“Making new connections is what travel is all about” Interview with Jack Bowcott of Tipi

23 November 2016
23 Nov 2016 -

This year’s winner of the Global Youth Travel Award for Best Travel Technology Product was the check-in app Tipi. Recently born, but already of great success after being launched through Base & Nomads Australia and New Zealand hostels in March 2016, Tipi has now reached 20,000 downloads and is forecasting over 500,000 check-ins over the coming 12 months.

WYSE Travel Confederation talked with Jack Bowcott, Managing Director at Tipi, about the app and future projects at Tipi.

How does Tipi work and why do you think it deserved victory?

Tipi is a mobile check-in application, which aims to eliminate long queues after long flights and create better communication between hostels and their guests. Travellers can check-in using their mobile before they get on the plane and meet other guests staying at the same time. Hostels can communicate with their guests, directly on their smart device, starting from the booking process and also during and after their stay.

We believe Tipi deserved to win this award because it is genuinely disruptive technology that aims to change the way hostels operate and make guests happier!

What does winning a Global Youth Travel Award mean to you? How are you going to showcase it? 

Tipi screenshot cropped

We were delighted to win the award – it is validation for all the hard work our team has put in since launch. It brings us much greater visibility in the youth travel industry and it will be a stepping-stone to engaging with more hostels globally.

What is the role of apps in the youth travel market? How is technology development different when younger users are in mind? 

We strongly believe in improving the travel experience by making seamless and user-friendly something that was previously difficult or a chore. The more time you can save for travellers, the more time they can spend travelling. With our young, mobile-first user base it is important to make the platform socially engaging as well as useful. After all, making new connections is what travelling is all about!

 What is unique about the social engagement functionality offered by your app? 

Tipi is the only app that offers a ‘sneak peek’ into the hostel community prior to arrival. Being able to meet other guests staying at the same time, while finding out what’s on at the hostel, is unique to our platform.

What are Tipi’s plans, initiatives and projects for the near future?

We are currently working on features for hostel groups so that guests can either extend or book their beds direct via PMS integration. Guests will be able to see who else is staying and get real-time reviews from real people at the places they want to stay prior to booking. This marries up well with Tipi’s vision to better connect guests within hostel communities.

 Do you think young travellers with this technology will continue to expect social engagement potential out of travel as they grow up?

Certainly, the idea of social proofing is exciting for travellers; with Tipi, travellers can get real time reviews from real people already at the places they want to visit. This is great for inspiration and gives travellers the confidence to communicate inside the app.


Jack Bowcott of Tipi at the 2016 Global Youth Travel Awards gala dinner.