4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit 2016

4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit

Besides meeting some bloggers in real life and spending some time surrounded by creative people, the Web Summit was blasé.

I don’t know if I was driven by FOMO or free Women In Tech tickets, but what I got out from it was more style than substance.

I did appreciate the opportunity (and the event needs more women) and being surrounded by creative energy made me want to create more.

Not wanting to leave the summit without anything to show for, in the last two days of the event I browsed through the event mobile app (that crashed so many times I was about to go insane…) to find out what was trending in the world of travel apps and if anything appealed to the cultural tourism niche.

Well, none of them are re-inventing the wheel that’s for sure but I purposely skipped those who seem to be in the travel app business just to make a quick buck. Honestly, how many more travel apps do we need that promise to pair you with locals to make your trip unique?

My tech knowledge is limited but my biggest pet peeve is a lousy user experience. And you don’t have to be a tech genius to rate a good user experience.

So what drove me to these four travel apps at the Web Summit? Their unique sales proposal and, ultimately, figuring out if they would be able to deliver what they were selling.

They were all in different stages of development and all depending on funding to get to whatever is the next level they were aiming for.

YouGoTo 4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit

You Go To (Portugal)

When it comes to user interface, this travel app is pure eye candy. When it comes to customer experience, extra points for the founder’s passion and patience in showing me the app (since I wasn’t an investor or anything).

They promise curated experiences once you reach the destination (which is awesome for people who hardly plan their trips, like me) according to your preferences. So what is new about this? The curating process. Ideally, You Go To will have real people testing out all things to do in the destination you’re visiting and narrowing the list down to the finest of the finest. And I don’t mean TripAdvisor sort of rating.

“YouGoTo.com is a travel marketplace and a location-based services provider for travelers to connect with destinations. Book tours, activities, tables at restaurants, get assistance, hail a taxi and find what’s best for you. Carefree holidays, done.”

Why Would I Use It?

I’m a sucker for curated experiences and beautiful design. This app meets both these standards. The downside for me, since I’m an Apple fan, is that it’s not available for iOS devices yet.

Where Can You Get It?

Free app available on Google Play store.

ProNatives 4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit

ProNatives (Italy)

I’m in favor of learning a few basic expressions in the native language of the country you’re visiting when traveling abroad. I think it’s a great icebreaker and the locals appreciate the effort. However, getting lost in translation might get you in trouble and no one wants to start a vacation on the wrong foot.

ProNatives allows you to connect with people in your destination who speak your language and are willing to show you around or just be there when you’re stuck at understanding the menu. It’s the world where travel guide blends with a professional translator.

“We are a team of IT legends and Travel Industry veterans working together to bring innovation to the world of Tourism and Hospitality. The ProNatives project aims to reduce communication difficulties when you’re traveling abroad, letting people help people.

We envision a global society of explorers and natives, who cooperate together to reduce the language barriers and enhance the beauty of cultural diversities.”

Why Would I Use It?

Well, I’ve had my fair share of miscommunication episodes in London (I think it’s all the different accents and slang words) and I would probably not need their services there. But although I do by with broken Italian, Spanish, and French, I can foresee a future where it could go terribly wrong in countries where they don’t speak Romance languages. I’d keep their website bookmarked just in case.

Where Can You Get It?

Learn more about their different plans at https://pronatives.com/

Boutique Experiences 4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit

Boutique Experiences (Turkey)

Web Summit had their own app where ticket holders could stalk Joseph Gordon-Levitt contact like-minded people, network with creative folks, and find companies that worked in the same area as you.

I had two handfuls of messages from “come see my robot in action” to “I’m recruiting engineers”. Some people don’t know how to target their marketing efforts. Then again, guys like Ersan Bilik, the founder of Boutique Experiences, knows exactly why you should learn more about his product and messages you accordingly.

“We provide experiences that give people happiness.”

Why Would I Use It?

I’ve been called everything from hipster to travel snob but the bottom line is this – I like to get under the skin of a destination (without the naive assumption that I’ll become a local in the blink of an eye). What can I say? All those bonus classes in Anthropology of Tourism in College left an impression.

I like meandering through neighborhood markets and find pastry shops through the smell of freshly baked goods in the air. I would like an app that lets me have the experience without the roaming around. Getting lost is beautiful and makes up for some great stories, yes, but sometimes you just want to go from point A to point B. Time is money.

Where Can You Get It?

The app is not available yet (but let’s hope it will). Check their website at https://butikdeneyimler.com/ (note: the website is in Turkish)

JITT Travel 4 Travel Apps for Cultural Tourists from the Web Summit

JITT.travel (Portugal)

They’re not exactly new kids on the block and they have an extensive track record to show for (and the glossy printed marketing material too). I guess when you carry the title of the number 1 app in Portugal you don’t do so lightly.

What makes it the number one app? Content. You know what they say that content is king? Well, content is nothing without a pretty frame. They have both. But don’t most of the great travel apps out there have that too? Well, yes, but this one is best for lazy travelers urban explorers.

“JiTT.travel is the only city guide and travel app you’ll need. Discover expert content in unique guides from around the globe, including cult thematic guides.”

Why Would I Use It?

As a traveler, I don’t have a particular preference when visiting a city. Most of my trips aren’t planned that much in advance and most of the times, apart from a general idea of what I’d like to visit, I approach the destination as a blank canvas. As a travel writer, I am either looking for a story angle or the story is looking for me.

You can browse by theme, guides published by local businesses or the tourism board, or the all-including city guides. So it’s a matter of preference, really. You might think it’s a lot of content at first, but since you’ll have it available offline later, it’s worth the “weight”.

Where Can You Get It?

Free app available on Google Play store and Apple store*.

What is your favorite travel app for cultural tourists? Would you use any of these?


A photo posted by Sandra (at Tripper) (@tripprblog) on

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  1. 1

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  2. 2

    Ooh I have never heard of any of these (TBH I’m always the last to hear about apps though, I think I’m too tech dumb haha) but will check them out. JITT sounds pretty cool!

    • 3

      JITT is the only one that’s fully available on all devices (and you can tell they already have major funding). The other ones are great ideas and we’ll see if someone is willing to pick up the project! I had my eye on Boutique Experiences even before the guy reached out to me 😀

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