Wanderfly, a travel recommendation search engine, re-launched its service Wednesday with a whole new site. The company is doing away with details like hotel prices and is offering picture-heavy travel guides for cities instead.
Wanderfly’s new site is full of visual travel guides that include restaurants, hotels, and places of interest. Guides are curated by the site’s users. You can follow different users to see what they recommend. The company offered beta access to travel bloggers and brands such as the History Channel to build up the guides.
It’s hard to ignore the Pinterest influences on the new site. Places and accommodations are presented with large pictures, that look just like “pins.” Each recommendation is tagged, so you can search categories like “family-friendly” or “offbeat” and find exactly what you’re looking for. Each city has what looks like a Pinterest board that gathers all the landmarks and businesses recommended by the community. When you come across recommendations you like, you can save them to your own city collections.
Co-founder Christy Liu tells me she wants Wanderfly to be more personalized and easier to use than TripAdvisor, with less noise and suggestions from only people you know and trust.
Wanderfly competes with a whole host of other travel sites, including the behemoth TripAdvisor, which has a large community and a lot of reviews. Gogobot offers personalized travel recommendations, accompanied by photos, and Gtrot has a very similar look with Pinterest-style layout and uses your Facebook data to personalize your search results.
Wanderfly was founded in 2009 and has raised $1.4 million from Jason Calacanis, James Bailey, Roger Dickey, Dave Morin, StartupAngel, Charles River Ventures, and MentorTech Ventures. The 12-person team is based in Brooklyn, New York.