Recently in the article titled When social, mobile, location and every other buzzword come together I was praising Vail ski resort for launching what is probably the most targeted social travel-related tool I have seen to date; but at Phocuswright in Arizona earlier this week I was sitting in a presentation by Pete Stein from Razorfish where he showed an example from Sweden that really impressed me – at least insomuch as it comes to targeted geo-gaming and using this as a way to get people engaged with a brand. Watch the short video below.

Seeing that ad I was reminded of writing back in April about geo-gaming being one of the five untapped opportunities for mobile and travel. I’m still waiting to see something as compelling as the MINI example from someone in the online travel space – now if I have seen that at the Travel Innovation Summit I might have even put my hand in my own pocket to back it!

And whilst talking of the Travel Innovation Summit, let’s try and tie that to Expedia in two ways.

Firstly, if you were there you might remember a company called TrustYou doing quite an interesting pitch on semantic search and trying to help their customers understand the intent of a reviewer rather than just focusing on keywords alone. So I was interested to see the following title to a story in Eye For Travel a couple of days later: Expedia to evaluate sentiments expressed in text collections.

The second tie in is that I was supposed to be having dinner with Mobiata CEO Ben Kazez and a group of others on the evening of the Travel Innovation Summit, but on the day before he pulled out saying he was no longer coming to Phocuswright. He told me something important had come up, but didn’t elaborate. Later that evening I was talking to Tim Hughes and we were both wondering what could possibly cause someone to pull out of such an important conference at short notice.

A couple of days later during the conference Expedia CEO Dara Khosrowshahi announced they were buying Mobiata! Congratulations to Ben and the team, as for a company that was only formed a couple of years ago, selling to Expedia is a phenomenal exit. And I also think that qualifies as a pretty justifiable excuse for pulling out of a dinner engagement with me at short notice.