Skift Take

Cuba is a rare example of a destination where travelers, both American and otherwise, need a lot of help planning for. Even after the trade embargo eventually lifts, it'll be years before booking a trip to Havana is as easy as London or Paris for Americans. There are also other opportunities for startups to help travelers get to new and unknown places that don't involve initial planning or booking.


As Cuba speeds closer to allowing American travel en masse, some travel entrepreneurs see opportunities to help tourists plan travel to the country more efficiently than existing options.

But there are countless other emerging destinations or changing consumer habits that offer opportunities for startups. These five new entrants, below, solve travelers needs, from booking to tours to getting a good workout on the road.

>>Viahero lets travelers hire local experts in Cuba to craft their custom trips. These experts are charged a flat rate without commission and Viahero aims to show travelers the best local spots in Cuba.

SkiftTake: We’re normally weary of trip-planning startups but in the case of Cuba it’s totally necessary to plan a trip to the country this way. There are multiple moving parts involved in a Cuba trip that require expert knowledge before you even step foot on the ground and it’ll be interesting to see if another entrepreneurs see opportunities in tourism to Cuba.

>>GoAsiaDayTrip helps travelers book tours and activities in Southeast Asia.

SkiftTake: GoAsiaDayTrip picks up the slack from other tours and activities companies that aren’t as strong in Southeast Asia such as GetYourGuide. The startup is also particularly heavy in Vietnam, which is a relatively new destination for Europeans and Americans.

>>Cabissimo compares more than 200 on-demand ride and cab services, mostly in Europe, that take travelers from airports to city centers and vice versa.

SkiftTake: Travelers making their first trip to a new city are likely unfamiliar with what is the cheapest and best option for airport transfers as that differs from city to city.

>>Gynnatik helps travelers find gyms in different cities offering day passes so they can workout while on the road.

SkiftTake: Many business and leisure travelers don’t want to abandon exercise routines while on the road and want to find a decent gym where they’re welcome, especially if their hotel gym isn’t particularly inspiring.

>>YuMiGo lets travelers compare foreign exchange rates and costs for international SIM cards in India.

SkiftTake: While only available in India for now, it’s not hard to imagine a company like YuMiGo scaling to help travelers visiting a destination for the first time, especially with the SIM card cost comparison service.

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Tags: skiftseedlings, startups

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