In April, PhocusWire uncovered details of Touring Bird, the hush-hush tours and activities app Google was developing inside its Area 120 incubator.
Now Touring Bird has officially launched 25,000 experiences in 20 markets (the test run focused just on Paris), with the goal of serving as a “one-stop shop for travelers looking to find a range of experiences in a destination,” says the app’s founder, Lax Poojary.
Poojary says Touring Bird was created to solve four major pain points: 1. The amount of time it takes travelers to research across online and offline information sources, 2. The difficulty of finding one-of-a-kind experiences, 3. The difficulty of finding free activities and 4. The difficulty of finding activities that match users’ interests.
“We aim to solve these problems by helping them find everything - paid, free and local, unique experiences - in one place and at the same time to not overwhelm them,” he says.
Touring Bird features
With Touring Bird, users can select a destination, and the app will surface popular attractions, such as the Empires State Building in New York, as well as free guided tour options and tips from local bloggers, such as where to eat nearby.
For the top destinations, the build-your-own-package feature lets users customize and compare options across major providers, including Viator, GetYourGuide and Expedia. They can filter by price and preferences (to, for example, not just visit the main observation deck at the Empire State Building, but to also visit it at sunset). Then, to make a booking, the app will direct travelers to the provider’s website.
Poojary says the free tours on offer are aggregated from the web as well as a few free tour aggregators. He adds that Touring Bird is building a “community of local bloggers and travel writers to curate unique, local experiences that users can explore on their own.”
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