Travel startups today are not creating products as much as platforms that facilitate connections between travelers and locals in the destination that they wish to explore.
It might, however, take more than a website and a messaging function to attract the number of users that makes the site useful and comprehensive, on both sides of the equation.
>> GoCambio is a platform where travelers can exchange language lessons for housing. Hosts provide a place to stay and their guests spend a few hours each day speaking to them in their native language.
SkiftTake: This exchange provides real value to both the host and guest making it likely that GoCambio will attract enough interested users to offer diversity in language and location.
>> Dopios is a Greek startup that connects travelers with locals who serve as guides and drivers in more than 80 countries. One of its products Welcome, which sends locals to pick up visitors from the airport and share area insights, is available in Instanbul and Athens. The startup’s goal is to enhance travelers’ experience by pairing them with a local who provides stories on the destination.
SkiftTake: As Greece’s economy rebounds, largely thanks to tourism, any service that gets more locals working and a part of the profits is one worth betting on.
>> Roam is a mobile app for users who want to create custom maps and share them with friends. Users add places to the map, add explanations and share it with friends.
SkiftTake: A cross between the paper map with several starred locations and the point-to-point directions available on mobile, Roam is a useful tool for any host that wants to concisely explain where to visit and how to get there.
>> InstanT is a translation app that connects users with a community of 1,100 interpreters for a live, more nuanced translation. Users select two languages and are then matched with an interpreter who listens to the conversation and translates.
SkiftTake: Translation is one of the common travel tasks transformed the most by mobile technology. InstanT’s proposition isn’t groundbreaking but still useful to travelers who have yet to find a preferred translation service.
>> Embark is a booking and content platform for outdoor adventures. Users can request to book an outdoor excursion led by a local or read about more extreme activities submitted by the site’s community.
SkiftTake: Embark appears to fall into the gap that exists for sites with interesting-enough content and too few guides or travelers to take advantage of it and fuel further goal.
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