Holiday with Bezurk!

I met Ross Veitch, Chief Product Officer and one of the co-founders of Bezurk at the PopOut 07 event in Singapore some weeks ago. Ross was one of the presenters that evening. I was really unwell that day and (sorry Ross), wasn’t paying attention to most part of the presentation. I vaguely remembered it being a travel search engine and the site looking cool.

Two weeks ago, Jonathan and I had to find a hotel in Singapore for him to stay in for 2 weeks as he was moving house and there was a transition period. After searching via Google for a long time for the right place with the right price, The MediaSlut reminded me that Bezurk can search for multiple results at one go.

That was when I first tried out the site and I must say, it is such a great experience that I am sharing it in this post (for the benefit of my girlfriends who are searching for holidays’ flight, hotels, packages, activities available in the countries they are visiting).

So, what exactly is Bezurk? In their own words:-

Bezurk is a travel search engine. Think of Bezurk as a price comparison website that helps you find the perfect flight, hotel, or travel package for your specific needs. Instead of having to trawl through many different travel sites, Bezurk provides the information you need to find your perfect travel purchase, be it airline tickets to Phuket, a hotel room for 2 in Bangkok, or activities you can experience while in Tokyo, all on a single site: Bezurk.com.

I am going to Shanghai in December for a short break, maybe to Thailand as well. So, I’ve been spending the last one week searching for flights, hotels and deals on Bezurk. Being a search engine, it does not sell me anything but link me to travel agents, hotels and suppliers to book directly. The user experience is definitely close to 5-stars!

Other bloggers and journalists have also been raving about the service and here’s Su Yuen who mirrored my thoughts:

Apart from just flights, their search engine caters to hotels and tour packages as well. What I particularly like is how detailed their filtering system is. You can filter your results by pricing, airline, hotel star-rating & etc. My MOST favourite filtering of all is “Features the hotel MUST have” which of course for me was the broadband Internet access. Too bad they couldn’t take this filtering a step further to “FREE broadband access”.

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I totally agree with Su Yuen’s review. Must-haves for me when I search for hotels, include swimming pool and Internet access. What is really cool about the “refine your search” column, it displays currency so that I don’t have to log on to another converter site to determine how much I have to pay in SGD and also the price range bar – way cool! The search results change and update as you refine your search. No wonder it was named one of the world’s hottest startups by Business 2.0. (Ross made a disclaimer during his presentation that they have nothing to do with the publication’s shut-down – funny!)

My good friend Walter has the following comment which I thought was valid to some extend:

…. the unfortunate thing is that it comes pretty late after a slew of many other similar travel/airline/hotel portals. Standing out from the competition will be a challenge unless it can offer something truly unique which the rest can’t. What I would like to see is a greater effort to simplify the entire experience and add a greater human touch to the entire encounter. This is what social media is all about anyway – humans conversing with each other and interacting in such a way that makes transactions enriching and fulfilling.

I didn’t think it was that complicated. And though the site is younger than the other portals, I see unique features and powerful engine that separate it from others. What I do agree is to have some form of human touch, get some conversation going and spread the good words about both the site and its advertisers/ partners.

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