Travel the World and “Visit a City”

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Recently, my boyfriend and I had the opportunity to travel to Hawaii. I started counting down the days until I would be sitting down on a beach next to crystal clear blue water. As my workload increased and the days went by, my laziness in planning fun activities to do during my vacation increased. When we finally made it to our final destination and jet lag set in, we immediately regretted not having carved out time before the trip to plan what we were going to be doing. This resulted in us spending our first morning on this tropical paradise planning the rest of our trip instead of using that time laying out on the beach or by the pool drinking Mai Tais.

Imagine not having to waste time like I did deciding on what to do during a big trip. To me, that is the only bad part about traveling. The fun part is booking the trip and getting there. It definitely helps indecisiveness regarding what sites to see, especially if you are traveling with a big group. Luckily, such an app exists called Visit a City that helps travelers with this issue.

Primarily, the Visit a City platform acts as a way to enhance the traveler’s experience. It does this by acting as if it was your own personal travel guide. It provides information on over 3,500 destinations with over 40,000 sights, attractions, events and activities to plan. Through the search engine on the app, you begin your search by typing in your destination or selecting one from the home page. Once you type the location in, the user has many options to choose from. You can either view: Things to Do, Sights, a Map of the city, a predetermined itinerary, Travel tips, and view your scheduled plans.

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Under Things to do, the user can view options to purchase tickets for things such as trolley rides and sight-seeing tours. Some cities also give you the option to buy what is called a “Go (Name of City)” cards. These cards offer travelers an option to visit multiple sites at a discounted fixed price. This of course, can help businesses greatly because it gives users more flexibility to attend more sites than they would usually. With a map of the city provided on the app, it increases efficiency for travelers when deciding which sites are close enough to see in one day.

Along with these two features, the app also provides a predetermined itinerary based on the number of days you plan on staying. By default, it gives you the option of 1 to 3 days on the home screen. This itinerary doesn’t just provide sites to visit, but also walking times between the sites. By viewing this, travelers can pick and choose which sites they decide to see. For busy consultants and frequent business travelers looking for downtime during their travels, this is a great way to easily explore cities without the hassle of doing research. In addition, once you choose some of the places you want to go or one of the itineraries provided, you have the ability to edit to your personal preferences.

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With apps such as Visit a City, it is important to see how they benefit the travel industry as a whole. It is noted that around 85% of people use smartphones to plan their travel when on leisure tours and 30% use mobile apps to find the best hotel and flight deals. Also, important to mention is that 15% use download travel apps to plan a trip ahead.

As good as I find this app to be, I am curious to see how they will come up with a competitive advantage against other travel apps. Some of their competitors include apps such as GateGuru, an app that that gives travelers the length of security lines or the distance from baggage check to your gate. It also gives you detailed airport maps and real-time information on unexpected gate changes, so you don’t have to find out about them when it’s too late. Another complementary travel app is Foodspotting. With this app, you can search by whatever craving you may have. You enter a dish and Foodspotting will take you there. I feel that the key to keeping these apps competitive is efficiency for the users and making sure these apps work with businesses to continuously stay up to date with the current travel conditions and trends.

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Ultimately, with the growth of technology in the mobile industry, it has become almost necessary for businesses to be active on mobile and social media platforms and travel and tourism industry is not an exception. Apps such as Visit a City help enhance the travel experience for users and can provide a way for businesses in big cities increase their exposure.

 

Resources:

http://www.visitacity.com

https://www.cntraveler.com/stories/2015-02-24/travel-apps-that-can-replace-your-tour-guide

https://fieldguide.gizmodo.com/the-9-best-travel-apps-for-exploring-cities-1786593373

https://www.inc.com/jeff-pruitt/10-apps-that-take-the-pain-out-of-business-travel.html

https://www.imobdevtech.com/Blog/top-advantages-of-mobile-apps-for-travel-tourism-industry/

 

12 comments

  1. Love this! I had not heard of Visitacity before reading this post, but it seems like it has a lot of cool features that take out the stressful part of going on vacation. I think this app is especially useful for individuals who are staying at an AirB&B, since they don’t have access to a concierge when they arrive, like they would if they were staying at a hotel. I wonder if Vistacity has looked into partnering with a AirB&B or an app of similar nature? I think this would be a great partnership for both companies. One aspect of the app that I really like is that users can purchase a “Go (city name) card.” It definitely makes sense for users who are traveling for a limited amount of time and want to see all of the popular spots, without spending a lot of money. The next time I travel, I will definitely download this app to get ideas!

