need vs. privilege
  • Evelyn BadiaWhy AirBnB may be moving away to some degree marketing of individuality of hosts, even hotels on platform
  • Implications of prospective regulatory issues on certain visitors
  • How the character of the guest has changed over time
  • The importance of cleanliness, new sheets, why Badia doesn’t do bar soaps, the importance of an amazing house manual, and sharing the things on your neighborhood you know, being very specific
  • Buying for the refrigerator, make sure basic things have been provided (ie, milk)
  • Pricing strategy, how everything affects business — from weather to politics – adjusting weekly
  • The Hosting Journey open Facebook group for hosts international
  • Is a full time tenant a good idea?
  • How Badia is staying connected to community, podcast, webinars,
  • Being very clear about offerings and what an AirBnB host provides
  • Horror stories, and how guests have even seen Badia naked
  • What is it like living with strangers all the time, how Badia’s personal life navigates around being an AirBnB host
  • Why Badia doesn’t care about her personal and AirBnB lives mixing, and why she prefers guests who are exploring NYC
  • And the goal of a future TV show
  • Selling sauce that won the “Oscars of sauce”, triathalons, and how having an AirBnB allowed her the flexibility to deal with health issues

030 – Mark Halberstein of SIMPLENIGHT – Experience is Everything


B2B2C global distribution platform for in-destination experiences with Simplenight…

Mark HalbersteinSimplenight discusses how destination experiences fit into an $800 billion global business, and how the tech infrastructure for searching and booking is fragmented, consumers have to use a number of sites and apps, which is inefficient and time wasting.

Halberstein, Founder/CEO of SIMPLENIGHT (a Global Experience Platform™ providing cloud based distribution, inventory management, merchandising and technology solutions for the travel industry) joins Marc Raco and Nick Vivion (tnooz) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Defragmenting experiences, a GDS with various touchpoint, and what’s next in the mix

He discusses how destination experiences fit into an $800 billion global business, and how the tech infrastructure for searching and booking is fragmented, consumers have to use a number of sites and apps, which is inefficient and time wasting. A GDS for in destination experiences, tours/activities, box office events, night life, etc., how this made them sellable, building a cloud-based one-stop shopping experience, offering an API, various touch points, OTAs, search engines, a layer of in-vehicle destination planning in the future, partnerships with Jaguar and Land Rover, how it can be a booking flow, banner ad, SMS, in the concierge desktop, and many other touchpoints, out on property and off property seamlessly to serve to the customer. How meetings and car rentals are on the radar as future sectors in the mix.

Creating an infrastructure, the name, and harnessing data and insights

How developing relationships and understanding pain points has been critical to growing the business. And that if you can design the proper infrastructure for distribution and hosting content across categories, the supply community will seek you out. Origins and implications of the name SIMPLENIGHT, and how a great day leads to a simple night. Allowing people to arrange a superior and remarkable experience, business-to-business vs. consumer facing versions of SIMPLENIGHT, an original vision of one-stop shop for fun, looking at when data is shared, making SIMPLENIGHT smarter and knowing you better, anticipating desires and needs, and utilizing and harnessing data and insights.

Listening, experiencing the world, and becoming your audience

Personal Questions cover making sure to enjoy experiences at every destination, photography, the importance of listening and try to listen even more. Becoming your audience, trusting your gut and being in tune with market. Halberstein is listening a lot to his wife and her influence, always being open to new opportunities and to meeting new people, and the reason to make sure and experience the world.