This week’s travel startup watch looks at startups bringing the experiential and cultural aspects of food together through tours, mobile apps, and other services. These companies seek to show travelers how the food they eat is related to their entire travel experience and to also make the act of eating more enjoyable, fun, and worthwhile.
>>Foodie&Tours is an online marketplace specializing in gastronomic tours and culinary experiences in Spain with other destinations coming soon. The company offers walking food tours to enjoy wine and local product tastings, tapas sessions, cooking classes and culinary events.
SkiftTake: Foodie&Tours will need to think about scaling if it wants to really reach some potential but starting off in Spain as a food tour company is rarely a bad idea given the country’s famed tapas and wine reputation.
>>Tourboks offers a wide range of products including food and wine tours from selected tour operators and activity providers throughout Europe. Interactive maps will soon be available which are a co-planning tool for users to interact with friends online and co-decide the agenda of their trip.
SkiftTake: Travelers want to make sure they’re trying the foods they as individuals want to try while hopping from city to city, so Tourbok’s maps co-planning feature could be helpful to groups who want to diversify their dining experiences while on the move.
>>Food Language is a mobile app that translates menus into a traveler’s native language. It also helps verify reviews of restaurants and translates restaurant reviews into 11 different languages.
SkiftTake: We’ve all been in situations where you’ve sat down at a beautifully decorated restaurant with rave reviews and then the menu isn’t in your native language. Sometimes servers speak your native language and many times they don’t, so we welcome any app that can make this awkward and confusing bump less painless in an otherwise delicious meal. It’s just a challenge to get it into users’ hands before they know they need it.
>>Flavour is a mobile app that helps you instantly discover your city’s best restaurants. Search by neighborhood, cuisine or feature to find the perfect spot.
Flavour’s recommendations are distilled from respected critics, top bloggers, industry experts and knowledgeable locals.
SkiftTake: Is there room for disruption in this space when Yelp, Foursquare, and multiple unique services still dominate? Maybe so as Flavour reviews come from bloggers and critics who know what they’re talking about versus Yelp’s community reviews. Will travelers trust these curated recommendations though and value these reviewers? Time will tell.
>>Terravelo Tours combines the adventure of cycling, hiking, gourmet cuisine, and luxury camping creating an outdoor luxury experience. All-Inclusive tours take guests through five U.S. National Parks: Utah’s Arches, Bryce & Zion National Parks, Wyoming’s Grand Tetons & Yellowstone National Parks & Northern California’s coastline, and Napa Valley & Redwoods.
SkiftTake: For those who have the money is this undeniably the way to mix food and adventure. Bringing food back to nature and the outdoors is where it belongs anyways and it’s reassuring to see a tour company with that mindset that wants to pass it onto the travelers it serves.
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