With Elastic Enterprise Search, WishTrip’s mobile app cut search latency by more than half, lowered downtime to nearly zero, and added geolocation search capabilities for enhanced customer experience.
WishTrip automates set up of search clusters and eases system maintenance with Elastic Cloud, gaining time to focus on delivering new mobile app features to serve customers better.
WishTrip was created after one of its founders, CEO Yakov Slushtz, got lost on a hiking trip. While looking for a specific point of interest, Slushtz and his wife realized that the GPS navigation app on their cell phones only worked on marked roads and wasn’t much help. While they eventually found what they were looking for, the incident sparked the idea for digital navigation tools designed specifically for travelers.
Slushtz and his co-founder created two products to address this need, WishTrip and WishTrip Enterprise.
WishTrip is a free B2C mobile app that anyone can download to “plan, record, share, and relive” their travel adventures using its automatically generated highlight videos, maps, and albums.
WishTrip Enterprise is a B2B SaaS platform marketed to destinations and attractions that want to provide an in-destination mobile app for guests with navigation, interactive guide, mapped points of interest, communication, games, and more.
For both, robust search capabilities are crucial to users for finding, planning, and navigating their trips. For WishTrip Enterprise customers, these capabilities are also key to providing valuable user data.
With smartphone apps becoming a tourism norm, more small and medium-sized attractions are seeking an easy way to meet traveler expectations. Still, WishTrip found it challenging to convince the traditionally paper-based tourism industry to use a SaaS solution.
WishTrip needed to provide an app platform that worked well for all types of visitor attractions and destinations, including urban zoos, remote national parks and even tourism boards covering a large region. The company also wanted to deliver an affordable, fast, and easy-to-use solution to which features can be easily added.
“For smaller tourism locations, creating a visitor mobile app can be expensive and overwhelming,” says Slushtz. “We want to make these apps accessible to all destinations, no matter their size or budget. We aim to give them control while ensuring the outcome is quick, cost-effective, and doesn't require technical expertise to manage.”
For the search capabilities that are a key component to the success of its products, WishTrip at first used a search engine and database built in-house. However, the legacy search engine became more complex as it grew, making it challenging to add new features. Most importantly, search latency was a significant problem.
To help address time and cost issues, WishTrip decided to switch to Elastic Enterprise Search on Elastic Cloud and found that the move made a huge difference. “We chose Elastic because they’ve been innovating search for years and are truly one of the leaders in the space,” says Klinger.
Klinger says they no longer need to spend time overseeing search or maintenance. “We wanted to offload search capabilities and management to Elastic and then spend our time and resources developing new and exciting feature for our customers,” he says. “Elastic keeps up with the search industry for us. When we want to add a new search related feature, we simply find it in Elastic Cloud, add it to our clusters, and start using it.”
One other important reason WishTrip selected Elastic Enterprise Search is its geolocation search capabilities—which are critical to its travel apps.
Switching to Elastic also resolved one of the company’s biggest problems—search engine latency.
WishTrip also uses Elastic Observability for internal systems monitoring and built-in dashboards for visualizing and analyzing the associated data for faster awareness and resolution of issues to minimize any impact on users.
“We have multiple deployments in Elastic Cloud that generate a lot of metrics and logs. We use Elastic Observability to ship the data to a dedicated Elastic cluster where we’ve created alarms that notify our incident management platforms whenever there is an issue that requires our attention.” says Klinger.
Now that WishTrip can rely on Elastic for optimized search experiences, internal developers can focus on what they do best: helping travelers and tourism destinations create memorable trips.