Mobile

GetYourGuide goes mobile so travelers can access its 20K-plus activities on-the-fly

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The world is filled with fascinating things to do. The challenge is figuring out what to do and where.

GetYourGuide launched iOS and Android apps today so travelers can find and book interesting things to do while on-the-go. The Zurich-based startup claims to be the largest online platform for tours and leisure activities in the world.

“More than anyone, travelers need mobile tools that make it simple and easy to find and book activities whenever and wherever they are,” CEO Johannes Reck told VentureBeat. “Our mobile apps are designed to help travelers get inspired, review options and purchase tours from their smartphones and are the next step in expanding our U.S. footprint.”

getyourguideGetYourGuide is a portal that features 23,600 tours, attractions, and activities in over 2,190 destinations around the world. Each listing contains basic information, images, and customer reviews as well checking on availability, booking, and paying online.

A mobile presence is critical for business of all kinds, but it’s particularly critical for the travel industry, which is based entirely on mobility.

GetYourGuide’s new apps feature its full inventory of activities as well as a list of the top 10 tours and activities in global cities.

The app also detects your location and shows you the available activities nearby. Activities can be added to a wish list and saved for later, or you can book and pay within the app, and present a mobile voucher as your ticket.

Planning a trip can take weeks. A Google study revealed that the average leisure traveler visits an average of 22 different websites. However, spontaneity is part of what makes traveling so exciting. Travelers often don’t have easy access to computers, nor do they want to spend their trip holed up in hotel rooms researching.

This is part of the reason why so many travel startups have tried to do what GetYourGuide does — and failed. Before smartphones became a staple of our lives, there was a disconnect between online resources for trip planning and the actual experience of travel. Physical guidebooks prevailed for this very reason — they were mobile.

And the market for travel activities is extremely fragmented, made up of thousands of small businesses and individual tour guides without a strong Internet presence. At the same time, there is a heightened demand from travelers for “authentic” experiences that don’t follow cookie-cutter tour molds.

GetYourGuide is part of a new generation of online, experience-based travel companies that, and along with rivals Vayable, Peek and AnyRoad, aim to displace legacy players like Expedia and Viatour. Mobile is a key part of this effort.

GetYourGuide raised $14 million from Spark Capital in January to expand its database of things to do and enter new markets. 

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