    1. I think that’s a great idea, Alyssa! Partnering with Air B&B would definitely help enhance their customer experience.

  2. I totally need to try this app! I just wish I could have tried it out during my recent Amsterdam/Barcelona trip. This does seem like it is cut some time out with me trying to plan what to do on some of my trips. I am also looking for a new app that can help make my life easier…the small things count! I agree with @alyssacasale4 , I wonder if they are going to partner with AirB&B or maybe even possibly with Uber or Lyft. I know Uber and Lyft is not everywhere they can partner up with companies alike to help get travels to their destination in a safe manner.

  3. I’ve never heard of these apps before but I definitely want to try all three now! Especially with so many people using their phones and apps to plan their travels, it makes so much sense to centralize and consolidate all the information into one location. When you’re going to a place you don’t know anything about it’s helpful that the app does all the research and brainstorming for you and all you need to do is choose. I think having a first mover advantage in this space could be part of their competitive advantage. They have so many opportunities to partner with local attractions that want to attract tourists and can offer deals and advertising through the app. I’m curious to see if another established travel company tries to make a competing service or buy this company out. Great post!

  4. Never heard of this app but it seems extremely helpful. What I’d be interested to learn more about is how they come up with itineraries. Are they tailored towards individual users? Do they use reviews from their own users to determine the best spots, or do they outsource and get data from more popular sites like Trip Advisor? Either way, it definitely saves a lot of time on the traveler’s end.

    1. I actually haven’t checked out if they work with Trip Advisor to see if they get info from their itineraries from there, but it would be nice for them to have users edit the itineraries themselves. The only way off the top of my head that I know they can edit is just via selecting the amount of days they stay. I should definitely look into this! Thanks, Andrew!

  5. I wish I had known about this app when I was studying abroad! The problem with planning your trip through the internet is the amount of activities– it’s too hard to choose. I found myself missing travel books while I was abroad because they summed up the “must see” attractions concisely. I agree with @andrewmanginelli … do they have a way to tailor the itinerary based on your past trips? For example, if you have visited a lot of churches you may be more interested in that than walking to a beautiful viewpoint. It’s a really interesting concept– sort of like how advertising is becoming super tailored to us, will travel plans also be?

    1. I think they should definitely figure out an algorithum to use where they could do this! Tailoring their itineraries to individual users is how I think they can not only enhance their competitive advantage, but customer experience as well! Thanks, Hilary!

  6. Really interesting app, glad you brought it to my attention! After having been in your exact same shoes (although sadly not in Hawaii), I now recognize the importance of planning your trip ahead. Apps like this make travelling so much less of a headache, and make sure you don’t miss any major landmarks along the way. You’re right about the struggle to maintain a competitive advantage however, as this will probably be a very competitive sphere with not much distinction.

  7. Nice post! It’s sort of like a crowdsourced travel guide. I love going to Hawaii, but it’s been a while since I have been there.

  8. Awesome awesome post. I wish I had this while studying abroad! Although it was really easy to book cheap flights to new cities and pack our bags, it was very daunting for my roommates and friends to actually narrow down what we could and couldn’t do in our short weekend trips all in the interest of time and money, but still wanting to check those big touristy things off our list. Now I’m curious how individual this app can be? Does it know that you don’t want to see any monuments, or cut down on the number of churches recommended, etc.? Does this app include food too? Because that other app sounds like a winner! I hope you had a great time in Hawaii!

    1. I definitely think that this app should create some algorithum similar to Netflix that can tailor itineraries to individual users! We should keep an eye out to see if this changes anytime soon. Hopefully it does! Thanks, Whitney!

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