Source : the-dispatch.com
By : Sharon Myers
Category : Hotel Web Design
Denmark native Christoffer Riis Jensen used his lifelong experience traveling back and forth to North Carolina to begin a travel website, smarthotelsearch.com. This travel Internet search page displays rooms and rates from all of the other major travel sites. He said that he started the website after he and his wife had trouble planning their honeymoon. “It was just so frustrating,” Jensen said. “I spent a good 40 minutes just flipping through sites, and it got very confusing. I knew that there had to be a better way of doing this.” Jensen came to North Carolina as an exchange student and attended North Davidson High School. He said he originally came to the U.S. because he wanted to make it big in basketball, but he soon learned it wasn’t as easy as he thought it was going to be. Even though his NBA dreams didn’t pan out, he gained a bigger love for the area and his host family. After high school, Jensen returned to North Carolina and attended Davidson County Community College to study business. He received a full scholarship to High Point University, where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree and his master’s degree in business management. “My biggest dream was to stay in the United States and become a U.S. citizen,” he said. “But after 9/11, I couldn’t stay because I wasn’t a citizen, and I returned to Europe.” After returning to his native country, Jensen landed a job as executive advisor at Nordea Bank, the largest bank in Scandinavia. In 2012, he and his wife, Mette, began planning their wedding and subsequent honeymoon. At this point, he began contemplating the concept of an all-inclusive hotel search website.
“We wanted to come back to North Carolina to visit my host dad and friends and to spend some time at the beach,” Jensen said. “We spent hours going back and forth between websites. It was so frustrating.” He said that like any good web junky, he turned to YouTube to start learning about how to create a website that would query other search sites and put them in one place. He researched website design and learned how to develop a custom search engine that displayed hotel rates from countless travel sites. He combined this knowledge with his business background to launch smarthotelsearch.com. Jensen said he wants an easy-to-use website that has all the hotels listed in one spot instead of jumping from page to page. For example, if you type in Lexington his site will pull all the hotel rooms available from every travel site that has a listing in the area. “We did some launch tests over the summer to see if this was something that was missing in the market,” he said. “We researched who else was doing it and the potential it had to succeed.” The website officially launched in mid-August. Jensen admits that competing with the major travel websites will be an uphill battle, however, smarthotelsearch.com already has a database that includes more than 2 million hotels. “We have received a lot of positive feedback,” Jensen said. “It has only been a short while, but it takes time.” In the future, Jensen hopes to add airline flights and car rentals, but he is concentrating on completing the hotel search. “We are always looking for ways to make it better for our customers,” Jensen said. “The main thing is to make people’s lives easier.”
Source : the-dispatch.com/article/20130917/NEWS05/309179985?p=2&tc=pg