Site focused on women may upend travel industry

AUSTIN - There are hundreds of start-up digital companies looking to make their mark at South by Southwest, but one is looking at something tens of millions of women do every day and trying to find a better way.

Jozu for Women is a travel website that as the name says, is targeted at women. But as founder Stephenie Rodriguez told KVUE.com, Jozu is looking to be much more than simply a travel website.

“The problem that Jozu solves is we create a place where women can exchange information and the speaker and the subject matter expert are transparent and we feel that is what some of the travel review sites are missing,” Rodriguez said.

The site looks to connect women with other women and travel experts to give them a review of areas that is more than just whether or not a hotel is clean or has a nice pool.

“I’d often book my own hotels online and get there and of course part of my guest experience was accurate to the review such as, yes, the WiFi is good and the room is clean,” Rodriguez said. “But it said nothing of the fact that the hotel was in the middle of a red light district, therefore, I was unsafe to walk around even in daylight.”

Those situations are what prompted Rodriguez to look to build a site which tries to give a fuller view of traveling, especially for female travelers. She also hopes that the site will give women a place to communicate openly with each other as they plan travel.

Rodriguez said there will be two, “user journeys to Jozu.” Everyone can sign up to join Jozu and the content that is related to reviews is visible to everyone that comes to look at the site. You can also get a look at the real-time safety ratings. But that’s where the journey will stop for men.

“To tell you the inside story, there are parts of Jozu that you (men) will never see,” Rodriguez said. “And those are more where we consider it more a ladies retreat. We use gender verification processes to filter the user journeys to allow our women to feel more comfortable and safe to speak about travel knowing that they are in a gender specific community.”

The site is also using artificial intelligence, AI, to help with the customer experience. All of it could shake up an industry as women make decisions on where they and others will travel. 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


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