Rudy Maxa is a journalist, blogger, and radio host who has a great syndicated show mostly about travel, travel deals, and basically how to get the most out of a limited travel budget. But Rudy Maxa also often has truly informative segments highlighting the beautiful national parks of our jolly good neighbors up north, and highlighting a proposed homeland security initiative outting known child burglars at the checkpoint.
And then sometimes, tucked away, sandwiched in between these two educational segments is an interview with our very own Andres Fabris, CEO. Here he talks a little bit about how Traxo generally works, the technology involved in pulling and aggregating data (“trips are automatically detected and saved”), and what the new Travel Score means for users.
The interview in its entirety can be found here, and the full transcript for the interview can be found after the jump.
Rudy Maxa July 09, 2011
RM: Andres welcome to the show. Nice to have you aboard Rudy Maxas’ World.
AF: Hi Rudy thanks for having me on your program
RM: Ok so you have devised a way at Traxo.com to measure folks travel. Give me that in a nutshell and then tell me what good that does me.
AF: Yes, certainly. It’s basically, if you think about it, it’s almost like a credit score for travel. A FICA score for travel…
AF: …and so what it does, it pulls in all of your travel information, like you mentioned we can detect all of your reservations all your miles all your points, all your trips, pull it all into a single dashboard, and then once its there we basically calculate all the trips you’ve taken, how long those trips have been in terms of duration, miles, how frequently you’ve traveled, how many different places in the world you’ve explored. And then we compute all these variables and then we basically take it down to a zero to one hundred score, and then the higher the score, we’ve added a perks program that lets you earn and win free stuff. Just the more you travel, the higher your travel score, the more eligible you are to win the good stuff.
RM: All right I note that if you sign in to Traxo.com and then purchase your travel from more than a hundred travel partners such as major hotels and major domestic airlines and aggregators such as Expedia, Orbitz, Priceline and Travelocity, I presume you have to go through Traxo.com to those sites in order to accumulate more points. Is that correct?
AF: Actually, no the beauty of it is that you continue to book as you do today, across any of the different websites, and then the technology that we’ve invented, that we’ve developed, automatically detects those trips…
RM: …so I don’t have to go through Traxo . . .
AF: …so one time upfront, here’s where I book, here’s my set of five or six different websites, and then we go out and automatically pull that information in, so there is no change in behavior. You don’t have to book through us. We’re just able to automatically detect that information.
RM: And you’ll also give us credit for past trips correct?
AF: Yes, so when you first sign up, rather than having to start your score from scratch, we actually go into most of these websites, which store about twelve to eighteen months of your trip history, and we’re able to automatically pull that information in as well. And then we’ve also just recently started adding some of these check-in services– like Gowalla, like foursquare. And what they do they also give us an indication of where you’ve been in the past, where you’ve checked in in the past, and so that allows us to give you credit for all of those past locations as well. So we had people who have signed up from one day to another and have been able to just take advantage of all of their previous trips and are already up in the eighty-plus score range, and become immediately eligible for those perks.
RM: Now, now please describe some of those perks for us. That the high scores will receive.
AF: So we’ve got a series of partners that have provided some really fabulous perks, among those partners include Avis/Budget, where you can earn free car rental vouchers, Briggs & Riley, where you can earn some of the high end luggage that they offer, Conde Nast Traveler, where you can win free subscriptions to the magazine, South African Airways, where you can win two free round trip tickets to anywhere in the world, and then lastly World Nomads, where you can win free travel insurance.
RM: Wow. Fabulous. Well Andres I certainly appreciate your joining us and giving us a glimpse into Traxo.com and the new Traxo travel score. I’m going to go in and try, you’re gonna be in trouble with me. How long has Traxo been online?
AF: We’ve been around for about two years, the score is really new, it’s only been around for the last two weeks and we’ve been getting some tremendous support. Folks tend to like it because it’s a nice program that works for the consumer, so it gives you bragging rights if you’re a travel blogger, travel writer, or travel agent. It gives you a really quick way to display your travel credentials, to say “hey look at me I’m an expert.” And for suppliers it helps them identify and target the absolute best travelers in the world.
RM: Thank you Andres, appreciate you being on.
AF: All right, thanks Rudy.