Today I ran across an interesting travel startup called TouristEye. Co-founders of the Madrid, Spain sartup, Javier Fernández Escribano, Ariel Cámus, and their partner Diego JimÃ©nez have done a pretty amazing job with something under half a million in funding so far. Here is my 123 on the service so far.
One, the world’s most incredible travel guide ever? Not hardly, Stay.com has that distinction hands down (we helped em build it).
Voila!, it’s Tripsay 2013. In case you wonder, I covered Finland startup Tripsay for the tech blogs back when. The similarities are acute.
Two, when you drill down the interface and the potential business behind TouristEye become a little more apparent. Several tiers of action/functionality emerge from editing and sharing of places, to discovery. The image below foretells of this some, but it also reveals a bit of weakness in the current database and structure of the service – we live in Trier and it is about a lot more than little pictures and the Porta Negra.
Then some fun stuff starts to happen. Beginning to build my itenerary, the drag and drop simplicity adds to what is a very clean looking interface for doing what I would call “localized digital sightseeing” on TouristEye. If you look where I have dragged nearby Trier into my itenerary to the left, the system offers nearby cities for investigation/trip additions, etc.
Like almost every travel booking startup or guide platform out there, the big weakness for TouristEye is content. Scrolling down to those suggested stopping points up there, we run into pretty famous (must see) places near to Trier – sadly, without the slightest scribbling of what they are about. Bernkastel-Kues, for one, is perhaps the most picturesque German village, period. And Metz, just across the border in France, offers on the TouristEye pictorial no hint of that city’s greatest wonder, Saint-Stephen Cathedral, which possesses the largest expanse of stained glass in the world (see our video).
Three, working on, playing with, using trip itineraries and info via all the devices we know and love – the screen below shows TouristEye is all set up to “connect us” when and where we want. iOS or Android, even printed guide a la Stay.com (sort of), the traveler gets a pretty do gone nice tool to use here.
The collaborative space, the Holy Grail for any startup really. Jimmy Wales showed the world all about user generated content, and became and icon, now getting folks to fill in your online information content warehouse is – I said, the Holy Grail. As you can see below inviting and collaborating with pals is done right on TouristEye too, but then this is not rocket science either.
Then the monetization mongoose strikes, a smart money maker call to action to be able to straight book that hotel, or whatever I assume. Users can do a lot with the data on TouristEye, what there is there so far, but hooking into a full itinerary replete with hotels and tours (if they offer these yet), non-paid users get to type in their hotel details. This is a 123 quick review, so I have not decided if this is the smartest or the dumbest action button ever places on a startup.
Some smart folks made a nice tool for you to use to work out your travel. It’s not near as complete as the aforementioned Stay.com, Nile Guide or even Tripwolf where venues and pictures and complete cities are concerned, but it is nice. So. If you are in the mood to test “nice”, TouristEye is a 7 out of 10 travel startup, and one, two, three easy to get used to.
If they act on their stated mission, this one is one to watch for 2013.