The absurdity of CorruptTour is precisely the genius of this, and says a lot more about our society than the business itself.
We’ve covered a lot of startups in our careers, but this one takes the prize for our favorite travel startup ever, for the simple reason that it is the strangest ever: CorruptTour.
The Prague-based startup travel agency has a particular speciality as its name suggests: history tours of corrupt areas and cities, focused for now in its home country of Czech Republic. The company is listed, of all places, on AngelList, presumably with an eye to raise some early stage money to expand, though not surprisingly, not many takers yet. It describes itself as such:
Corrupt Tour is the first corruption specialist tour company in the world, offering walking tours and bus tours of sites of interest in Prague, Usti nad Labem and Calsbad. Corruption is a worldwide phenomenon but most people do not know what it looks like. We look at the brighter side of sleaze, and take our customers behind the scenes. Corruption is mankind’s cultural heritage after all! Enjoy the Best of the Worst!
Since it started in Prague over a year ago, it has evolved its offerings to offer different kinds of tours: “The Prague Crony Safari”, which is a “safari of the habitats of cronies in the wild” and “Hospitals on the Edge of Low”, its medical corruption tour of “Three Prague hospitals notorious for graft and sleaze.” It has now been offering tours in three languages: Czech, German and English, and besides the walking tours, now also offers bus tours.
This video from Radio Free Europe gives a taste of its tours:
And if you’re interested in the actual business ambitions of CorruptTour, watch this hilariously serious presentation by one of the founders:
Besides the novelty value and the biting parody of it all, it surely has the potential of being a cult hit everywhere, even in U.S. where we would love a tour of the former environs of Lehman Brothers and its ilk in lower Manhattan. We’re rooting for it to hit big.