Here’s the first iPhone app for finding tour guides: LocalGuiding
The free app prompts you for the name of your city and then pulls up tours nearby. The image-driven results quickly show you the destination, a photo of the guide, and the price of the tour.
Using the slick but simple interface, users can have conversations with guides in advance, if you log in with an account at LocalGuiding. Signing up requires you give the site a valid email address.
A traveler can click on the image of a guide to find out more information about their history and to see reviews of the guide, plus a list of the languages the guide speaks and their response rate to inquires.
Users can also filter guides so you only see results from ones who speak one of six languages you specify.
Robert Blessing, the managing director of the Munich startup, told Tnooz that currently LocalGuiding isjust focusing on improving the iPhone app, though an Android version would be launched later this year.
The startup plans to promote the apps via its network, social media campaigns, and paid advertisement.
While being the first tour guide app, LocalGuiding is not the first tours & activities app, per se. Other competitors are in that broader category.
Sean O’Neill is a New Jersey-based reporter for Tnooz. He is also a daily contributor of consumer news to LonelyPlanet.com.
He used to work for BBC Travel, BudgetTravel.com, and Kiplinger's, and used to live in London, New York City, and Washington, DC.