International travelers already spend lots of energy, time, and money to visit places often unfamiliar to them and where technology may not be what they’re used to. Travelers want to message or call family and friends, access Wi-Fi on their mobile devices and communicate with locals so that they don’t feel unwelcome.
Here are five startups helping bridge the divide between foreigners’ concerns for international travel and connectivity that allows them to move about a destination with less stress.
>>Manet is a mobile app equipped with a local phone card that allows travelers to make national and international calls.
SkiftTake: Manet also doubles as the concierge for the hotel a traveler is staying at, giving travelers a reason to use the app when they’re not calling home.
>>Wiffinity mobile app that allows tourists to find and connect to free Wi-Fi hotspots around cities. It’s also a mobile marketing platform that facilitates advertisers and local businesses to effectively reach tourists and enables any third party app to offer a free Wi-Fi map and connectivity service directly on their app.
SkiftTake: Wiffinity’s B2B component relies on its consumer-facing component to be successful, something many travel startups aren’t having much luck with these days.
>>Tab lets tourist businesses in emerging markets accept payments from foreign customers in their own currencies. Tab charges businesses $1 per booking and keeps 2.9% of each booking.
SkiftTake: Showing pricing in a traveler’s own currency is that one extra step making the booking and trip planning processes appear that much more approachable.
>>Ticketbis allows travelers from more than 40 countries to search deals for sports, music, theater and other cultural events and purchase in their local currency and also sell and exchange tickets.
SkiftTake: There’s room for disruption for ticket sales at major international events and ideas like Ticketbis’ are opening that door.
>>SameSame is a visual translator using voice-recognition technology to help foreign travelers be understood wherever they’re visiting. To make sure travelers can express themselves in any situation, SameSame offers offline packages which include
the most used images by location.
SkiftTake: Provided travelers can get online to use the technology wherever they are, SameSame realizes that images often help with communication more so than words.