September 13, 2016
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If there is a segment that is ripe for integration it is travel. APIs in the travel segment have been around for a very long time. In fact, some of the earliest APIs are based on Electronic Data Interchange, which dates back to the 1960s. Granted many of these connections are highly complex enterprise only integrations, it is a history that should bode well for modern day integrations, should it not? Despite a long history of interconnectedness, much of the travel space still remains behind closed doors. The major global distribution systems, represented by Sabre, Travelport, and Amadeus all offer powerful APIs of their own, but their commercial requirements tend to be out of the league of most application developers. In spite of the limitations the travel industry has effectively self imposed, there still exists many opportunities to monetize sites using travel APIs. There are several types of APIs available in the travel space. Most are transactional and some are content driven. Let's take a look a broad categorization of available travel APIs.
The Click a Taxi API integrates the company's ability to call a taxi in any of 5,000 cities in 50 countries. Surely one of the 300,000 taxis that partner with Click A Taxi will be available...In addition to the API, the company offers apps for iOS, Android, and Windows platform. By accessing your device's GPS, it can suggest a meeting place or take one from you and reserve a taxi with one of their local partnering taxi companies. Here's what the API methods support. In addition to using location information, it will suggest a taxi company based on availability and vehicle capacity, and complete the booking. Results are wrapped in a JSON callback function.
The long awaited Airbnb API is officially here. While Airbnb has publicly announced its official API, the API is not completely open to the public. Those interested must apply from access. Public documentation is not currently available. The focus of the initial API launch is the supply side.