4 travel apps for cultural tourists from the Web Summit 2016
I don’t know if I was driven by FOMO or free Women In Tech tickets, but what I got out from the 2016 Web Summit was more style than substance.
I did appreciate the opportunity (and the event needs more women). Being surrounded by creative energy made me want to create more.
On 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.
None of them are reinventing the wheel, that’s for sure, but I deliberately 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 terrible 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 deliver what they were selling.
They were all in different development stages and all depending on funding to get to whatever is the next level they were aiming for.
You Go To (Portugal)
When it comes to the 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 fantastic 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.”
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 a 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.”
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, know precisely why you should learn more about his product and message you accordingly.
“We provide experiences that give people happiness.”
They’re not exactly new kids on the block. They have an extensive track record to show for (and the glossy printed marketing material too). 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 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.”