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PhoCusWright Conference Celebrates the Next Big Thing in Travel

The travel industry research authority Announced Travel Innovation Summit Winners

Some of the hottest travel startups are being showcased at the 18th annual PhoCusWright Conference, in Hollywood, Florida, where C-level executives from around the world converge to discover the Next Big Thing in the Startup, Mobile, Social Media, Emerging, Established and International categories. The conference includes the Travel Innovation Summit with businesses competing for thousands of dollars in awards, the Young Leaders Summit spotlighting 35 rising stars under the age of 35, C-level keynotes and panelists from industry giants, and much more.

PhoCusWright is the travel industry research authority on how travelers, suppliers and intermediaries connect. Independent, rigorous and unbiased, PhoCusWright fosters smart, strategic planning and tactical decision-making. To complement its primary research in North and Latin America, Europe and Asia, PhoCusWright produces several high-profile conferences in the U.S. and Germany, and partners with conferences in Canada, China and Singapore. Industry leaders and company analysts bring this intelligence to life by debating issues, sharing ideas and defining the ever-evolving reality of travel commerce.

"The PhoCusWright Conference has grown to become the world's most vital event for the travel industry," said founder Philip Wolf. "It brings together leading innovators, thought leaders and deal makers from around the world. We're in our 18th year and the conference and Travel Innovation Summit keep improving, thanks to the world's leading experts and executives who choose to participate."

For the first time ever, The Travel Innovation Summit is partnering with DEMO, the world's leading emerging technology conference, with participants competing for tens of thousands of dollars in prizes. DEMO conferences have earned a reputation for consistently identifying tomorrow's cutting-edge technologies and have served as launch pads for companies like Palm, E*Trade, Tivo and more.

The innovators demonstrated their products through live walk-throughs in front of a critical audience. The Best Innovation winners had to battle it out for The DEMO Award for Travel Innovation. The travel industry research authority PhoCusWright Inc. has named the winners of the coveted Travel Innovation Summit awards. The award winners represent the best of an elite group of 30 innovators selected to demonstrate travel applications and solutions on the first day of The PhoCusWright Conference. A savvy panel of judges selected the best innovation in each of six categories, awarding a single winner of The DEMO Award for the Most Game-Changing Travel Innovation:

WINNERS
The Gust Award for Travel Innovation: Startup Category ($15,000 prize) - Hipmunk's flight and hotel search that integrates with your calendar, making it easy to visualize the best flights and best spots in a city.

The QuickMobile Award for Travel Innovation: Emerging Category ($15,000 prize) - ReviewPro that enables hotels to leverage the social Web to improve guest satisfaction and increase revenue.

The Creative Alliance Award for Travel Innovation: Established Category ($15,000 prize) - Groundlink, the first global online and mobile private car service, reliably designed to give you a little peace of mind.

The ODIGEO Award for Travel Innovation: Mobile Technology Category ($5,000 prize) - GroundLink AGAIN!

The Deloitte Award for Travel Innovation: Social Media Category ($5,000 prize) - gtrot! Discover great things to do on every trip with gtrot. Instantly see friends who live there, places they've been, deals and events.

The TravelStoreMaker.com Award for Travel Innovation: International Category ($5,000 prize) - Evature enabling free-text travel search for mobile, social and regular websites, increasing conversion rates and user satisfaction.

The DEMO Award for the Most Game-Changing Travel Innovation - Evature again! Along with bragging rights, the winner received a free showcase sponsorship during the spring 2012 DEMO event, including two complimentary tickets and special signage; an invitation to VIP dinners during the 2012 DEMO; and participation in DEMO's marketing campaigns.

RUNNERS UP
The Gust Award for Travel Innovation: Startup Category - TripLingo providing customized language-learning products to help travelers make the most of their trips.

The QuickMobile Award for Travel Innovation: Emerging Category - Evature, enabling free-text travel search for mobile, social and regular websites, increasing conversion rates and user satisfaction.

The Creative Alliance Award for Travel Innovation: Established Category - Truphone, the first global mobile network, to demonstrate how the Tru service uniquely answers the communications needs of international businesses.

"In a flat travel market, the only way to grow is by stealing market share," said PhoCusWright chairman Philip Wolf. "The demonstrators who take the stage at The Travel Innovation Summit understand the power of innovation to drive growth.

"The changes that have enveloped the travel space are unprecedented, and call for anything but ‘business as usual'," said Wolf.

Speakers include executives from Facebook, Priceline, Google, Hilton Worldwide, LivingSocial, TripAdvisor, Expedia, Tnooz, Travelocity, UBS Investment Bank and Triporati. Sponsors include the World Travel & Tourism Council, USA Today, Orbitz, Wyndham Vacation Rentals, Google, Travelport, Northstar Travel Media and Frommer's, among others.

View all Travel Innovation Summit demonstrations, Center Stage presentations and more via the free Online Ticket. On-demand content is available through May 31, 2012, or follow the company on Twitter #phocuswright

More Stories By Xenia von Wedel

Xenia von Wedel is a Tech blogger and Enterprise Media Consultant in Mountain View, serving clients in a variety of industries worldwide. She is focused on thought leadership content creation and syndication, media outreach and strategy. She mainly writes about Enterprise, B2B solutions, social media and open source software, but throws the occasional oddball into the mix. Buy her a coffee if you like her article: http://xeniar.tip.me