Sunnies on, knobbly knees out and suitcase packed? Glad to hear it. Summer is here and we’ve all got the travel bug – and so has Barcelona! As one of the top tourist destinations in Europe (it gets an estimated 32 million tourists a year), it comes as no surprise that the city also has a thriving travel and tourism startup scene. We’ve all heard of business travel platform TravelPerk, but how about some of the lesser-known travel startups that are based here?
To give you an intro to this exciting travel tech scene, we’ve rounded up ten of the most innovative travel startups based here. If you’re taking our Master’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management, they are definitely worth checking out. And if you’re planning on going away this summer, you should test them out for yourself!
Authenticitys is an advocate for responsible and sustainable tourism. The startup has made it its mission to transform travel by designing local experiences that have a positive social impact. They believe that travelling should be about much more than just having fun. It should be an enriching experience for your body and mind – and bring value to the communities you visit. They work alongside local entrepreneurs and crowdsource knowledge from their communities to create travel experiences that are not only fun but also drive positive change.
The Barcelona-based CloudGuide has created an app that is now being used worldwide by museums, monuments and galleries to provide a digital content experience to their visitors. The app goes way beyond traditional audio guides. It’s an interactive platform that engages visitors with its user-friendly interface and can be used for many different purposes, from education to data collection. One of its biggest advantages is that institutions don’t have to build their own apps and visitors can access the multimedia content of many attractions without having to download a separate app for each.
An online travel agency, Exoticca provides luxury travel packages to the world’s most exotic destinations. You can browse their offers by continent and get lost in the wide array of dream destinations like Tanzania, Chile, Indonesia, New Zealand and more. The packages include everything from flights to accommodation, breakfast, local transport, tours and activities. All you have to do is close your eyes and picture the place you’d like to see the most. If you haven’t booked your summer vacation yet, there’s still time to consider an epic journey!
4. InFlight VR
If you thought that watching movies on a small screen when you’re flying was as fun as it gets, think again. InFlight VR has developed a virtual reality-based entertainment solution for planes. Their next-level technology allows for an incredibly immersive experience that not only keeps passengers entertained but has been shown to reduce stress levels and increase comfort. The content is, of course, safe for onboard consumption and ranges from games to virtual shopping malls and calming virtual strolls. InFlight VR is now live with Iberia and Jin Air, and will soon be available on SunExpress flights, too. Slap on those goggles and enjoy the ride!
As technology permeates our lives, the demand for digital experiences in tourism is growing. In response to this trend, PlayVisit has built a tool for tourism companies to create their own location-based virtual tours using gamification, augmented reality and virtual reality. It empowers brands to build cutting-edge mobile geolocation experiences without any programming skills, using templates. Imagine getting to discover a city or an attraction while playing a game or taking part in a challenge. Wouldn’t it make for a memorable trip?
Craving an adventurous weekend getaway but your significant other just doesn’t seem to get the hint? Enter FlyKube. The Barcelona startup offers surprise travel packages for three to five, or even five to fourteen-day trips, with flights and hotels included. You have several options. You can choose the date of your trip and only find out the destination two days before you go. You can also pick the month of your journey and find out which weekend you’re going and where four days prior to the trip. Or, you can opt for a luxury surprise trip to a premium destination with a five-star hotel stay. If you don’t have the time or energy to plan a trip for the upcoming long weekend, why not treat yourself to a surprise?
ByHours is here to save everyone who hates strict check-in and checkout times. They’ve created an entirely new way of booking hotels: with the help of their app, you can book microstays of three, six or twelve hours in the best hotels near airports, train and bus stations. If you’re only in town for a few hours or you’ve got a short layover between flights, you shouldn’t be spending that time bored to death in a Starbucks. You should have the opportunity to check into a hotel whenever you want, take a shower and spend a few hours relaxing stretched out on the bed. Booking hotels by the hour is a flexible traveller’s dream.
If you prefer vacation rentals to hotels, you must be familiar with all the Airbnb-like online marketplaces offering apartments out there. The offer is so huge and diverse that going through all of them and keeping track of the ever-changing prices will result in a serious headache. Apartum is a comparison site for vacation rentals – also called a metasearch engine – that helps you find the best deals by comparing prices on different websites. They aggregate listings from 50,000 destinations worldwide. No matter your taste, you’ll find the vacation rental you’re looking for and book one that fits your budget.
Travel is not only fun and games: you have to think about your health and safety, too. Mondo offers personalised travel insurance packages that you can get online in just a few seconds and a few clicks. They help you adapt everything to your own needs so that you don’t end up paying for unnecessary coverage. Remember to always get insurance before you travel so nothing can ruin your tip!
Ubeo is a unique ecommerce website where you can find all sorts of products on auction: including travel packages. If you want to snatch an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime deal, try placing a bet on one of the many travel offers on Ubeo. Who knows, if you place the right bet at the right time, you might end up spending a few nights in Mallorca for far less than it would’ve cost you if you’d booked the trip on a traditional platform. The thrill of an auction combined with the excitement of travel… How is that for an idea?
Are you interested in pursuing a career in travel and tourism? Check out our Master’s in Tourism and Hospitality Management programme!